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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2641

Unveiling the secret behind the Sri Lanka’s Ceasefire Agreement: Aceh – Peace facilitation and Sri Lanka peace talks

By K.T.Rajasingham

After returning back from the talks in Helsinki, Free Acheh Movement (GAM) was undecided about their next course of action. But they insisted that it was important a Ceasefire Agreement should be entered before going further in the talks.

GAM spokesman Baktiar Abdullah, said special autonomy, or any other political solution, should not be listed as the top agenda for the talks. He stressed a cessation of hostilities in the province was more urgent for the time being.

But Martti Ahtisaari, of the Crisis Management Initiative (CMI), a former President of Finland, who conducted the talks, said a cease-fire should be part of a more comprehensive peace deal rather than an end in itself.

"We need the security arrangement, disarmament of people, but that has to come as part of an overall package that consists of many other details," he said.

Meanwhile Bakthiar Abdullah in an interview with the Indonesian English language daily The Jakarta Post said, "If special autonomy is part of 'the peace package', then it should not be top of the list. The Indonesian government can offer it (the special autonomy) now, but we can discuss it months later only after both parties are able to prove their commitment to a cease-fire."

In the January 2005 meeting, GAM highlighted three points as its desired first steps for the conflict resolution in Aceh, including a cease-fire, the withdrawal of the 40,000-strong Indonesian force from Aceh and the lifting of the state of emergency in the province.

While the Helsinki talks were underway, violence broke out in separate locations in Aceh, leaving one soldier dead and seven others wounded.

Continuing hostility in Aceh justified the need for a permanent ceasefire agreement in place in Aceh.

A somewhat similar situation that arose in 2001 December in Sri Lanka has to be recalled at this point of time.

Though in February 2002 Government of Sri Lanka entered into a Ceasefire Agreement with Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, but on yesterday, 3 January 2008, Government of Sri Lanka had given notice to the Royal Norwegian Government, about its intention of abrogating the Ceasefire Agreement of 2002.

So it is appropriate to place on records some of the untold facts about how this ceasefire agreement was drafted and how it came into existence in the very beginning and who are the authors of the document.

It should be recalled that no sooner Ranil Wickremasinghe emerged victorious in the Parliamentary election held in December 2001, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam declared a unilateral cessation of hostilities on December 2001.

According to Anton Balasingham, “As an expression of goodwill to the new government, the LTTE announced a declaration of a month long unilateral ceasefire, beginning on midnight 24 December 2001, and called upon Ranil’s administration to respond positively. Announcing the decision, the LTTE’s statement said:

“Encouraged by the collective mandate for peace and ethnic harmony given by the Sinhala and Tamil masses at the general election, the LTTE leadership has decided to declare, unilaterally, a month long cessation of armed hostilities during the festive seasons of Christmas, New Year and ‘Thai Pongal’ (Hindu Harvest Festival) as a gesture of goodwill to facilitate the promotion of peace initiatives. We fervently hope that new government of Sri Lanka will reciprocate positively to our goodwill gesture and instruct its armed forces to observe peace during this period. Our decision to cease armed hostilities and observe peace during this period.

"Our decision to cease armed hostilities and observe peace during the festive season should be viewed as a genuine expression of goodwill, demonstrating our sincere desire for peace and negotiated political settlement. We Are confident that the new government will utilize this space of peace to implement goodwill measures to create congenial conditions of normalcy in the in the Tamil homeland by withdrawing the economic embargo and other restrictions and prohibition imposed on our people,” Balasingham wrote.

“If Sri Lanka Government reciprocates positively to our goodwill gesture and ceases armed hostilities against our forces and take immediate steps to remove the economic embargo and other restrictions, the LTTE will favorably consider extending the period of cease-fire to create cordial conditions for a stable peace and de-escalation,” he added

Anton Balasingham further wrote in his book War and Peace – Armed Struggle and Peace Efforts of Liberation Tigers, “Reciprocating the LTTE’s gesture of goodwill, the UNP also declared a one-month ceasefire effective from December 24 in response to the LTTE’s unilateral cessation of hostilities two days before. Both sides expressed the hope that the ceasefire would be extended beyond the January 24 deadline. The government also announced the easing of its economic blockade against LTTE-held areas to permit the entry of basic items such as kerosene, some medicine and food such as biscuits and canned fish.

