Choosing to engage: Armed groups and peace processes
Publication date: 
2005
Accord issue: 
16

LTTE advisor Rudrakumaran argues that the international climate in which negotiations take place is biased in favour of states, who treat parties to a conflict unevenly and often exclude non-state groups. Anti-terrorist legislation has erected artificial power asymmetries: the LTTE were unable to travel to a donor conference in the US in 2003 despite an ongoing peace process and ceasefire because they were designated a ‘foreign terrorist organisation’ in the US, leading to a suspension in the peace talks. Further, he alleges the intelligence upon which such designations are based is often sourced from host governments. He also traces bias in international instruments to monitor behaviour of warring parties and in the accusations of abuses levelled against the LTTE.

Anti-terrorism legislation is another example of how artificial and unhelpful asymmetry is created between states and non-state actors pursuing legitimate armed struggles.

Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran