The quote from the South African
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu points to the discursive
contestation over nationalist struggles � where a militant movement
may be alternatively described as �freedom fighters� or �terrorists�
� but also to the political transformation of such movements during
transitions to peace and democracy.
Approximate extent of territorial control in Sri Lanka
as of January 2006 - "Sri Lanka�s third Eelam War
created a political-territorial division of the island
with a resultant dual state structure in the North-East.
In the context of the 2002 Ceasefire Agreement and based
on earlier institutional experiments, the LTTE is
currently engaged in a comprehensive process of state
building within the areas they control."
Although Tutu�s statement refers
specifically to the transformation of the African National Congress
during South Africa�s transition to liberal democracy, his
observations resonate with the politics of naming and transforming
the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Sri Lanka. Thus,
Nadarajah and Sriskandarajah (2005) show that
of terrorism has been used to deny LTTE international legitimacy
and thereby undermine their political project of Tamil
Much less has been written about the
on-going political transformations within the LTTE. This is
surprising and unfortunate, especially since the LTTE is involved in
a state building project which may also yield a transformation of
the movement itself.
The overall purpose of the present
article is to address this knowledge gap in regard to the emerging
state in North-East Sri Lanka. Based on interviews with the
leadership of key LTTE institutions,2
the following sections examine
the process of state formation in
LTTE-controlled areas, with an emphasis
on the functions that are being served and the forms of governance
that are embedded in the new state institutions.
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam have
for more than two decades sought to deliver self-government for the
Tamil nation and homeland (Tamil Eelam) through armed struggle
interspersed with ceasefires and peace negotiations (
Since 2002, in the context of the
5th peace process,3
there has been a partial shift
from military to political means, with a prominent position for the
LTTE Political Wing and a comprehensive state apparatus emerging in
LTTE-controlled areas. Through a series of
military victories in the late 1990s, LTTE had brought extensive
areas under its control and created a certain military parity of
status with the Government of Sri Lanka (Balasingham 2004, Uyangoda
and Perera 2003). Thus, the
third Eelam War (1995-2001)4
ended in a military deadlock
which together with economic crisis, regime change and favourable
international conditions led to a
Ceasefire Agreement on 22 February 2002 and subsequent peace
LTTE is currently in full control of large areas, especially in
northern Sri Lanka (Figure 1).
Travelling from government- to LTTE-controlled areas resembles a
border crossing between two nation-states with well-guarded border
control posts where travellers are required to show identity cards,
goods are inspected and
customs fees are collected. Within the areas they control, LTTE
runs a de facto state administration, which includes revenue
collection, police and judiciary as well as public services and
economic development initiatives.
This political-territorial division
means that Sri Lanka has a de facto dual state structure with
LTTE also exercising considerable influence on state institutions
and officials in the government-controlled parts of the North-East
and Stokke 2005).5
The emerging LTTE state builds on institutional experiments in
the period from 1990 to 1995, when LTTE controlled Jaffna and parts
of Vanni and established various local administrative bodies. While
the control over Jaffna has been lost, these institutions and
experiences have been incorporated into the new state building
project which is now centred on Kilinochchi. At the same time, local
government institutions and officials continue to function within
LTTE-controlled areas, which mean that there is a dual state
structure also within the areas that are held by the LTTE.
Against this background, the
present paper examines the nature of LTTE�s state structure in
North-East Sri Lanka. The focus is on the character and
functions of the state apparatus and the form of governance that
is being institutionalised.
In general terms it will be argued that
the LTTE state has a primary focus on guaranteeing external and
internal security in the context of protracted warfare, but also
that there are key state institutions that are geared towards the
welfare of the civilian population and the economic development of
Tamil Eelam. These state institutions are clearly shaped by the
movement from which they have emerged.
On the one hand, the LTTE state institutions contain
authoritarian and technocratic tendencies that provide a certain
administrative efficiency but prevent democratic accountability. On
the other hand, they are also rooted in and committed to the rights,
welfare and development of the Tamil community on whose behalf the
militant and political struggles have been waged.
operation of the new state institutions is circumscribed by the
unresolved conflict, this combination of autonomy and embeddedness
give the emerging state a substantial degree of administrative
capacity. This may provide an institutional basis for a more
democratic relationship between the LTTE and citizens in North-East
Sri Lanka, but this is contingent on the resolution of the current
security situation as well as a willingness within the LTTE to
accept political pluralism, human rights and democracy.
Conflict resolution and political transformations
Contemporary academic debates about transitions from violent
conflicts to peace revolve around notions of �conflict resolution�
(peacemaking) and �conflict transformation� (peacebuilding), where
conflict resolution refers to the purposeful elimination of conflict
through negotiations and peace agreements (Miall,
Ramsbotham and Woodhouse 2005,
Scholars within the conflict
transformation approach acknowledge the centrality of formal peace
processes but argue that the conflict resolution school focuses too
narrowly on elite negotiations and peace pacts, calling instead for
attention to the broad and long-term transformation of grievances,
forces and strategies (Uyangoda
2005). This implies that the process of building a lasting peace
is much wider than the formal negotiations between the protagonists
to the conflict.
Nevertheless, conflict resolution and
conflict transformation are closely linked processes since:
�Resolution of a conflict requires
a fundamental transformation of the structure as well as the
dynamics of the conflict. Similarly, action towards resolution
constitutes transformative politics and praxis� (Uyangoda
This means that a peace agreement may
provide a necessary but not sufficient condition for sustainable
peace. The challenge is to substantiate, in theory and practice, the
mutual constitution of conflict resolution and conflict
While it is increasingly acknowledged that transitions to peace
should be conceptualised in a broad manner, there is a danger that
the notions of conflict transformation and peace building may end up
being too vague and all-inclusive to guide analysis or policy
towards peace. Realising this problem, some scholars have sought to
disaggregate the process of conflict transformation in order to
devise policy tools for peace building.
for instance, argues that peace building can be disaggregated along
four main dimensions:
(1) to provide security;
(2) to establish the socio-economic foundations of long-term
(3) to establish the political framework of long-term peace,
(4) to generate reconciliation and justice.
