National reconciliation in Sri Lanka

At the invitation of the Sri Lankan authorities and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Norway acted as an impartial facilitator of the negotiations between the parties to the conflict in Sri Lanka between 1999 and 2006. Norway’s mandate was to facilitate the peace process between the Sri Lankan authorities and the LTTE.

Norway helped to broker a ceasefire agreement between the parties in 2002, which paved the way for six rounds of peace negotiations. Norway led the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM), a civilian observer mission that monitored the ceasefire agreement until the Sri Lankan Government formally withdrew from the agreement in 2008.

During 2006 and 2007, it became clear that the Sri Lankan authorities and the LTTE were choosing war over a negotiated solution to the conflict. Norway made it clear to the parties that without the necessary political will on their part, it was impossible to facilitate a peace process. In the last phase of the war, Norway, together with the UN and other actors, engaged in active diplomacy in an attempt to limit civilian suffering and ensure that the parties to the conflict complied with international law.

Today, Norway has no special facilitator role in Sri Lanka. Together with the rest of the international community, Norway supports the objectives of UN Human Rights Council resolution 46/1 on promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka.