Feature Article

SLMM tilted balance in favour of Sri Lanka, against LTTE: Gajendrakumar

[TamilNet, Saturday, 12 November 2011, 21:12 GMT]
Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), the peace keeping arm of the Norway facilitated peace process in the island, tilted the balance in favour of the Sri Lankan state and against the LTTE, wrote Gajendrakumar Ponnampalam in 2007, in an unpublished research paper on the 2002 Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) he submitted to a foundation in the West. The IC could have used the CFA to pursue conflict resolution by maintaining the balance of power between the parties, but to the contrary it had used the CFA as a ‘counterinsurgency’ tool to reinforce the state and weaken the de facto state, so that the state could pursue yet another military solution to the conflict, he further wrote. The unpublished paper that reveals how the very idea of Norway’s peace facilitation was to ‘fail the peace facilitation’ in favour of state, is documented here for historical purposes.

Gajendrakumar Ponnampalam
Gajendrakumar Ponnampalam
The CFA came as a result of a “military stalemate,” according to the then SL Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe, but according to D. Sivaram (Taraki) it came about as a result of the strategic balance of forces tilting against the Sri Lankan state, in favour of the LTTE, Gajendrakumar cites.

The IC that was militarily, financially and politically backing Sri Lanka’s “war for peace” realized the incapacity of SL military at the wake of the LTTE victories and wanted to stop the fighting to save the state.

The SLMM created through the CFA had the “final authority” in interpreting the provisions of the agreement. The parties agreed to surrender full authority in complete confidence to the SLMM in maintaining the balance of power, thus paving way for the CFA to have the potential of altering the strategic balance of power, Gajendrakumar’s study said.

The paper discussed how the SLMM, in areas such as sea and air space, military and non-military supplies, movement of military material, disarming paramilitary, resettlement of IDPs, High Security Zones, return of public places, fishing restrictions and in the interpretation of child recruitment, acted in tilting the balance in favour of the Sri Lankan state and against the LTTE.

“Whatever may have been the motivations of the SLMM, the cumulative effect of its rulings was to tilt the balance of forces in favour of the Sri Lankan State and against the LTTE.”

“The result was that, the Sri Lanka State that prior to the CFA was struggling to prevent the balance of power tiling against it, suddenly found the balance tilting in its favor. The LTTE for its part found that hard won realities on the battlefield were systematically being denied to it through the CFA,” the paper said.

Whatever the intentions of the international actors in Sri Lanka may have been, the ultimate effect of their role was ensuring Sri Lankan state to pursue a military solution rather than resolving the conflict through balance of power between the parties, the paper concluded.

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