This has, more concretely, formed a
basis for a strategic framework for peace building that has been
adopted by the Government of Norway (Ministry
of Foreign Affairs 2004). Here, a special emphasis is placed on
the first three dimensions in Smith�s scheme, broadly corresponding
to what is conventionally seen as the three core functions of any
modern state: security, welfare and representation. To build peace
then translates into systematically addressing functional state
failures in regard to security, welfare and representation.
Schwarz (2005) observes that
the three core state functions are closely interconnected, sometimes
reinforcing and at other times hindering the fulfilment of each
other. Thus, security constitutes a precondition for welfare and
political participation as much as welfare reduces conflicts and
political representation allows for non-violent resolution of
Likewise, welfare increases the capacity and propensity for
political participation, while representation promotes economic
development and social justice. In the case of the emerging LTTE
state there is clearly an overarching emphasis on the question of
security, but this has gradually been supplemented with an
additional focus on welfare and economic development. A highly
contentious question in this situation regards the degree and ways
in which the emerging state apparatus can serve as a platform for
democratic political representation. This requires critical
attention to the relationship between institutional change and
changing political practices.
Luckham, Goetz and Kaldor (2003)
examine this link between formal political arrangements and
practical politics in conflict-torn societies, and observe that
institutional arrangements affect the range of possible political
practices, albeit not in a straightforward manner. For instance, the
establishment of democratic institutions does not automatically
yield political transformations towards democratic politics. In
fact, many of the �third wave� democratic transitions have yielded a
co-existence of formal liberal democratic institutions and
non-democratic politics (Bratton
and van de Walle 1997,
Harriss, Stokke and T�rnquist
Collier and Levitsky 1997).
This coexistence of democratic institutions and non-democratic
politics can be briefly illustrated with reference to Sri Lanka, a
formal liberal democracy with successive regime changes through
electoral turnovers since Independence in 1948, but also a political
system that lies at the heart of the current conflict. In general
terms, the contemporary Sri Lankan political system can be described
as a majoritarian formal democracy within a unitary and centralised
state, with extensive concentration of power and few de facto
constitutional and institutional checks on the powers of the
executive government (Bastian
The stakes in the field of politics, in terms of political power,
economic resources and social status, are exceedingly high while
political parties are fragmented by class, caste, faction, family,
ethnicity, region etc. Given these characteristics it is hardly
surprising that the Sri Lankan polity has been marked by an intense
intra-elite rivalry, yielding instrumental constitutional reforms,
populist politicisation of ethnicity, strategic coalitions and
crossovers as well as political corruption and patronage. Indeed it
seems clear that the dynamics of this political field, despite its
formally democratic institutions, have been a decisive factor in the
making and continuation of conflicts in post-colonial Sri Lanka (Shanmugaratnam
and Stokke 2005,
While institutional arrangements may not determine political
practices, Luckham, Goetz and
Kaldor (2003) also point out that institutional reforms open up
the political space for democratic politics while also being shaped
by political struggles over the content of policies and the design
of institutions. This means that it is important to pay attention to
how different actors partake in the design and reform of political
institutions, especially in transitions to democracy and peace (Bratton
and van de Walle 1997). This can again be illustrated by the Sri
Lankan case and especially the Government strategies for achieving
peace through limited institutional reforms within the parameters of
the unitary state.
Set against the background of political fragmentation and
intra-elite rivalry, successive Sri Lankan government coalitions
have sought to depoliticise Tamil nationalism and bring Tamil areas
and organisations into �normal� politics within the unitary state
rather than offer substantive forms of power-sharing. The People�s
Alliance government under the leadership of President Chandrika
Bandaranaiake Kumaratunga (1994-2001) sought for instance to
depoliticize Tamil separatist nationalism
through limited devolution of power to the provinces without
granting any special status or guarantee to the North- East.
For the United National Front (UNF) government led by Prime Minister
Ranil Wickremesinghe (2001-2004) the same depoliticizing effect was
sought through social and economic development in the North-East
combined with a promise of an
open ended process of peace negotiations.
Both strategies have met with
initial accommodation followed by firm resistance from the LTTE,
as they have concluded that these initiatives fail to
accommodate their fundamental demand for recognition of Tamil
self-determination, but rather shift the balance of power in
favour of the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) and the unitary
For the LTTE this strategy of modest
institutional reforms within the parameters of the unitary
constitution poses a real danger of leaving them with little or no
formal state power. It is in this context that
the state building activities
of the LTTE must be understood, as a political strategy of
institutionalising a ground level reality of dual state power as a
precursor to future power-sharing arrangements with either internal
or external self government for North-East Sri Lanka. The question
then regards the functions and forms of governance that are embedded
in these institutions, and the extent to which they may lead to a
political transformation of the LTTE towards democratic politics.
The security function: hegemony armoured by coercion
This threefold categorisation of state functions can now be
employed to provide a more systematic account of the emerging state
institutions in LTTE-controlled areas in North- East Sri Lanka. In
general terms, it can be observed that functional state failure,
i.e. the inability of the state to fulfil its security, welfare and
representation functions, is at the core of the conflict and also
the attempt to build a new state apparatus in the North- East.
The state building project of the LTTE
is also closely linked to their political project of representing
the Tamil nation and delivering
self-determination for the Tamil nation. On the one hand, it is
contingent on the discursive framing of LTTE as the sole
representative and guardian of Tamil nationalism. On the other hand,
LTTE�s hegemony in Tamil politics is closely related to their
military capacity to confront the GOSL and thereby provide a
degree of external security, but also their repressive capacity in
regard to internal anti-LTTE political and militant forces.
Thus, the possible state power of LTTE is contingent on their
ability to inscribe themselves in a Tamil national-popular will and
their ability to apply force to maintain external and internal
security, i.e. the emerging LTTE state formation rests on �hegemony
protected by the armour of coercion� (Gramsci
1971, p. 263). While these militant and ideological dimensions
of LTTE are well documented and need no further elaboration here,
much less information is available on the building of hegemony
through the judicial and police state apparatus.
