Sri Lanka Ceasefire Agreement 2002

1.1 A ceasefire jointly agreed between the Government of the European Union and the LTTE shall enter into force on the day notified by the Norwegian Minister for Foreign Affairs in accordance with Article 4.2, hereinafter referred to as D-Day. His Government had continued to adhere nominally to the ceasefire in order to retain the support of the major Powers overseeing the so-called peace process. Rajapakse also feared that a hasty return to war would provoke popular resistance. At the same time, the army was let go, and provocations began almost immediately. On Christmas Eve 2005, prominent parliamentarian Joseph Pararajasingham, a friend of the LTTE, was shot dead while attending midnight mass in the eastern city of Batticaloa. In January 2006, five young Tamils from Trincomalee, celebrating their successful completion of the entrance exam, were murdered in cold blood. In both cases, the circumstances strongly indicated the involvement of the allied Tamil army and paramilitary groups. The immediate impetus for the ceasefire lift was an acute political crisis surrounding Rajapakse`s latest budget, which increased defense spending to Rs 167 billion – three times more than three years earlier. The government had faced the prospect of defeat in the final vote on December 14, when members of its own fragile coalition threatened to defect under pressure from widespread opposition to impose new economic burdens to pay for the war. In the meantime, I would like to stress that the end of the CFA in no way hinders the process of moving towards a negotiated political solution.

In fact, it gives us a wider space to pursue this goal in a way that involves all parts of the Sri Lankan community, which has been marginalized by the CFA and the agreement exclusively between the government and the LTTE. As His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa stated in Matara on 26 December 2007, the doors remain open for the LTTE to join this process. It should be recalled that the Thimpu talks of 1985, the Indo-Sri Lankan Agreement of 1987, the talks between President Premadasa and the LTTE of 1990 and the talks between the Government of President Kumaratunda and the LTTE in 1994 were not concluded by the presence of a CFA. The collapse of the ceasefire underscores the inability of part of the political establishment to end its reactionary war. The ceasefire was signed in February 2002 by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe`s Coalition-led United National Party (UNP), after the army suffered heavy defeats against the LTTE in 2000 and the economy experienced negative growth in 2001 for the first time in the country`s history. After the September 11 attacks, part of the ruling elite saw the Bush administration`s “war on terror” as an ideal opportunity to force the “terrorist” LTTE to the negotiating table on favorable terms. In quick succession, the SLFP-led government collapsed, the UNP and its allies won parliamentary elections, and the ceasefire was signed ahead of peace talks. After two decades of struggle and four unsuccessful attempts at peace talks, including the deployment of the Indian Army, the Indian Peacekeeping Force from 1987 to 1990, a lasting negotiated solution to the conflict seemed possible when a ceasefire was declared in December 2001 and an internationally mediated ceasefire agreement was signed in 2002. [22] However, limited hostilities resumed in late 2005 and the conflict began to escalate until the government launched a series of major military offensives against the LTTE beginning in July 2006 and expelling the LTTE from the entire eastern province of the island. The LTTE then declared that it would “resume its struggle for freedom in order to obtain a state.” [23] [24] Defense Minister Gotabhaya Rajapaksa called on the government in December 2007 to abandon the ceasefire agreement,[172] and on January 2, 2008, the Sri Lankan government officially did so.

[173] Between February 2002 and May 2007, the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission documented 3,830 ceasefire violations by the LTTE, compared to 351 by the security forces. [6] As of May 2007, the SLMM will no longer make decisions on ceasefire violations. Thus, the government declared that there was no longer a need for a ceasefire. Several donor countries have expressed disappointment at the withdrawal of the Sri Lankan government. [174] [175] The LTTE officially responded that since the government had unilaterally withdrawn from the ceasefire agreement without justification and was prepared to continue to comply with the agreement, the international community must immediately lift the bans it had imposed on the LTTE. [176] [177] On December 26, 2004, the Indian Ocean tsunami struck Sri Lanka, killing more than 35,000 people and leaving many more homeless. Much of the aid came from all over the world, but there was an immediate disagreement over how to distribute it to Tamil areas under LTTE control. On 24 June, the government and the LTTE agreed on the Post-Tsunami Operational Management Structure (P-TOMS), but received strong criticism from the JVP, which left the government in protest. The legality of P-TOMS has also been challenged in court. President Kumaratunga eventually had to abolish the P-TOMS, which led to widespread criticism that aid was not enough in the north and east of the country. Immediately after the tsunami, however, there was a significant decrease in violence in the north.

[Citation needed] The LTTE has yet to issue an official statement on the government`s withdrawal from the ceasefire. From the beginning, their perspective was the creation of a small capitalist part in the north and east of the island with the support of one or more of the great powers. He agreed to the ceasefire in 2002 and officially abandoned his long-standing demand for “Tamil Eelam” in the first round of talks in 2002. LtTE chief negotiator Anton Balasingham has promised to work with the Colombo government to create a “tiger economy” – that is, fully support the free market restructuring agenda – in exchange for the creation of a provincial government in the north and east with considerable autonomy. Since the collapse of the talks, the LTTE has reduced itself to asking the “international community” to bring the government back to the table of peace. After steady progress, security forces led by Brigade Commander Sarath Wijesinghe[137] captured Sampur on September 4. In September, the LTTE returned from the LTTE and began establishing military bases there,[138] when the LTTE conceded defeat and declared that its fighters had “withdrawn” from the strategically important city. [139] This is the first significant territorial change since the signing of the ceasefire agreement in 2002. [140] The Sri Lankan military estimated that 33 of its employees were killed in the offensive, as well as more than 200 LTTE fighters. [137] According to Sri Lankan media, Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake proposed lifting the ceasefire at a cabinet meeting on January 2. Apart from a Wickremanayake reference to the explosion of a bomb on the same day, of which he immediately blamed the LTTE, President Mahinda Rajapakse and his government did not give a substantive explanation for this decision. Government spokesman Anura Priyadarshana Yapa only said the ceasefire was “no longer feasible.” Efforts by the co-chairs of the peace process – the United States, the European Union, Japan and Norway – to revive peace talks quickly failed.

A round of negotiations in Geneva in February 2006 nearly failed when the LTTE threatened to withdraw in response to the government`s demand for an overhaul of the ceasefire. Two months later, talks in Oslo to verify compliance with the ceasefire collapsed after the government effectively sabotaged the meeting by not including a single minister in its delegation. At the same time, the army continued its covert provocative war aimed at weakening the LTTE, intimidating the Tamil population and inciting the LTTE to react. Accordingly, the Status of Mission Agreement (SOMA) on the Establishment and Administration of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) of 18 March 2002 between the Royal Norwegian Government and the Government of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka also expires with effect from 16 January 2008. .