“If Sri Lanka Government reciprocates positively to our goodwill gesture and ceases armed hostilities against our forces and take immediate steps to remove the economic embargo and other restrictions, the LTTE will favorably consider extending the period of cease-fire to create cordial conditions for a stable peace and de-escalation,”He went on and said.

The newly elected United National Front (UNF) government in Sri Lanka moved rapidly to initiate peace talks with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in an attempt to end the country’s civil war.

Later, Ranil Wickremesinghe flew to New Delhi for discussions with the Indian government. A joint statement released after his meeting with Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee indicated that India was “supportive of the measures outlined by the Sri Lankan Premier”. It reiterated India’s backing for the “sovereignty and integrity” of Sri Lanka, ruling out any support for the LTTE’s demand for a separate Tamil state in the north and east of the country.

Two days after returning from India, Ranil Wickremesinghe phoned the Norwegian Prime Minister Kjel Magne Bondevik to seek his country’s mediation in any negotiations. Accordingly, Norwegian Foreign Ministry has confirmed that the country will contact “both sides to find out if there is a basis for resuming negotiations.”

Subsequently, intense negotiations followed with the Norwegian facilitators. Right from the very beginning Norwegians were in a mighty hurry in forcing Ranil Wickremasinghe to agree on a cessation of hostilities with the LTTE.

Norwegians pointed out that current situation, the cessation of hostilities in the country was not as a result of an agreed cessation of hostilities arrangement. In fact it was due to two unilateral declarations. They explained that the very nature of this reality lends itself to misunderstandings and tensions. It will be in the mutual interest of both parties to exercise caution and to co-operate wherever possible, Norwegians insisted.

They further told Ranil Wickremasinghe in order to avoid further misunderstandings, it is desirable that the two parties immediately freeze the ground situation and urgently agree upon the parameters and ground rules under which the cessation of hostilities should operate.

Subsequently, Norwegian came up with a draft of a formal Ceasefire Agreement and said that this has to be agreed and finalized so that there will be no loopholes and any incidents that will not affect the two unilateral cessation of hostilities that were in existence at that point of time.

Accordingly, Jon Westborg - Norwegian Ambassador in Colombo met Ranil Wickremasinghe at his private residence and handed over the draft of the formal ceasefire agreement prepared by Norwegian facilitators with inputs from Anton Balasingham.

Immediately, Ranil Wickremasinghe, according to a source, called Professor G.L.Peris and Milinda Moragoda, both were his ministers and also service chiefs and handed over the copies of the draft provided by the Norwegians for their perusal and comments.

Professor G.L.Peris was put in charge of an adhoc committee to coordinate the UNF’s peace initiative, along with Minister Milinda Moragoda.

A couple of days later, they again met at Prime Minister’s house to discuss the draft of the proposed Agreement. During the meeting it was informed that Norwegians insisted not to change the text of the draft too much, as it might take a longer period to get the LTTE’s views on those changes.

In the meantime, Norwegians as well as the Government leadership were disturbed when a major portion of the confidential Norwegian draft of the ceasefire agreement appeared in an English language weekly paper. After that, those who participated in the discussion about the proposed Agreement were asked to leave behind their copies of the draft agreement when they left.

The adhoc committee that scrutinized the draft proposed that a clause should be added for reciprocal arrangements for political works. When LTTE was given an opportunity carry on their political activities in Government controlled areas, then other political parties too should be allowed to carry on their political works in the so called LTTE controlled areas. Unfortunately it was denied by the Norwegians and there was not even a meek protest forthcoming from the Government of Sri Lanka.

The initial draft provided by the Norwegians, did not have anything about railway line to Batticaloa, but when this suggestion given by the Adhoc committee was included in the draft.

In short, Anton Balasingham on behalf of the LTTE almost authored the draft of the agreement and the same draft was given to Ranil Wickremasinghe with a warning by the Norwegians to go through it with the minimum short amendments.

This would be very clear when going through the relevant portion of Anton Balasingham’s book War and Peace – Armed Struggle and Peace Efforts of Liberation Tigers, which is given in the end.

Ranil Wickremasinghe after consultation with his adhoc committee accepted the draft given by the Norwegians. Sources told that the draft prepared with the inputs from Anton Balasingham was accepted without any protest or changes.

The Ceasefire Agreement only said what the Sri Lanka Government should do and not what the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam also should do.

After finalizing the Ceasefire Agreement (Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)) Jon Westbog, Norwegian Ambassador took the document to Vanni on 22 February 2002, to obtain the signature of Velupillai Prabakaran, leader of the LTTE.