Present law and order institutions in LTTE-controlled areas date
back to the early 1990s when LTTE controlled Jaffna and parts of
Vanni. The political background for the creation of the Tamil Eelam
judicial system was the experienced failure of the
Sri Lankan Constitution to provide a functioning framework for
realisation of minority rights and aspirations, combined with the
subversion of Rule of Law by the
Prevention of Terrorism Act and protracted warfare.
This created a need for a functioning
judicial system, both to maintain law and order and to reinstate
legitimacy for Rule of Law itself:
�Therefore we as a liberation
movement had to come up with an expeditious solution to prevent
the collapse of the social order in the North-East while
creating structures that would reflect the Sovereign Will of our
Pararajasingham, Head of the LTTE Judicial Division)
In the 1980s, before the establishment
of a separate judicial system, the LTTE set up village mediation
boards, comprised of retired civil servants, school teachers and
other local intellectuals. However, these turned out to be highly
problematic and created much tension in society, not the least due
to the lack of a legal code as basis for adjudication and lack of
training and legal competence. Therefore, as LTTE attained increased
organisational capacity and territorial control, the village
mediation boards were dismantled and a
Tamil Eelam Judiciary,
a Legal Code and a College of Law were established.
Tamil Eelam Penal
Code and the Tamil Eelam civil code were enacted in 1994. These
were based on preexisting laws that were updated and extended to
cater for the social issues that LTTE has chosen to focus on, such
as women�s rights and the caste systems (TamilNet
We made special laws for women regarding their property
rights, rape, abortion etc. Under our laws women are totally free
and on par with men in property transactions. As you know, this is
not the case under Jaffna�s traditional law, Thesawalamai. Our civil
code has done away with the stipulation in Thesawalamai that a woman
should obtain her husband�s consent to sell her property. We made
caste discrimination a crime. These could be considered some of the
milestones of the Thamil Eelam judicial system. (E.
Pararajasingham, Head of the LTTE Judicial Division)8
Tamil Eelam judicial system includes District Courts that handle
civil and criminal cases as well as two high courts, in Kilinochchi
and Mullaitivu, with jurisdiction to try certain criminal cases such
as treason, murder, rape and arson. There is also a Court of Appeal
in Kilinochchi and an apex Supreme Court with appellate jurisdiction
over the whole Tamil Eelam.9
Penalties are strict, generally
varying from fines to jail terms, but also including rare cases of
capital punishment for rape and certain kinds of murder. While
critics of the judicial system have questioned the autonomy of the
courts in regard to LTTE, others point to the legitimacy of the
courts among the civilian population in the North-East (N. Malathy,
The Courts are known to be
effective so that people who have a choice often take their claims
to the Tamil Eelam courts rather than the Sri Lankan courts. The
court system is one of the main points of contact the LTTE has with
the Tamil public, and it is careful to be seen as just. Despite
their relative youth, the judges seem to be perceived by the public
as professional. Thus, the present Judicial System carries
substantially more legitimacy than the previous citizens�
other key institution for maintaining law and order is the Tamil
Eelam Police, which was formed in 1991 in the context of a general
breakdown of law and order after a decade of warfare. The police
force was organised by its current Head (B. Nadesan), a retired
officer from the Sri Lankan police, acting upon a direct request
from the Leader of LTTE, V. Pirapaharan. Co-ordinated from its
headquarter in Kilinochchi, the Police has established local police
stations throughout LTTE-controlled areas, with assigned duties of
preventing and detecting crime, regulating traffic and disseminating
information about crime prevention to the civilian population (B.
Nadesan, personal communication). The Head of the Police force
emphasise the importance of public relations, both to give the force
legitimacy among the Tamil population and as a strategy to prevent
"We recruit personnel to
Thamileelam Police from the general public and give classes
before deploying them in active duty. Many recruits are victims
of oppression under the Sri Lankan armed forces. Dedications
shown by our police officers in rendering service to our
community also contributed to the success of our police
B. Nadesan, Head of Tamil
representatives highlight this community embeddedness of the police
as a key factor behind the low crime rates in the North-East.
Critics of LTTE, however, argue that the Police force is an integral
part of the LTTE armed forces, implying that the low crime rate is
due to authoritarian control rather than community policing. In
either case, it can be observed that the police and judiciary
maintain a high degree of rule of law in LTTE-controlled areas.
This is a point that is generally acknowledged by both LTTE
supporters and opponents, allowing the Leader of the Political Wing,
to observe that:
"Foreigners who visit the Vanni
assume that two decades of war would have torn apart the fabric
of our society. They expect a total break down of law and order;
that crime and corruption would be rife as in societies ravaged
by war in other parts of the world. They tell us they are
surprised that, instead, they see a society where the Rule of
Law prevails, where high social, moral and cultural values are
still earnestly upheld." (S.
P. Thamilchelvan, Leader of the LTTE Political Wing)
terms, it can be observed that the judicial and police state
apparatus in North- East Sri Lanka strengthens the coercive capacity
of the state in the realm of internal security. However, the manner
in which these institutions operate, seem to give them a substantial
degree of legitimacy among the Tamil civilian population, thus also
contributing to LTTE hegemony in the North-East.
The welfare function: Partnerships for relief and reconstruction
Social welfare is the other state
function that has been given a central place in the building of the
LTTE state, although in a subordinate role to that of maintaining
external and internal security through military, police and judicial
means. There is a range of institutions serving this welfare
function, of which two types deserve special attention. First, there
are �non-governmental� organisations that provide humanitarian
assistance and social development for war- and tsunami-affected
areas and people. The most prominent example here is the
Organisation (TRO), an NGO with close affiliation to LTTE that
relies on international resource mobilisation and partnerships.
Second, there are the LTTE departments in the health and education
sector, which provide certain basic services to the civilian
population but also function as a check on public services provided
by the Sri Lankan state.
The Tamils Rehabilitation
Organisation (TRO) was formed in 1985 primarily as a self help
organisation for Tamil refugees in South India. Since then it has
grown to become the major local NGO working in North-East Sri Lanka.
