Negotiating with Armed Groups: Sri Lanka and Beyond

Event Date: Thursday April 6, 2006
Time: 3:00 P.M.
Location: ASEAN Audutorium, The Fletcher School, Tufts University

For over two decades, the island of Sri Lanka has been home to civil war. The conflict between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) is based on the LTTE’s demand for self-determination in the North and East of Sri Lanka. The conflict has claimed over 65,000 lives, including a Sri Lankan President and the former Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi. The ceasefire agreement signed in February 2002, facilitated by the Norwegian government, provided a brief respite to the intense conflict but negotiations were stalled in 2003 and the parties have since engaged in a shadow war claiming even more lives. Talks have recently been reconvened and the second round of the Norwegian mediated negotiations is scheduled to take place in mid-April.

This timely symposium, held at the Fletcher School in collaboration with the Program on Negotiation, brings together two distinguished representatives from both sides of the conflict. The panel will address the issues involved in negotiating with armed groups and discuss lessons learned in Sri Lanka that could be applied elsewhere


His Excellency Bernard Goonetilleke; Sri Lankan Ambassador to the United States

Former Director General, Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process (SCOPP)

Hon. Gajendrakumar G. Ponnambalam, Member of Parliament of Sri Lanka – Tamil National Alliance

Prof. Eileen Babbitt, Assistant Professor of International Politics, The Fletcher School, Tufts University

Moderated by: Adil Najam, Associate Professor of International Negotiation and Diplomacy, The Fletcher School, Tufts University

Program Sponsors:

The Program on Negotiation
The Provost’s Office, Tufts University
Center for South Asian and Indian Ocean Studies, Tufts University

Also from the Fletcher School:

The Institute for Human Security, The Student Council, The South Asia Society, International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Club, International Law Society and the Asia Club

The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School
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