The long awaited proposals
of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to end the near two
decade long "armed conflict" reached the UNF Government
on Friday evening.
Barely an hour after
Norwegian Ambassador Hans Brattskar arrived with the eight page
proposals, he drove to "Visumpaya" (former Acland House)
to hand it over to Chief peace negotiator, Prof. G.L. Peiris.
The Norwegian envoy
spent almost an hour with Prof. Peiris talking about the proposals,
his visit to the Wanni earlier in the day and on the upcoming round
of peace talks.
By late Friday night,
in influential UNF circles, the talking point was the demands made
by the LTTE - much beyond even their expectations. By last morning,
the contents of the proposals had spread through the grapevine,
much earlier than when guerrilla Political Wing leader, S.P. Tamilselvan,
officially released them at a news conference at their Peace Secretariat
Even by noon yesterday,
President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, however, had not received
a copy. Her aides were inquiring for it both from Temple Trees and
the Norwegian Embassy.
The LTTE's demands amount
to a solid foundation for a separate state. It has asked for the
setting up of an Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA) for the
North-East, outside the Sri Lankan constitution, subject to no control
of local laws or the authority of the Government.
The proposals, which
the LTTE says is "on behalf of the Tamil people" wants
the Interim Self Governing Authority to be with "absolute majority"
participation. It will, however, have members appointed by the Government
and the Muslim community.
The ISGA seeks to self govern the eight districts of North-East
"until a final negotiated settlement is reached and implemented."
The LTTE wants an immediate vacation of land occupied by the security
forces and allow rightful owners unfettered access. It also wants
the Government to compensate the owners for past dispossession of
The LTTE has said that
the ISGA should have control over the marine and offshore resources
of the adjacent seas "and power to regulate access thereto"
- in other words the right to control two thirds of the country's
coastal and sea areas. That is not all. The demand for "access
thereto" means that its sea going arm, the Sea Tigers will
be entitled to dominate these areas.
The proposals call for
"separate institutions for the administration of justice"
for the North-East with political powers vested in these institutions.
In other words the powers of the country's judiciary will not extend
to the north and east. The proposals insist that "all disputes
concerning the interpretation and implementation of this agreement
and any other disputes arising in or under this agreement or any
provision there of" will be resolved by these institutions.
The ISGA also wants
the power to borrow funds both from local and foreign sources and
to regulate internal/external trade. Whilst seeking funds from the
consolidated fund of the Government of Sri Lanka, the LTTE says
it will appoint its own Auditor General to audit all its funds.
Thus, all the moneys the LTTE receives including those from the
Government, will only be subject to audit by its own Auditor General
and not by any Government authority.
The ISGA also wants
the power to alienate and determine use of land. It is to appoint
a Special Commission on Administration of Land to alienate land
to what it calls dispossessed people.
In terms of the LTTE
proposals, all disputes arising with the Government of Sri Lanka,
which cannot be resolved by the Norwegian facilitators, will go
before a tribunal consisting of three members, two appointed by
each party. The third member, the Chairperson, is to be appointed
jointly by the two parties. Any disagreement will lead to the parties
to ask the President of the International Court of Justice to appoint
the Chairperson. Here is the full text of the LTTE's proposals:
BY THE LIBERATION TIGERS OF TAMIL EELAM ON BEHLAF OF THE TAMIL PEOPLE
FOR AN AGREEMENT TO ESTABLISH AN INTERIM SELF-GOVERNING AUTHORITY
FOR THE NORTHEAST OF THE ISLAND OF SRI LANKA
Consistent with the principles
of the rule of law, the human rights and equality of all persons
and the right to self-determination of Peoples, Determined to bring
lasting peace to all persons of the island of Sri Lanka,
Acknowledging with appreciation
the services of the Royal Norwegian Government, the Norwegian people
and the international community in attempting to bring peace to
Recognising that a peaceful
resolution is a real possibility, despite the challenging history
of the peace process between the Tamil people and the Sinhala people,
Determined to establish
an interim self-governing authority for the NorthEast region and
to promote for the urgent needs of the people of the NrothEast by
formulating laws and policies and effectively and expeditiously
executing all resettlement, rehabilitation, reconstruction, and
development in the NorthEast, while the process for reaching a final
settlement remains ongoing,
Being aware that the
history of the relations between the Tamil People and the Sinhala
people has been a process of broken promises and unilateral abrogation,
by successive governmenta of Sri Lanka, of pacts and agreements
solemnly entered into between the government of Sri Lanka (GOSL)
and the elected representatives of the Tamil People, Bearing in
mind that successive Government of Sri Lanka have perpetrated persecution,
determination, State violence and State-orchestrated violence against
the Tamil People,
Noting that the Tamil
people mandated their elected representatives to establish an independent
sovereign, secular State for the Tamil people in the elections subsequent
to the Vaddukoddai Resolution of 1976.
Bearing in mind that
the Tamil armed struggle as a measure of self-defense and as a means
for the realisation of the Tamil right to self-determination arose
only after more than four decades of non-violent and peaceful constitutional
struggle proved to be futile and due to the tolerance of means to
resolve the conflict peacefully,
Recalling that the Liberation
Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) first took measures towards peace by
unilaterally declaring the ceasefire in December, 2000 and again
in December, 2001, opening highways, facilitating trade and the
free movement of people, and entering into peace negotiations in
good faith in the hope of creating an environment conducive to the
return of normalcy and a just resolution of the conflict,
Taking Note of the political courage of the present GOSL in reciprocating
to the 2001 ceasefire,
Realising that the war
in the island of Sri Lanka was principally confined to the NorthEast
resulting in the destruction of the social, economic, administrative,
and physical infrastructure of that area, and that the NorthEast
still remains the region in the island of Sri Lanka affected by
Recognising that the
majority of the Tamil People in the NorthEast, by their actions
in the general elections held in the year 2000, gave their mandate
acknowledging the LTTE as their authentic representative,
Knowing that the LTTE
exercises effective control and jurisdiction over the majority of
the NorthEast area of the island of Sri Lanka,
Realising that reaching
a final negotiated settlement and the implementation thereof is
expected to be a long process,
Affirming the necessity
for the safe and free return of all refugees and displaced persons
and their urgent need for unimpeded access to their homes and secure
livelihoods at land and sea in the NorthEast,
Mindful that institutions
and services provided by the GOSL have proved to be inadequate to
meet the urgent needs of the people of the NorthEast,
Recognising the failure
of the Sub-committee on Immediate Humanitarian and Rehabilitation
Needs (SIHRN) and other Sub-Committees formed during the peace negotiations,
which failure, was due to the composition of such Sub-Committees
which repeatedly led to inaction,
Acknowledging the recognition
by the GOSL of the necessity for an Interim Authority, as mentioned
in its 2000 election manifesto,
Resulting that maintenance
of law and order is an essential pre-requisite for a just and free
Recognising the need
for raising revenue to meet the urgent needs for the Resettlement,
Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Development of the NorthEast
region, which has been devastated by war, and for the carrying out
of any function of Government,
Recognising the importance
of control over land in resettlement, rehabilitation, reconstruction
Mindful that the Tamils
did not participate in the making of the 1972 and 1978 constitutions,
which institutionalised discrimination and denied them an effective
role in the decision-making process,
Noting the practice
in international relations over the last decade of solving conflicts
between Peoples through agreement between the parties to the conflict
on terms of equality and through innovative and imaginative measures,
precedents for establishing interim governing arrangements in war-torn
countries having the force of law based solely on pacts or agreements
between the warring parties recognized by the international community,
Noting that measures
such as the Ceasefire Agreement, including the role of the Sri Lanka
Monitoring Mission (SLLM), and the establishment of SIHRN and the
NorthEast Reconstruction Fund (NERF) constitute valid precedents
for making such arrangements,
Where, two Parties,
namely the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and the Government of
Sri Lanka, hereby agree to the following provisions:
1. Interim Self-
An interim Self-Governing Authority (ISGA) shall be established
comprised of the eight districts namely: Amparai, Batticaloa, Jaffna,
Kilinochchi, Mannar, Mullaitivu, Trincomalee and Vavuniya in the
NorthEast, until a final negotiated settlement is reached and implemented.
Representatives of the
Muslim community have the right to participate in formulation of
their role in the ISGA.
of the ISGA
1. The ISGA shall consist of such number of members as may be determined
by the Parties to this Agreement.
2. The Composition of
the ISGA shall be:
1.2a. Members appointed by the LTTE,
1.2b. Members appointed by the GOSL, and
1.2c. Members appointed by the Muslim community in the NorthEast.
The number of members
will be determined to ensure:
2.3a. An absolute majority of the LTTE appointees in the ISGA.
2.3b. Subject to (a) above, the Muslim and Sinhala Communities
in the NorthEast shall have representation in the ISGA.
2.4 The Chairperson shall be elected by a majority vote of the
ISGA and shall serve as the Chief Executive of the ISGA.