Its overall aim is to provide short-term relief and long-term
rehabilitation to war affected people in the North-East. TRO has a
head office in Kilinochchi, branch offices throughout the
North-East, and national organisations in a number of foreign
countries with a sizeable Tamil diaspora (e.g.
The background for the establishment of
TRO has been the devastating human and social impacts of protracted
war. With large numbers of internally displaced people and massive
destruction of lives and livelihoods, large groups depend on relief
and rehabilitation measures by Non-Government Organisations (NGOs).
At the same time, the conflict has produced a large and relatively
resourceful Tamil diaspora in many countries, especially in Western
Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand (Fuglerud
1999). TRO�s mode of operation has typically been to mobilise
resources within this diaspora for a wide range of welfare-oriented
programmes in North-East Sri Lanka. Following after the
tsunami disaster, TRO has also been working in partnership with
donor countries and international NGOs to channel aid to tsunami
affected areas and people.12
relief, rehabilitation and development work include a wide range of
programmes in education, health, resettlement and housing, food and
nutrition, water and sanitation, women and children�s welfare,
community rehabilitation, social mobilisation and capacity building,
micro credit and vocational training. TRO�s activities in tsunami-
affected areas have generally gone from providing immediate relief
during the first 3 months, to a recovery phase of up to 1 year where
the focus has been on re-establishing livelihoods and income
generation (assistance to build and repair boats and engines,
providing micro credit for farmers, fishermen and small- and
The current rehabilitation phase (up to
3 years) is focused on permanent housing, public health, vocational
training and miscellaneous support for women and socially
marginalised groups. While progress in this third phase has been
relatively slow for various reasons, including the failure to
establish a joint mechanism between the LTTE and GOSL for
distribution and administration of foreign emergency aid, TRO
representatives can claim that they have a demonstrated ability to
work effectively within the prevailing social and political
conditions, and to plan and implement relief and rehabilitation
programs for war- and tsunami-affected areas in North-East Sri Lanka
Christie, K. P. Regi, personal communication).
controversy surrounding TRO has been about their autonomy in regard
to the LTTE, and especially their possible role in collecting and
transferring funds from the Tamil diaspora to the LTTE. Following
the 2002 Ceasefire Agreement, TRO has been allowed to register as a
non-governmental organization in Sri Lanka and the organisation
received an award from President Chandrika Kumaratunga Bandaranaike
for its relief work after the 2004 tsunami disaster.
But TRO has also become the subject of
scrutiny by governments, especially in Canada, Australia, UK and
USA, who are concerned that funds may be transferred through front
organisations into LTTE, which is included in their list of
proscribed foreign terrorist organisations. Countering these
accusations, TRO officials have argued that although they work with
the LTTE on the ground, their operations and funding efforts are
separate from LTTE (TamilNet
While the relationship between TRO and LTTE is contested and
controversial, the case of TRO shows how humanitarian relief and
rehabilitation within the emerging state relies on partnership
arrangements and resource mobilisation in the Tamil diaspora.
What is more surprising is the co-existence and links
between local Sri Lankan state institutions and LTTE institutions in
key social sectors such as health and education. Throughout the
conflict, government services have been provided by the local
offices of Government Agents and ministries such as in agriculture,
fishery, health and education. LTTE�s militant struggle, while
targeting the armed forces and political leaders, has not attacked
the local civil administration.
This is presented as a conscious
strategy, emanating from the realisation that the Tamil civilian
population was in need of state services and would be ill served by
a total onslaught on the state apparatus (S. Puleedevan, personal
communication). This is in contrast to for instance the South
African anti-apartheid strategy of disrupting local administration
and making communities and cities ungovernable. Likewise, it is in
sharp contrast to the onslaught on the Sri Lankan state by the
Vimukthi Peramuna in the late 1980s. Rather, LTTE has sought to
make local state institutions work to their advantage and
simultaneously developing complementing welfare programmes.
In reality, the civil administration in the North-East is to a large
extent under the control of the LTTE.
and Stokke (2005, p. 23) observe that �it is common to hear
government officials in the NE say that they worked for �two
masters�, their formal superior and the LTTE, which is often the
�real boss�.� This situation, which is enabled by the fact that many
Tamil government servants identify themselves with Tamil
nationalism, has evolved gradually.
One observer describes the situation in areas controlled by
LTTE in the early 1980s in the following way:
"At the district level, the LTTE
staff coordinate their activities with the Government Agent (GA)
and his staff. No decisions that concern the welfare of the
people or the land is taken by the GA�s office or government
officers or committees without consultation with LTTE officers
responsible for the sector and/or area. In effect the GA�s
office, except for the routine government affairs such as
salaries, pensions and other such matters, is used as an arm of
the LTTE government." (Neeran
1996, p. 2)14
In this situation of dual
powers, health and education remain the responsibility of the Sri
Lankan state and teachers are salaried by the Sri Lankan government,
but the North- East is generally seen as under-serviced in both
health and education. This state failure is experienced as a
dramatic relative deprivation when compared to the earlier state and
status of education and healthcare in Tamil society. As much as the
functioning of the public sector was a key grievance behind the
emergence and radicalisation of Tamil nationalism (Stokke
and Ryntveit 2000), the current lack of government services are
seen as a reminder of the biased distribution of state resources in
Sri Lanka (TamilNet
In this situation, the LTTE Department of Education
asserts influence on both local state institutions and the relevant
Ministries, through direct engagement with local officials or by
using the leverage of international non-governmental organisations.
For instance, the overall shortage of qualified Tamil teachers has
led to an advocacy campaign by the LTTE Department of Education
demanding that the Ministry of Education should confer permanency to
the large number of temporary teachers in the North-East. Similar
advocacy activities in the health sector has focused on the
persistent lack of medicines in the North-East as well as the
employment status of local health volunteers.
