Balasingham releases book on 1995 peace talks
[TamilNet, Monday, 11 September 2000, 05:09 GMT]
In a new book, The Politics of Duplicity, released last week, Anton Balasingham critically examines the ill-fated peace talks held between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in late 1994 and early 1995, according to a report in the Tamil Guardian newspaper.
Providing in chronological order, the complete set of written correspondence between the leaderships of the two parties to the conflict during the negotiations, Mr. Balasingham traces the sequence of events from the optimism which accompanied the start of the peace process to the acrimony and disappointment which characterized the resumption of hostilities, the paper said.
In doing so, he offers a fascinating insight into the complex minds of the protagonists in one of the worldĂs most intense and protracted conflicts, it added.
The letters are key to understanding the failure of the talks as they represent the only dialogue between the two leaderships, Mr. Balasingham argues, pointing out that in several months of negotiations, there were only 4 meetings between representatives of both sides, lasting a total of a few hours. "Readers will find the letters contentious and argumentative as both parties contested each other's position and rationalized their own," he writes.
Against this background, Mr. Balasingham analyses the complexities of what was the latest attempt to negotiate an end to the conflict, the paper said. He also examines, in the light of recent developments in Sri Lanka on the political and military arenas, some of the obstacles and avenues to bringing about a peaceful resolution today, it added.
"This study will help understand the prevailing contradictions between the parties to the conflict and the reasons for the current impasse in the peace efforts," Balasingham suggests. "A critical examination of the Jaffna peace talks is relevant today as initiatives are mooted by the international community to revive peace talks."
The Politics of Duplicity (ISBN 1-903679-00-1) is available from, Fairmax Publishing Ltd (212 Manor Way, Mitcham, CR4 1EL, Surrey, UK). Fairmax said the book is priced Ł9.50 plus postage.