Velupillai Prabhakaran signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that was brought to him in the rebel-controlled Vanni region by Jon Westborg, Norway's ambassador to Sri Lanka.

After an hour and a half meeting with Velupillai Prabaharan, Westborg returned to Colombo and on the next day morning (23 January, 2002) Prime Minster Ranil Wickremasinghe also signed the Memorandum of Understanding.

The details of the memorandum of understanding were not made public in Colombo, but it was done only in Oslo, Norway.

Normally both parties place their signatures in the Memorandum of Understandings, in one document. But it was not so. Both of them, Ranil Wickremasinghe and Velupillai Prabakaran signed separately in two separate documents instead both placing their signatures in one set of document.

Further, after the signing of the Ceasefire Agreement, Norway purposely avoided giving even the certified copies of signed documents to the Government of Sri Lanka.

News of the signing of the MOU received an angry response from Sri Lanka's President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who charged the procedures used to reach the MOU ignored constitutional provisions that require presidential approval.

She also said the cabinet of ministers and parliament has also not been informed of the details.

Kumaratunga said she only learned about the MOU after the rebel leader had signed it.

Subsequently, Sri Lankan Presidential Secretariat has refuted the statement of government spokesman and Constitutional Affair Minister G.L. Peiris that the recently signed ceasefire agreement between the government and separatist Tamil Tiger rebels was discussed at two cabinet meetings.

Presidential Secretariat on 24th February 2002 refuted the statement of government spokesman and Constitutional Affair Minister G.L. Peiris that the recently signed ceasefire agreement between the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam was discussed at two cabinet meetings.

In a press release the Presidential Secretariat has described the statement as totally untrue and misleading.

The release said that President Chandrika Kumaratunga decided not to participate at the first cabinet meeting as she had convinced herself that there were no matters of special importance to be discussed at this particular cabinet meeting after inquiries.

As special cabinet meeting cannot be held without the prior consent of the president, the statement that the ceasefire agreement was discussed at the second special cabinet meeting is totally false, the Presidential Secretariat said.

War and Peace – Armed Struggle and Peace Efforts of Liberation Tigers, By Anton Balasingham - Pages 355 to 360

"In the parliamentary elections the UNP swept to victory with a popular mandate for peace and negotiated settlement to the Tamil national question. Mr. Wickremasinghe has sworn in as the new Premier. Having assumed power the new Prime Minister met the Norwegian Ambassador, Mr. Westborg, and expressed the desire of his government to engage the LTTE in peace talks. He urged the Royal Norwegian Government to continue facilitatory efforts to initiate a dialogue between his government and the Tamil Tigers. Ranil also conveyed a message to the LTTE leadership, through the Ambassador, that his government would soon implement measures to bring relief and address to the Tamil people.

"As an expression of goodwill to the new government, the LTTE announced a declaration of a month long unilateral ceasefire, beginning on midnight 24 December 2001, and called upon Ranil’s administration to respond positively. Announcing the decision, the LTTE’s statement said:

“Encouraged by the collective mandate for peace and ethnic harmony given by the Sinhala and Tamil masses at the general election, the LTTE leadership has decided to declare, unilaterally, a month long cessation of armed hostilities during the festive seasons of Christmas, New Year and ‘Thai Pongal’ (Hindu Harvest Festival) as a gesture of goodwill to facilitate the promotion of peace initiatives. We fervently hope that new government of Sri Lanka will reciprocate positively to our goodwill gesture and instruct its armed forces to observe peace during this period. Our decision to cease armed hostilities and observe peace during this period.

"Our decision to cease armed hostilities and observe peace during the festive season should be viewed as a genuine expression of goodwill, demonstrating our sincere desire for peace and negotiated political settlement. We Are confident that the new government will utilize this space of peace to implement goodwill measures to create congenial conditions of normalcy in the in the Tamil homeland by withdrawing the economic embargo and other restrictions and prohibition imposed on our people.”

“If Sri Lanka Government reciprocates positively to our goodwill gesture and ceases armed hostilities against our forces and take immediate steps to remove the economic embargo and other restrictions, the LTTE will favorably consider extending the period of cease-fire to create cordial conditions for a stable peace and de-escalation.