Indeed, it can be argued that such
advocacy campaigns may actually make Sri Lankan state institutions
more accountable and efficient in the North-East than in the rest of
the island (S. Puleedevan, General Secretary of the LTTE Peace
Secretariat, personal communication). In addition, LTTE also
provides own services, especially in the form of primary health care
and pre-school education, thus creating an element of division of
labour between service provision by the Sri Lankan state and by LTTE
state institutions (Sangam.org
Interestingly, the welfare oriented LTTE institutions are
characterised by active engagement with external actors, but these
are seen as playing a supportive role in regard to the emerging
state apparatus. Such external actors include, first and foremost,
but also foreign donors and even Sri Lankan state institutions. This
is in stark contrast to the aforementioned law-and-order
institutions, where there are few examples of regular links with
foreign governments, international NGOs and the Tamil diaspora, and
certainly not with the GOSL. Such arrangements are enabled by the
conception of humanitarian assistance and welfare delivery as a
matter of technocratic development administration, which is clearly
related to but nevertheless seen as relatively de-linked from the
Economic development: State coordination,
enterprise development and taxation
general terms it can be observed that the LTTE state formation has
had a main focus on the security function of the state, in the
context of protracted warfare. Social welfare is an important
additional focus, but this has been subordinated to the security
needs of the LTTE and the emerging state. After the
2002 Ceasefire Agreement, when the pressing security concerns
were temporarily resolved and replaced with hopes for a political
solution to the conflict, a political space was opened up for a new
focus on economic development, not the least as development became a
point of convergence between the LTTE, the GOSL and the
international actors involved in the peace process (Shanmugaratnam
and Stokke 2005,
The LTTE and the GOSL reached an agreement in the early stage of the
process to jointly address humanitarian needs in the war-torn areas
and use this as a precursor to substantive discussions on the core
issues of power sharing and constitutional reforms. This created
optimism in regard to the prospects of relief and rehabilitation,
but also for the possibilities of moving beyond immediate
humanitarian needs towards more long-term development. In reality,
this strategy of using development as a trust-building first step
towards conflict resolution failed to meet the high expectations,
mainly due to divisive politicisation of the question of development
administration for the North-East (Shanmugaratnam
and Stokke 2005).
Secretariat for Immediate Humanitarian and Rehabilitation Needs in
the North and East (SIHRN) was established at the second round
of negotiations (October-November 2002),17
but was soon crippled due to the
unresolved legal status in regard to receiving and disbursing
development funds. Later, the
peace process stalled in 2003 over the question of interim
development administration in the North-East, while a final
agreement to create a joint Post-Tsunami Operational Management
Structure (P-TOMS) was
put on hold by the Sri Lankan Supreme Court in July 2005. This
means that whereas development provided a meeting point for the
protagonists, the question of development authority inevitably led
to the political question of power sharing arrangements.
While the LTTE has seen it as a non-negotiable necessity
to establish an interim development administration with substantive
power and a guaranteed position for the LTTE (LTTE
2003), Sinhalese opposition forces has expressed the fear that
such an interim administration would institutionalise a form of
power sharing that would undermine the sovereignty and integrity of
the unitary state. Given the fragmented Sinhalese polity and the
centralised nature of the Sri Lankan constitution, the opposition
managed to hamper the attempts to create an interim development
administration as well as the subsequent efforts to create a joint
mechanism for handling aid after the 2004 tsunami (S. Puleedevan,
Still the peace process had
important implications for development in the North-East, by
removing government restrictions on travels and flows of goods and
by bringing international development funding, organisations and
programmes to the North-East. This has posed new opportunities and
challenges for the LTTE in the realm of development policy and
The development-to-peace design of the fifth
peace process also raised the question about what kind of
development model the LTTE would follow.
Shanmugaratnam and Stokke (2005) observe that there was no
dialogue between the LTTE and the GOSL on development policy,
creating speculations among intellectuals about whether the LTTE
would subscribe to the neo-liberal development policy of the GOSL
and their international sponsors:
In informal discussions, some opined that being �statist�
in nature the LTTE would not opt for an economic policy based on
free markets and privatisation. They argued that the Tigers�
nationalist ideology and need to consolidate a popular base in the
NE were not compatible with the politics and economics of
neo-liberal globalisation. ... Some pointed to past statements by
Pirapaharan on economic policy, particularly to the leader�s
emphasis on �self-reliance� and �economic equality�, and believed
that there would be open disagreements between the government and
the LTTE on the neo-liberal economic policy for reconstruction and
development of the NE. (Shanmugaratnam
and Stokke (2005, p. 10)
Such a critique of neo-liberal development was not raised
by the LTTE during the talks. On the contrary, the LTTE chief
negotiator and political strategist A. Balasingham stated that the
LTTE was �in favour of an open market economy based on liberal
democratic values� (TamilNet
Balasingham made, however, a key
distinction between �the urgent and immediate problems faced by the
Tamil people� and �the long-term economic development of the Tamil
This distinction had the effect
of making short-term development
interventions a technocratic and centralised exercise of assessing
and accommodating the local needs for relief and rehabilitation (ADB,
UN and WB 2003), while postponing the question of development
The development work of the LTTE after the 2002 Ceasefire
Agreement has focused on the development of institutional capacity
to address relief and rehabilitation needs and, not the least, the
need for coordination of development initiatives (S. Ranjan, M. S.
Ireneuss, personal communication). Addressing a meeting of UN and
international NGO delegates, S. P. Tamilchelvan, emphasised �the
importance of co-ordinating and synchronizing the activities of
humanitarian agencies� (LTTE
Peace Secretariat 15.06.2004).20
To meet this need for
coordination, the LTTE established a Planning and Development
Secretariat (PDS) in 2004 (TamilNet
and declared that it would be �the pivotal unit that will identify
the needs of the people and formulate plans to carry out quick
implementation with the assistance of experts from the Tamil
P. Tamilchelvan, LTTE Peace Secretariat 15.06.2004).22
Planning and Development
Secretariat (PDS) is now responsible for integrating plans and need
assessments from various organizations in order to increase the
effectiveness of resettlement, reconstruction and rehabilitation.
This role became especially clear after the 2004 tsunami, when PDS
and the LTTE tsunami task force sought to coordinate the many
international NGOs involved in relief and rehabilitation, through
forums for information exchange and by assigning responsibilities in
terms of functions and localities (Planning
and Development Secretariat 2005).