2.5 The Chairperson
shall appoint the Chief Administrator for the NorthEast and such
other officers as may be required to assist in the performance of
his/her duties. The Chairperson shall have the powers to suspend
or terminate any such appointment.
The provisions of Clauses 2.2 and 2.3 shall continue until elections
for the ISGA are held. Such elections shall be held at the expiry
of five years of the coming into force of this Agreement, if no
final settlement has been reached and implemented by the end of
the said period of five years. An independent Elections Commission,
appointed by the ISGA, shall conduct free and fair elections in
accordance with international democratic principles and standard
under international observation.
4. Human Rights
The people of the NorthEast shall be accorded all rights as are
provided under international human rights law. Every law, regulation,
rule, order or decision of the ISGA shall conform to internationally
accepted standards of human rights protection. There shall be an
independent Human Rights Commission appointed by the ISGA which
shall ensure the compliance with all such human rights obligations.
The Commission will seek
the assistance of international human rights bodies to facilitate
the rapid establishment of an effective regime for protecting human
rights. The Commission shall be entitled to receive petitions from
any individual person, award compensation to any such affected person,
and ensure that such person's rights are restored.
No religion shall be given the foremost place in the NorthEast.
The ISGA shall ensure that there is no discrimination on grounds
of religion, race, caste, national or regional origin, age or gender
in the NorthEast.
of Bribery and Corruption
The ISGA shall ensure that no bribery or corruption is permitted
in or under its administration.
of All Communities
No law, regulation, rule, order or decision that confers a privilege
or imposes a disability on any community, which is not conferred
or imposed on any other community, shall be made concerning culture
of the ISGA
9.1 The ISGA shall have plenary powers for the governance of the
NorthEast including powers in relation to resettlement, rehabilitation,
and development, including improvement and upgrading of existing
services and facilities (hereinafter referred as RRRD), raising
revenue including imposition of taxes, revenue, levies and duties,
law and order and over land.
These powers shall include
all powers and functions in relation to regional administration
exercised by the GOSL in and for the NorthEast.
9.2 The detailed modalities for the exercise of such powers and
the performance of such functions shall be subject to further discussion
by the parties to this agreement.
Separate institutions for the administration of justice shall be
established for the NorthEast, and judicial powers shall be vested
in such institutions. The ISGA shall take appropriate measures to
ensure the independence of the judges.
Subject to Clause 4
(Human Rights) and 22 (Settlement of Disputes), of this Agreement,
the institutions created under this clause shall have sole and exclusive
jurisdiction to resolve all disputes concerning the interpretation
and implementation of this agreement and any other disputes arising
in or under this agreement or any provision there of.
The ISGA shall prepare an annual budget. There shall be a Financial
Commission consisting of members appointed by ISGA. The members
should have distinguished themselves or held high office in the
fields of finance, administration or business. The Commission shall
make recommendations as to the amount out of the Consolidated Fund
to be allocated to the NorthEast. The GOSL shall make its good faith
efforts to implement the recommendation.
The ISGA will, giving
due consideration to an equitable distribution, determine the use
of fund placed at its disposal. These funds shall include the NorthEast
General Fund, the NorthEast Reconstruction Fund and the Special
The GOSL agrees that any and all of its expenditures in or for the
NorthEast shall be subject to the control of the ISGA.
11. NorthEast General
The NorthEast General Fund shall be under the control of ISGA and
shall consist of:
11.1.a. The proceeds of all grants and loans made by the GOSL to
the ISGA and the proceeds of all other loans made to the IGSA.
11.1.b. All allocations
by the GOSL from agreements with states, institutions and/or other
organizations earmarked in any such agreements for the NorthEast.
11.1.c. All other receipts of the ISGA, other than the funds specified
11.2. NorthEast Reconstruction Fund.
The NERF shall continue
to exist in its present form except that control over it will be
transferred to ISGA.
All grants given for
the reconstruction of the NorthEast, will be received through the
NERF. Utilization of resources from NERF will be directly determined
and supervised by the ISGA.
11.3. Special Fund All
loans and any grants which cannot be channelled through the NERF
for the specific purpose of RRRD will be received into the Special
Fund. As in the case of other Funds, the ISGA shall control the
12. Powers to
Borrow, Receive Aid and Trade.
The ISGA shall have powers to borrow internally and externally,
provide guarantees and indemnities, receive aid directly, and engage
in or regulate internal and external trade.
and Auditing of Funds
13.1 The ISGA shall appoint an Auditor General
13.2 All Funds referred to in this Agreement shall be operated,
maintained and audited in accordance with internationally accepted
accounting and auditing standards. The accounts will be audited
by the Auditor General. The auditing of all moneys received from
international sources shall be subject to approval by an internationally-reputed
firm appointed by the ISGA.
