Sri Lankan Ceasefire Talks Collapse Before They Even Start

Distrust between Sri Lanka’s main conflict parties has reached such intensity that planned talks in Oslo, Norway, to ensure the safety of Scandinavian ceasefire monitors collapsed before they even started.

Unlike talks in Geneva that took place in February 2006 (and were aborted in April), the Oslo talks were not even about securing the ceasefire. But the LTTE representatives refused to sit down with government officials, wanting each side to talk separately with Norwegian mediators.

The LTTE also demanded that members of the Scandinavian monitoring mission from EU members Sweden, Denmark, and Finland be excluded from the mission because the EU has listed the LTTE as a terrorist organization. Norway threatened to abandon its role as a mediator unless both sides re-committed themselves to a peace process.

More than 650 people have been killed since December 2005.

Amal Jayasinghe, “Norway Puts Sri Lanka on Notice Amid Fresh War Fears,” Yahoo News, 9 June 2006.
Doug Mellgren, “Sri Lanka Talks with Rebels Collapse,” Washington Post, 8 June 2006.
“Sri Lanka Warring Parties Head for Oslo Talks,” Yahoo News, 4 June 2006.