The approach to development that seems
to dominate the PDS is one that emphasises the fulfilment of basic
needs and the need for centralised planning and coordination. When
it comes to the actual delivery of development, however, the LTTE
state relies on partnership arrangements with international aid
agencies and NGOs combined with mobilisation of resources, skills
and persons in the local and international Tamil community. Tamil
NGOs such as TRO and
the Economic Consultancy House (TECH)
play an important role in this regard.
TECH was established
in 1992 as a non-profit non-governmental organisation. Its specified
objectives are to formulate and implement �economically viable,
technically feasible and socially acceptable projects to enhance the
quality of life of the people� (LTTE
Peace Secretariat 01.05.2004).23
TECH is funded primarily by local and expatriate Tamils and
has international branches in countries with a strong Tamil diaspora
In their work they collaborate with local and international NGOs,
international agencies (e.g. ILO and UNICEF), local government
agents and the PDS. TECH�s mode of operation resembles that of TRO,
but has a stronger focus on economic development through utilisation
of human skills and technology. Thus, TECH is supporting
�technology-based community development� and seeking to enable
business development without creating dependencies (M.
Sundarmoorthy, personal communication).
Towards this end
they operate a range of projects in agriculture, fishery,
alternative energy, industrial development and environmental
protection. For instance, in the energy sector, TECH is working to
develop and introduce alternative energy based on solar panels and
wind mills. They also run an agricultural development programme,
which includes an Integrated Model Farm outside Kilinochchi. The
farm provides training to farmers, seed for paddy, small grains,
seedlings for fruit, trees and vegetables, fertilizers, and improved
breeds of cattle and poultry. Research is done on the prevention of
animal and plant diseases, on wind and solar energy and on new forms
of irrigation. TECH is also operating a Rural Development Bank,
offering saving accounts and loans for agricultural, self-employment
and business development initiatives.
a technology-oriented development model with guided enterprise
development in close affiliation with the LTTE. To the extent that
TECH is indicative of LTTE�s approach to development, it implies
that they have not adopted an explicit neo-liberal development
policy but have rather strengthened their capacity for development
planning and coordination and for project implementation through
partnership arrangements with NGOs and funding agencies, i.e. a
model of state-led enterprise development. However, this model seems
to contain a basic contradiction between entrepreneurship and
authoritarian regulation, which is especially visible in the
controversies around LTTE taxation and its possibly stifling impact
on entrepreneurship and enterprise development in the North-East.
The LTTE tax regime has developed gradually and unevenly, but
includes a range of direct and indirect taxes in both the area that
they control and in territories held by the GOSL. Taxes that were
collected clandestinely before the Ceasefire Agreement are now
collected more openly and systematically. For instance, Tamil public
servants are commonly asked to contribute a certain percentage of
their monthly salary as income tax, manufacturers and service
providers are taxed a percentage of their monthly income and farmers
and fisherfolk are asked to contribute a share of their output
either in cash or in kind (Sarvananthan
There are also indirect taxes in the
form of customs fees on goods being brought into LTTE-controlled
territory, in the form of vehicle registration tax in
LTTE-controlled areas and as tax on property transactions in Jaffna.
Although relatively little is known about the exact nature of the
LTTE tax system, it can be identified as a challenge for both
democracy and economic development in the North-East. In terms of
democracy, the problem lies in the weak horizontal accountability
relationship between citizens and the LTTE state and the overall
illegitimacy of a �war tax� in the current context of �no war/no
Regarding development, the question is
about the impacts of taxation on the viability of enterprises.
Sarvananthan (2003, p. 12)
argues that the extraction of capital through taxation is �stifling
entrepreneurship in particular and economic revival in general�,
thereby being �one of the major impediments to economic revival in
the N&E province.�
supports this view that LTTE taxation is bringing down the profits
of Jaffna entrepreneurs, but also draws attention to the impact of
political uncertainty, lack of transparency and predictability on
the business rationale of local entrepreneurs, generally making them
invest very cautiously:
The highly arbitrary and
therefore unpredictable character of the actual and expected
protection money did not allow the local entrepreneurs to estimate
their potential profit and implicated the risk of being left with
marginal profit. Therefore, the consequence expressed by most of the
entrepreneurs was not to improve and expand their enterprises
considerably for the time being. It was especially the expectation,
that the higher the profit of an entrepreneur was, the higher would
the demanded amount of protection money be (and this in a
disproportionate way) that made them reluctant to expand and
substantially invest in their enterprises. (Vorbohle
2003, p. 30)
Vorbohle also finds that the Jaffna
entrepreneurs experience their position in regard to the LTTE as
weak in the sense that they have limited leverage in regard to the
extent and manner of taxation or the use of collected taxes for
enterprise development. This indicates a problem of representation
and embeddedness for the LTTE state, hampering the emergence of
productive synergies between private entrepreneurship and a
Political representation: Towards democratic governance?
Having examined the main institutions and functions of the LTTE
state, it is time to return to the question of what kind of
governance that is embedded in these institutions and about the
prospects for democratic representation emanating from this
institutional basis. Political representation is clearly the most
controversial and contested function of within the emerging LTTE
It follows from the review of LTTE
state institutions that the dominant form of governance in
LTTE-controlled areas is that of a strong and centralised state with
few formal institutions for democratic representation. It should be
noted, however, that this hierarchical form of governance is
complemented with elements of partnership arrangements, especially
in regard to social welfare and economic development. This indicates
that the LTTE state holds a potential for transformation towards
governance based on state coordination and facilitation of non state
actors in the market and in civil society.
In discussing the making of governance,
Pierre and Peters (2000)
point out that governance can be seen as a product of structures and
institutions or as an outcome of dynamic and relational political
processes. Whereas the former perspective supports the view that �if
you want to get governance �right� you need to manipulate the
structures within which it is presumed to be
generated�, the latter position sees governance as �a
of social and political actors and therefore if changes are
demanded then it is those dynamics that should be addressed� (Pierre
and Peters 2000, p. 22, emphasis in original). These perspectives
are complementary rather than mutually excluding, as democracy and
governance are constructed at the interface between
structural-institutional conditions and political practices (Luckham,
Goetz and Kaldor 2003).