"The new government reciprocated favorably the LTTE’s unilateral declaration of cessation of hostilities. However though the government declared cessation of hostilities from midnight 24 December, the security forces and police were instructed to continue carry out operations in the military controlled Tamil areas. The government also announced that the naval operations conducted at sea ‘to prevent the import of arms, ammunitions and other military equipment would continue.’ The LTTE leadership was not pleased with the instructions given to the security forces.

"After discussing the implication of the issue with me Mr. Pirapaharan requested that I convey his displeasure to the new government through the Norwegins. I sent the following message to Erik Solheim on 27 December2001 to be conveyed to Ranil’s administration:

'Mr. Pirapaharan requests you to convey to the leadership of the new government in Colombo his displeasure over certain specifications in the instructions given to the Sri Lankan armed forces by the military hierarchy with regard to the observation of hostilities. The LTTE leader is of the opinion that the continuation of the restrictions on the freedom of movements of civilians and the presence innumerable barricades and check points in the military occupied zones in the Northeast cause serious inconvenience to the public. The decision to carry on cordon and search operation, according to him, will not facilitate the de-escalation of the conflict and restoration of normalcy but rather provoke incidents, which spark-off confrontation. Mr. Pirabaharan also wishes state that Sea Tiger units will fight back in self-defense if they are subjected to deliberate offensive attacks by the Sri Lankan navy. Naval and aerial attacks on Sea Tiger bases causing serious causalities will be considered as hostile actions contravening cessation of hostilities, Mr. Pirabaharan said.'

"Pirabaharan’s message was conveyed to Ranil Wickramasinghe through the Norwegian Ambassador in Colombo. The response from the government was immediate. The government’s message emphasized that the Prime Minister was earnest and sincere in his commitment to find a solution to the Tamil issue. The government also indicated its willingness to work out parameters and rules for a mutually agreed ceasefire instead of two unilateral declarations of ceasefire. The message addressed to the LTTE leadership further stated: “It should be emphasized that Sri Lanka government also has issues of critical importance regarding the operation of the cessation of hostilities which needs to be taken with the LTTE on an urgent basis.

"At the outset both the parties must clearly understand that the current situation is not result of an agreed cessation of hostilities. In fact ground realities are results two unilateral declarations. The very nature of this reality lends itself to misunderstandings and tensions. It will be in the mutual interest of both parties to exercise caution and to co-operate wherever possible.

"Given the above, in order to avoid further misunderstandings, it is desirable that the two parties immediately freeze the ground situation and urgently agree upon the parameters and ground rules under which the cessation of hostilities should operate,’

A Mutually Agreed Ceasefire

"Accepting the critical importance of formulating a mutually agreed cessation of hostilities, the LTTE leadership informs the Norwegian government that the organization was prepared to discuss the modalities, parameters and ground rules of a structured ceasefire.

"The LTTE also told the Norwegians that it would submit proposals to the government of Sri Lanka for the formulation of a general framework of a bilateral ceasefire for discussion and consideration. Until both worked out mutual framework with the facilitation of Norway, the LTTE suggested that government should cease all cordon and search operations and arrests and ‘freeze the ground situation’. Furthermore with if the new government was sincerely committed to the removable of all injustice and inequalities faced by the Tamil population. Ranil’s administration should ensure that all essential items that were freely available to the Sinhala people in the south should also be available to the Tamils in the northeast, the LTTE argued.

"The LTTE’s request was communicated to the Prime Minister and the response was prompt. The Norwegians informed us that the Government of Sri Lanka would cease all cordon and search operations and arrests. The government also pledged to lift the economic embargo from 15 January 2002 to allow the free flow of essential items to Tamil areas as worked out in the Norwegian Memorandum of Understanding.

"In the meantime, Ranil Wickrekmasinghe appointed a committee with overall responsibility for the peace process and negotiations under two of his senior ministers, Professor G.L.Peris, Minister of Constitutional Affairs, and Mr. Milinda Morgoda, Minister of Economic Reforms. The Prime Minister also established a peace secretariat headed by Mr. Benard Goonatilake, the Sri Lankan Ambassador in China. Furthermore, he wrote to the Norwegian Prime Minister Mr. Bondebik, requesting the Oslo government to continue with the facilitation process. The LTTE was asked formally make a similar request. On the 1 January 2002, Mr. Pirabaharan send the following letter to Mr. Bondevik:

'Dear Prime Minister,

To begin with, allow me to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation of the indefatigable effort and valuable assistance provided by the Royal Norwegian Government over the past two and a half years to promote a negotiated political settlement to the Tamil national question in Sri Lanka. I also wish to commend the Norwegian government for its impartiality and objective neutrality shown in the delicate practice of facilitation. Such a noble approach is widely appreciated by the Tamils in Tamil Eelam as well as by the Tamils living throughout the world.

