Sri Lanka: Support efforts to find a political solution

On the invitation of the Sri Lankan authorities and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Norway played the role of neutral facilitator of the negotiations between the parties to the conflict in Sri Lanka from 1999 to 2006. Norway's mandate was simply to facilitate the peace process between the authorities and the LTTE.

Norway helped broker a ceasefire agreement between the parties in 2002, which opened the way for six rounds of peace talks. Norway led the Nordic Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), a civilian mission that monitored the implementation of the agreement until the Sri Lankan Government officially withdrew from the agreement in 2008.

During 2006 and 2007 it became clear that the Sri Lankan authorities and the LTTE were choosing war, rather than a negotiated solution to the conflict. Norway made it clear to the parties that the facilitation of a peace process was impossible in the absence of the necessary political will. In the last phase of the war, Norway engaged in active diplomacy together with the UN and other actors with a view to limiting civilian suffering and ensuring that the parties to the conflict complied with international law.

Today Norway has no special facilitator role in Sri Lanka, but together with the rest of the international community it is supporting the current Government's efforts to find a political solution to the conflict and seek national reconciliation.