In agreement with this
view of governance dynamics, the hierarchical governance arrangement
of the LTTE state can be seen as a product of the post-colonial
political experiences with majoritarian politics, protracted war and
unfulfilled political pacts, combined with LTTE�s character and
practices as a disciplined militant organisation engaged in armed
This may lead to the conclusion that successful conflict
resolution, providing substantial security and power sharing
arrangements, is both a precondition and a source of political
transformations. This argument is often heard in pro-LTTE political
circles, where it is argued that the LTTE will be both willing and
capable of transforming itself and the state apparatus towards a
more enabling and democratic form of governance if the structural
problem of insecurity is resolved (G. G. Ponnambalam, personal
Opponents of LTTE, however, argue that the Tamil Tigers�
political record shows that substantial devolution of power to the
North- East under LTTE control is more likely to produce
authoritarianism than democracy. In support of this mode of
reasoning, references are made to various non-democratic practices,
for instance that LTTE has not participated in electoral politics or
organised local elections in the areas they control, but have
instead displayed intolerance towards competing Tamil forces and
have a record of human rights violations that includes use of child
While these are valid criticisms, it is problematic to rule out
the possibility of future political transformations. Without taking
a definite position on the future political trajectory of the LTTE,
it seems pertinent to bring out three recent political changes in
the North-East that may indicate that LTTE�s stands on political
pluralism, human rights and centralisation are not given once and
for all. First, regarding democratic participation, it can be
observed that the
2002 Ceasefire Agreement has yielded a conditional shift in
self-determination from militant to political means,
with the Political Wing emerging in a coordinating role in regard to
both the peace process and the local state building. There has been
no attempt to build a political party, but the LTTE openly supported
the Tamil National Alliance during the 2004 parliamentary elections
and has held regular consultations with TNA MPs since then.
While there were numerous accusations of election fraud, the
strong support for TNA is taken as a mandate from the Tamil
electorate for the LTTE. Thus LTTE claims to hold a popular-national
mandate and be concerned with political representation, even though
they have not constituted themselves as a political party and
participated directly in democratic elections, implying that this
may change if there is a secure basis for self-government. In this
context, it may be significant that TNA has announced that it will
participate in the 2006 local elections in the Trincomalee and
Mannar Districts (TamilNet
Second, regarding human rights, it is
noticeable that LTTE has created a
North-East Secretariat on Human Rights (NESOHR), not the least
to counter the dominant discourse on LTTE�s human rights record.
This �human rights commission� has no formal recognition or
representation in international human rights forums, but
nevertheless functions as an intermediary between international
human rights organisations and the LTTE. NESOHR�s prime function
lies in advocacy on behalf of the rights of Tamils, directed mainly
towards non-local actors. However, the secretariat also performs an
advocacy role locally as a human rights commission for the Tamil
population, maintaining records of rights violations and sometimes
mediating disputes (N. Malathy, personal communication).
The secretariat has, for instance, communicated complaints
from parents about child recruitment, occasionally resulting in the
release of underage recruits from the LTTE. This indicates that the
secretariat may at times perform the role of an oversight
institution within the LTTE state. Clearly, the autonomy of the
secretariat in regard to the LTTE should not be exaggerated, but
taken together with the judicial system it could be seen as a
nascent institutional basis for horizontal accountability which
could be furthered in a post-conflict political context.
Third, regarding centralisation, there are emerging experiments with
decentralisation and community participation in the planning and
implementation of reconstruction and development in tsunami-affected
areas (S. Ranjan, personal communication). Under the leadership of
the PDS, local reconstruction and development after the 2004 tsunami
disaster have been carried out with participation from community
based organisations and their representatives in Village Development
These Forums have to a certain extent
become arenas for local deliberation, including some critical
expressions in regard to LTTE practices. These experiences may in
the future be transferred from the tsunami-affected coastline and be
utilised in the reconstruction and development of war-affected
areas. If successful, it may also provide a basis for revitalisation
of local elected councils (Pradeshiya Sabha), which are now
generally non-operational (M. S. Ireneuss, personal communication).
As much as governance and democracy is conditioned by complex
structural institutional context as well as the diverse powers and
strategies of multiple political actors, it is obviously futile to
try to predict the political trajectory of the LTTE and the emerging
state formation in regard to political representation.
The LTTE has a demonstrated ability to
govern the areas they hold, but doing so largely by authoritarian
rather than democratic means. It remains a challenge for LTTE to
utilise their present institutional basis for political
transformations towards democratic governance. Such political
transformations will certainly be contingent on the external
security situation, the extent to which LTTE is willing and capable
of creating political spaces for democratic representation, and the
manner in which pro-democratic forces in Tamil society will fight
for and utilise such spaces. Resolving the security problem in
tandem with political transformations towards democratic governance
remain prime challenges of peace building in North-East Sri Lanka.
Lanka�s third Eelam War created a political-territorial division of
the island with a resultant dual state structure in the North-East.
In the context of the
2002 Ceasefire Agreement and based on earlier institutional
experiments, the LTTE is currently engaged in a comprehensive
process of state building within the areas they control.
Within this emerging state apparatus there has been a strong focus
on external and internal security issues, with an additional
emphasis on social welfare and economic development. The dominant
form of governance embedded in the LTTE state institutions is that
of a strong and centralised state with few formal institutions for
democratic representation, but there are also elements of
partnership arrangements and institutional experiments that may
serve as a basis for more democratic forms of representation and
governance. This is contingent, however, on both a peaceful
resolution of the current state of insecurity for Tamils and the
LTTE, and on the facilitation and dynamics of pro-democracy forces
within the LTTE and in Tamil society at large.
project has been supported by the Norwegian Research Council. The
fieldwork in Kilinochchi was facilitated by LTTE Peace Secretariat.
I am deeply grateful to the Peace Secretariat and especially to the
Secretary General S. Puleedevan for their invaluable assistance. Mr.