'I am writing this letter to you to seek your government’s continuous engagement as the facilitator to help the parties in conflict to find a stable peace and a permanent settlement to the ethnic conflict.

V.Pirabaharan

Leader,

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.'

"The Norwegian Prime Minister responded thus:

'Dear Mr. Pirbaharan,

'With reference to your letter 1 January, I would like to assure you of my governments commitment to help to bring the parties together to reach a peaceful settlement to the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka.

'We are pleased by the LTTE’s constructive approach to the process and hope that the renewed level of confidence between the parties can east the path towards peace.

'I have delegated the responsibility for the Norwegian assistance in the peace process to my Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Jan Petersen, and his State Secretary, Mr. Vidar Helgesse, who will follow the process on a day to day basis.

'With my best wishes for successful peace talks,

'I remain,

Kjell Magne Bondvik'

"The Norwegian facilitators took up the responsibility of formalizing the unilaterally declared cessation of hostilities into a comprehensive framework for a mutually agreed formal ceasefire.

In this context, the Norwegians requested both the parties – the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE – to submit proposals.(We have already seen above that Norweians only handed over a draft of the ceasefire Agreement which was prepared in consultation with Anton Balasingham.)

"On 7th January 2002, the LTTE submitted its proposal to Mr. Vidar Helgessen, as general guidelines or modalities, for the proposed truce.

"Having received proposals from both parties, the Norwegians undertook the difficult task of formulating a framework that would be acceptable to both parties. Vidar Helgessen, Erik Solheim, Jon Westborg and Kjersti Tromsdal had several rounds discussions with me in London and with the representatives of Sri Lanka Government to work out mutually accepted documents. During the months of January and February, I was in constant communication with Mr. Pirabaharan to receive his inputs, amendments, revisions and improvements. I should compliment the Norwegian facilitators for their patience, untiring nd skilfull effort in formalizing and finalizing a ceasefire framework acceptable to the warring parties with a long history of mutual distrust and hostility.

"Mr. Jan Peterson and his deputy Mr. Vidar Helgessen called a press conference in Oslo to make the ceasefire agreement public."

"As from 00:00 hours on 23 February 2002, a ceasefire agreement enters into force between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam (LTTE). The ceasefire document, signed by Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and LTTE leader Vellipulai Prabhakaran, has been deposited with the Norwegian Government, and we have been asked to make the agreement public.

"The overall objective of the parties is to find a negotiated solution to the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka, which has cost 60,000 lives and caused widespread human suffering. The ceasefire will pave the way for further steps towards negotiations.

"Through this formalized ceasefire the parties commit themselves to putting an end to the hostilities. They commit themselves to restoring normalcy for all the inhabitants of Sri Lanka, whether they are Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims or others. And they commit themselves to accepting an international monitoring mission, led by Norway, which will conduct on-site monitoring.

"Both sides have taken bold steps to conclude the ceasefire, and this agreement is a message that they are prepared to continue taking bold steps to achieve peace. They are embarking on a long road towards a political solution. It will not be easy. It will require determination and courage. The parties will face risks and uncertainties, and they will have to make hard choices. But no hardships are worse than those of conflict and bloodshed. No gains are greater than those of peace and prosperity.

"On the journey to peace and prosperity, the inhabitants of Sri Lanka, and their leaders, will need the solidarity of the international community. It must mobilize political and financial support for peace and reconciliation. Norway will continue to accompany the parties in this demanding process.

"I shall now provide some more detail about the ceasefire agreement.
First, it outlines the modalities of the ceasefire, including the total cessation of all offensive military operations, the separation of forces, and increased freedom of movement for unarmed troops on both sides.

"Second, measures to restore normalcy for all the inhabitants of Sri Lanka - Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and others - putting an end to hostile acts against civilians, allowing the unimpeded flow of non-military goods, opening roads and railway lines, and a gradual easing of fishing restrictions.