14.1 In the effective exercise of its legislative and executive
powers, the ISGA may formulate District Committees to carry out
administration in the districts and delegate to the Committees,
such powers as the ISGA may determine. The Chairpersons such committees
shall be appointed by the ISGA from amongst its members in order
to serve as a liaison between the ISGA and the Committees.
14.2 The other members
of the Committee shall also be appointed by the ISGA, which shall
have the powers to suspend or terminate any such appointment. In
appointing such members, due consideration shall be given to ensure
representation of all communities.
14.3 The Committees
will function directly under ISGA.
14.4 The Chief Administrator of the ISGA shall appoint Principal
Executive Officers in the districts, who shall also function as
the Secretaries to the Committees. The Chief Administrator shall
have the powers to suspend or terminate any such appointment.
14.5 All activities and functions of the Committee shall be coordinated
through the respective Secretaries to the Committee.
may also be appointed to facilitate administration.
As part of the
exercise of its executive powers the ISGA shall have direction and
control over any and all administrative structures and personnel
in the NorthEast pertaining to the powers set out in Clause 9 of
The ISGA may, at its
discretion, create expert advisory committees in necessary areas.
These areas will include but are not limited to Economic Affairs,
Financial Affairs, Judicial Affairs, Resettlement and Rehabilitation
Affairs, Development of Infrastructure, and Essential Services.
Since land is vital to the exercise of the powers set out in Clause
9 (jurisdiction of the ISGA), the ISGA shall have the power to alienate
and determine the appropriate use of all land in the NorthEast that
is not privately owned.
The ISGA shall appoint
a Special Commission on Administration of Land to inquire into and
report on the rights of dispossessed people over land and subject
to encroachment, not withstanding the lapse of any time relating
The ISGA shall determine the term of competencies of the Special
of Occupied Lands
The occupation of land by the armed forces of the GOSL,
and the denial to the rightful civilian owners of unfettered access
to such land, is a violation of the norms of international law.
Such land must be immediately vacated and restored to the possession
of the previous owners. The GOSL must also compensate the owners
for the past dispossession of their land.
The ISGA shall be responsible
for the resettlement and rehabilitation of displaced civilians and
refugees in such lands.
18. Marine and
The ISGA shall have control over the marine and offshore
resources of the adjacent seas and the power to regulate access
The ISGA will have control over the natural resources in
the NorthEast region. Existing agreements relating to any such natural
resources will continue in force. The GOSL shall ensure that all
monies due under such agreements are paid to the ISGA. Any future
changes to such existing agreements should be made with the concurrence
of the ISGA. Future agreements shall be entered into with the ISGA.
20. Water use
Upper riparian users of river systems have a duty to ensure
that there is a fair, equitable and reasonable use of water resources
by lower riparian users.
The GOSL and the ISGA shall ensure that this internationally recognized
principle is followed in the use of water resources.
All future agreements concerning matters under the jurisdiction
of the ISGA shall be made with the ISGA. Existing agreements will
continue, but the GOSL shall ensure that all proceeds under such
agreements are paid to the ISGA. Any changes to such existing agreements
should be made with the concurrence of the ISGA.
Where disputes arise between the Parties to this Agreement
as to its interpretation or implementation, and it cannot be resolved
by any other means acceptable to the Parties including conciliation
by the Royal Norwegian Government, there shall be an arbitration
before a tribunal consisting of three members, two of whom shall
be appointed by each Party. The third member, who shall be the Chairperson
of the tribunal, shall be appointed jointly by the Parties concerned.
In the event of any disagreement
over the appointment of the Chairperson, the Parties shall ask the
President of the International Court of Justice to appoint the Chairperson.
In the determination of any dispute the arbitrators shall ensure
the parity of status of the LTTE and the GOSL and shall resolve
disputes by reference only to the provisions of this Agreement.
The decision of the
arbitrators shall be final and conclusive and it shall be binding
on the Parties to the dispute.
This Agreement shall continue until a new Government for
the NorthEast, pursuant to a permanent negotiated settlement, is
established. The Parties will negotiate in good faith to reach such
a settlement as early as possible.
Provided however, that
at the end of four years if no final agreement has been reached
between the Parties to this agreement, both Parties shall engage
in negotiations in good faith for the purpose of adding, clarifying,
and strengthening the terms of this Agreement.