Sri Lanka Peace Support Group
10 January 1997
A PROPOSAL FOR THE
RESOLUTION OF THE
The framework document enclosed has been prepared by a team of constitutional lawyers at the initiative of a group of concerned academics, professionals and the clergy from the international community, with the purpose of providing a basis for the parties in the current conflict in Sri Lanka to negotiate a political settlement.
Copies of the document were sent to the President of Sri Lanka and to the Leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. [TEXT OF LETTERS]
Throughout their long history, the destinies of the two peoples of Sri Lanka have been closely entwined. Though distinct in culture, language, nationhood and in the possession of their own established homelands, and though there has been much rivalry and conflict in both ancient and recent times, there is also much in common in their heritage by virtue of the shared encounter with European colonialism and the long shared experience in the many institutions which evolved under the colonial aegis.
The unitary constitutional arrangement which was left in place by the withdrawing colonial power has frustrated and distorted the natural and legitimate wishes of both parties, Sinhalese people as well as the Tamil people, to express and promote their distinct identity and nationhood, and has been the primary cause of the large scale and sustained civil war in the Island. Our proposals for a resolution of the conflict as stated herein will truly give both parties their just rights and enable them to live without fear and hatred in their traditional homelands.
This document is therefore drafted with the conviction that fundamental and far reaching changes to the constitutional arrangement are essential for conflict resolution and cessation of military activities in Sri Lanka and to pave the way for a peaceful co-existence in the Island.
The co-operation and support of all concerned is welcome.