"Third, a small international monitoring mission, led by Norway. The mission will conduct international on-site monitoring of the fulfillment of the commitments made by the Parties. Let me underline, however, that it is up to the parties to respect the agreement and to impose sanctions on those individuals on either side who act contrary to the agreement. "

Also Read:

1.Aceh – Peace facilitation and Sri Lanka peace talks

2. Aceh – Peace facilitation and Sri Lanka peace talks – A Comparison

AGREEMENT ON A CEASEFIRE BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF SRI LANKA AND THE LIBERATION TIGERS OF TAMIL EELAM

Preamble

The overall objective of the Government of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (hereinafter referred to as the GOSL) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (hereinafter referred to as the LTTE) is to find a negotiated solution to the ongoing ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka.

The GOSL and the LTTE (hereinafter referred to as the Parties) recognize the importance of bringing an end to the hostilities and improving the living conditions for all inhabitants affected by the conflict. Bringing an end to the hostilities is also seen by the Parties as a means of establishing a positive atmosphere in which further steps towards negotiations on a lasting solution can be taken.

The Parties further recognize that groups that are not directly party to the conflict are also suffering the consequences of it. This is particularly the case as regards the Muslim population. Therefore, the provisions of this Agreement regarding the security of civilians and their property apply to all inhabitants.

With reference to the above, the Parties have agreed to enter into a ceasefire, refrain from conduct that could undermine the good intentions or violate the spirit of this Agreement and implement confidence-building measures as indicated in the articles below.

Article 1: Modalities of a ceasefire

The Parties have agreed to implement a ceasefire between their armed forces as follows:

1.1 A jointly agreed ceasefire between the GOSL and the LTTE shall enter into force on such date as is notified by the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs in accordance with Article 4.2, hereinafter referred to as D-day.

Military operations

1.2 Neither Party shall engage in any offensive military operation. This requires the total cessation of all military action and includes, but is not limited to, such acts as:

a) The firing of direct and indirect weapons, armed raids, ambushes, assassinations, abductions, destruction of civilian or military property, sabotage, suicide missions and activities by deep penetration units;

b) Aerial bombardment;

c) Offensive naval operations.

1.3 The Sri Lankan armed forces shall continue to perform their legitimate task of safeguarding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka without engaging in offensive operations against the LTTE.

Separation of forces

1.4 Where forward defence localities have been established, the GOSL’s armed forces and the LTTE’s fighting formations shall hold their ground positions, maintaining a zone of separation of a minimum of six hundred (600) metres. However, each Party reserves the right of movement within one hundred (100) metres of its own defence localities, keeping an absolute minimum distance of four hundred (400) metres between them. Where existing positions are closer than four hundred (400) metres, no such right of movement applies and the Parties agree to ensure the maximum possible distance between their personnel.

1.5 In areas where localities have not been clearly established, the status quo as regards the areas controlled by the GOSL and the LTTE, respectively, on 24 December 2001 shall continue to apply pending such demarcation as is provided in article 1.6.

1.6 The Parties shall provide information to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) regarding defence localities in all areas of contention, cf. Article 3. The monitoring mission shall assist the Parties in drawing up demarcation lines at the latest by D-day + 30.

1.7 The Parties shall not move munitions, explosives or military equipment into the area controlled by the other Party.

1.8 Tamil paramilitary groups shall be disarmed by the GOSL by D-day + 30 at the latest. The GOSL shall offer to integrate individuals in these units under the command and disciplinary structure of the GOSL armed forces for service away from the Northern and Eastern Province.

Freedom of movement

1.9 The Parties’ forces shall initially stay in the areas under their respective control, as provided in Article 1.4 and Article 1.5.

1.10 Unarmed GOSL troops shall, as of D- day + 60, be permitted unlimited passage between Jaffna and Vavunyia using the Jaffna-Kandy road (A9). The modalities are to be worked out by the Parties with the assistance of the SLMM.

1.11 The Parties agree that as of D-day individual combatants shall, on the recommendation of their area commander, be permitted, unarmed and in plain clothes, to visit family and friends residing in areas under the control of the other Party. Such visits shall be limited to six days every second month, not including the time of travel by the shortest applicable route. The LTTE shall facilitate the use of the Jaffna-Kandy road for this purpose. The Parties reserve the right to deny entry to specified military areas.

1.12 The Parties agree that as of D-day individual combatants shall, notwithstanding the two-month restriction, be permitted, unarmed and in plain clothes, to visit immediate family (i.e. spouses, children, grandparents, parents and siblings) in connection with weddings or funerals. The right to deny entry to specified military areas applies.

1.13 Fifty (50) unarmed LTTE members shall as of D-day + 30, for the purpose of political work, be permitted freedom of movement in the areas of the North and the East dominated by the GOSL.

Additional 100 unarmed LTTE members shall be permitted freedom of movement as of D-day + 60. As of D-day + 90, all unarmed LTTE members shall be permitted freedom of movement in the North and the East. The LTTE members shall carry identity papers. The right of the GOSL to deny entry to specified military areas applies.

Article 2: Measures to restore normalcy

The Parties shall undertake the following confidence-building measures with the aim of restoring normalcy for all inhabitants of Sri Lanka:

2.1 The Parties shall in accordance with international law abstain from hostile acts against the civilian population, including such acts as torture, intimidation, abduction, extortion and harassment.

2.2 The Parties shall refrain from engaging in activities or propagating ideas that could offend cultural or religious sensitivities. Places of worship (temples, churches, mosques and other holy sites, etc.) currently held by the forces of either of the Parties shall be vacated by D-day + 30 and made accessible to the public. Places of worship which are situated in “high security zones” shall be vacated by all armed personnel and maintained in good order by civilian workers, even when they are not made accessible to the public.

2.3 Beginning on the date on which this Agreement enters into force, school buildings occupied by either Party shall be vacated and returned to their intended use. This activity shall be completed by D-day + 160 at the latest.

2.4 A schedule indicating the return of all other public buildings to their intended use shall be drawn up by the Parties and published at the latest by D-day + 30.

2.5 The Parties shall review the security measures and the set-up of checkpoints, particularly in densely populated cities and towns, in order to introduce systems that will prevent harassment of the civilian population. Such systems shall be in place from D-day + 60.

2.6 The Parties agree to ensure the unimpeded flow of non-military goods to and from the LTTE-dominated areas with the exception of certain items as shown in Annex A. Quantities shall be determined by market demand. The GOSL shall regularly review the matter with the aim of gradually removing any remaining restrictions on non-military goods.

2.7 In order to facilitate the flow of goods and the movement of civilians, the Parties agree to establish checkpoints on their line of control at such locations as are specified in Annex B.
2.8 The Parties shall take steps to ensure that the Trincomalee-Habarana road remains open on a 24-hour basis for passenger traffic with effect from D-day + 10.

2.9 The Parties shall facilitate the extension of the rail service on the Batticaloa-line to Welikanda. Repairs and maintenance shall be carried out by the GOSL in order to extend the service up to Batticaloa.

2.10 The Parties shall open the Kandy-Jaffna road (A9) to non-military traffic of goods and passengers. Specific modalities shall be worked out by the Parties with the assistance of the Royal Norwegian Government by D-day + 30 at the latest.

2.11 A gradual easing of the fishing restrictions shall take place starting from D-day. As of D-day + 90, all restrictions on day and night fishing shall be removed, subject to the following exceptions: (i) fishing will not be permitted within an area of 1 nautical mile on either side along the coast and 2 nautical miles seawards from all security forces camps on the coast; (ii) fishing will not be permitted in harbours or approaches to harbours, bays and estuaries along the coast.

2.12 The Parties agree that search operations and arrests under the Prevention of Terrorism Act shall not take place. Arrests shall be conducted under due process of law in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Code.

2.13 The Parties agree to provide family members of detainees access to the detainees within D-day + 30.

Article 3: The Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission

The Parties have agreed to set up an international monitoring mission to enquire into any instance of violation of the terms and conditions of this Agreement. Both Parties shall fully cooperate to rectify any matter of conflict caused by their respective sides. The mission shall conduct international verification through on-site monitoring of the fulfilment of the commitments entered into

in this Agreement as follows:

3.1 The name of the monitoring mission shall be the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (hereinafter referred to as the SLMM).

3.2 Subject to acceptance by the Parties, the Royal Norwegian Government (hereinafter referred to as the RNG) shall appoint the Head of the SLMM (hereinafter referred to as the HoM), who shall be the final authority regarding interpretation of this Agreement.

3.3 The SLMM shall liaise with the Parties and report to the RNG.

3.4 The HoM shall decide the date for the commencement of the SLMM’s operations.

3.5 The SLMM shall be composed of representatives from Nordic countries.

3.6 The SLMM shall establish a headquarters in such place as the HoM finds appropriate. An office shall be established in Colombo and in Vanni in order to liaise with the GOSL and the LTTE, respectively. The SLMM will maintain a presence in the districts of Jaffna, Mannar, Vavuniya, Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Amparai.

3.7 A local monitoring committee shall be established in Jaffna, Mannar, Vavuniya, Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Amparai. Each committee shall consist of five members, two appointed by the GOSL, two by the LTTE and one international monitor appointed by the HoM. The international monitor shall chair the committee. The GOSL and the LTTE appointees may be selected from among retired judges, public servants, religious leaders or similar leading citizens.

3.8 The committees shall serve the SLMM in an advisory capacity and discuss issues relating to the implementation of this Agreement in their respective districts, with a view to establishing a common understanding of such issues. In particular, they will seek to resolve any dispute concerning the implementation of this Agreement at the lowest possible level.

3.9 The Parties shall be responsible for the appropriate protection of and security arrangements for all SLMM members.

3.10 The Parties agree to ensure the freedom of movement of the SLMM members in performing their tasks. The members of the SLMM shall be given immediate access to areas where violations of the Agreement are alleged to have taken place. The Parties also agree to facilitate the widest possible access to such areas for the local members of the six above-mentioned committees, cf.Article 3 to 7.

3.11 It shall be the responsibility of the SLMM to take immediate action on any complaints made by either Party to the Agreement, and to enquire into and assist the Parties in the settlement of any dispute that might arise in connection with such complaints.

3.12 With the aim of resolving disputes at the lowest possible level, communication shall be established between commanders of the GOSL armed forces and the LTTE area leaders to enable them to resolve problems in the conflict zones.

3.13 Guidelines for the operations of the SLMM shall be established in a separate document.

Article 4: Entry into force, amendments and termination of the Agreement

4.1 Each Party shall notify its consent to be bound by this Agreement through a letter to the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs signed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on behalf of the GOSL and by leader Velupillai Pirabaharan on behalf of the LTTE, respectively. The Agreement shall be initialled by each Party and enclosed in the above-mentioned letter.

4.2 The Agreement shall enter into force on such date as is notified by the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs.

4.3 This Agreement may be amended and modified by mutual agreement of both Parties. Such amendments shall be notified in writing to the RNG.

4.4 This Agreement shall remain in force until notice of termination is given by either Party to the RNG. Such notice shall be given fourteen (14) days in advance of the effective date of termination.

ANNEX A

The Parties agree to ensure the flow of non- military goods to and from LTTE dominated areas of the Northern and Eastern Province, as well as unimpeded flow of such goods to the civilian population in these areas. Non military goods not covered by article 2.6 in the Agreement are listed below:

- Non military arms/ammunition
- Explosives
- Remote control devices
- Barbed wire
- Binoculars/Telescopes
- Compasses
- Penlight batteries
Diesel, petrol, cement and iron rods will be restricted in accordance with the following procedures and quantities:
- Diesel and petrol

The Government Agents (GA) will register available vehicles; tractors and motorcycles in the LTTE controlled areas. The GA will calculate the required weekly amount of diesel and petrol based on the following estimate:

Trucks/Buses 250 litre/week

4 wheels tractor 310 litre/week

2 wheel tractor 40 litre/week

Petrol vehicle 30 litre/week

Motorcycles 7 litre/week

Fishing vessels 400 litre/week

- Cement

Cement required for rehabilitation and reconstruction of Government property; registeret co-operatives; or approved housing projects implemented by the GOSL and international NGOs and more affluent members of the society; will be brought in directly by relevant institutions under licenses issued by Government Agents. The GA shall stipulate the monthly quantities permitted for such project based upon planned and reported progress.

Cement required for indvidual shops/constructions/house owners/rehabilitation-initiatives will be made available through the co-operations on a commercial basis. The monthly import for this purpose wil be limited to 5000 bags during the first month and thereafter 10 000 bags/month. Individual sales by the co-operatives will be registered and limited to 25 bags per household.

- Iron rods

Iron rods for building constructions will be brought in to the LTTE controlled areas under licenses issued by the GA.

A monthly reassessment will be made to assess the possibilites of removal of the above restrictions.

ANNEX B

Checkpoints agreed in § 2.7 are as follows:
- Mandur
- Paddirupur
- Kaludaveli Ferry Point
- Anbalantivu Ferry Point
- Mamunai Ferry Point
- Vanvunateevu
- Santhiveli Boat Point
- Black Bridge
- Sitandy Boat Point
- Kiran bridge
- Kinniyadi Boat Point
- Valachenai
- Makerni
- Mahindapura
- Muttur
- Ugilankulam
- Omanthai

(End)

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