Yarlavan at the Peace Secretariat was relentless in his efforts to
arrange interviews and facilitate my fieldwork in every possible
way. In Oslo, Yogarajah Balasingham has been very helpful in
arranging meetings with visiting delegations from North-East Sri
Lanka. I am also grateful to the participants in a Nordic Workshop
on �War and Peace in Sri Lanka� (Uppsala University, 26-27 January
2006) for valuable comments on an earlier draft. Needless to say,
the interpretations and arguments contained in this article remain
my sole responsibility.
and WB (2003). Assessment of Needs in the Conflict Affected Areas
of the North East (Draft). Colombo: Asian Development Bank,
United Nations, World Bank.
Balasingham, A. (2004).
Peace. Armed Struggle and Peace Efforts of Liberation Tigers.
Mitcham, UK: Fairmax.
Bastian, S. (ed.) (1994).
Devolution and Development in Sri Lanka. Colombo:
International Centre for Ethnic Studies.
Bratton, M. and N. van de Walle (1997).
Democratic Experiments in Africa : Regime Transitions in Comparative
Perspective (Cambridge Studies in Comparative Politics)
Collier, D. and Levitsky, S. (1997).
with adjectives: Conceptual innovation in comparative research.
World Politics 49(3):430-451.
Coomaraswamy, R. (2003).
The Politics of Institutional Design. An Overview of the Case of
Sri Lanka. In. S. Bastian and R. Luckham (eds.).
Can Democracy be Designed? The Politics of Institutional Choice
in Conflict-torn Societies. London: Zed.
Fuglerud, �. (1999).
Life on the Outside. The Tamil Diaspora and Long Distance
Nationalism. London: Pluto.
Gramsci, A. (1971).
Selections from the Prison Notebooks. London: Lawrence and
Harriss, J., Stokke, K. and T�rnquist, O. (2004).
Politicising Democracy: The New Local Politics of Democratisation
JBIC (2003). Conflict and Development: Roles of JBIC.
Development Assistance Strategy for Peace Building and
Reconstruction in Sri Lanka. Tokyo: Japan Bank for International
The proposal by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam on behalf
of the Tamil people for an agreement to establish an interim
self-governing authority for the Northeast of the island of Sri
Kilinochchi: LTTE Peace Secretariat.
Luckham, R., Goetz, A. M., and Kaldor, M. (2003). Democratic
Institutions and Democratic Politics. In, S. Bastian and R. Luckham
Can Democracy be Designed?: The Politics of Institutional Choice in
H., Ramsbotham, O. and Woodhouse, T. (2005).
Contemporary Conflict Resolution: The Prevention, Management and
Transformations of Deadly Conflict
Foreign Affairs (2004).
Peacebuilding � a Development Perspective. Oslo: Norwegian
Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Civil Administration in
Thamil Eelam. (first published in Tamil Voice).
Nadarajah, S. and
Sriskandarajah, D. (2005).
Liberation struggle or terrorism? The politics of naming the LTTE.
Third World Quarterly 26(1): 87-100.
Nesiah, V. (2004).Taxation
without representation, or Talking to the Taxman about Poetry.
Pierre, J. and Peters, B. G. (2000). Governance, Politics and
Planning and Development
Tsunami Reconstruction: Needs Assessment for the NorthEast.
Sarvananthan, M. (2003)
What Impede Economic Revival in the North and East Province of Sri
Lanka? Lines 1.
Schwarz, R. (2005).
Post-Conflict Peacebuilding: The Challenges of Security, Welfare and
Representation. Security Dialogue, 36(4): 429-446.
Shanmugaratnam, N. and
Stokke, K. (2005).
Development as a Precursor to Conflict Resolution: A Critical
Review of the Fifth Peace Process in Sri Lanka.
Noragric, Norwegian University of Life Sciences.
Smith, D. (2004).
Towards a Strategic
Framework for Peacebuilding: Getting Their Act Together.
Oslo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Evaluation Report 1/2004.
Sriskandarajah, D. (2003).
The Returns of Peace
in Sri Lanka: The development cart before the conflict resolution
Journal of Peacebuilding and Development, 2.
Stokke, K. (1997). Authoritarianism in the age of market
liberalism in Sri Lanka. Antipode, 29(4): 437-455.
Stokke, K. (1998).
Sinhalese and Tamil nationalism as
post-colonial political projects from �above�, 1948-1983.
Political Geography, 17(1): 83-113.
Stokke, K. and Ryntveit, A.
The Struggle for Tamil
Eelam in Sri Lanka. Growth and Change, 31(2), 285-304.
Swamy, M. R. N. (2003).
Lanka: From boys to guerillas. Colombo: Vijitha Yapa.
Thiruchelvam, N. (2000). The Politics of Federalism and
Diversity in Sri Lanka. in Y. Ghai (ed.). Autonomy and Ethnicity.
Negotiating Competing Claims in Multi-ethnic States.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Tutu, D. (2000). Foreword. in A. Sachs.
The Soft Vengeance of a Freedom Fighter
Conflict, Conflict Resolution and Peace Building. University
of Colombo: Department of Political Science and Public Policy.
Uyangoda, J. and Perera, M. (2003).
Sri Lanka�s Peace Process 2002. Critical Perspectives.
Colombo: Social Scientists� Association.
Vorbohle, T. (2003).
�It�s only a
cease-fire�. Local entrepreneurs in the Jaffna peninsula between
change and standstill.
Student Research Project, Faculty of Sociology, University of
Wallensteen, P. (2002).
Understanding Conflict Resolution: War, Peace and the Global
System. London: Sage.
Planning Director, Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation
Ilamparithi Head, Jaffna Branch of the LTTE Political Wing
M. S. Ireneuss Director, Secretariat for Immediate Humanitarian and
Rehabilitation Needs in the North and East
Rev. Fr. M. X.
Karunaratnam Chairperson, North-East Secretariat of Human Rights
N. Malathy North-East Secretariat of Human Rights
Nadesan Head, Tamil Eelam Police
G. G. Ponnambalam Member
of Parliament and General Secretary, All Ceylon Tamil Congress
S. Puleedevan Secretary General, LTTE Peace Secretariat
Ranjan Acting Secretary General, Planning and Development
K. P. Regi Executive Director, Tamils
M. Sundarmoorthy Director, The
Economic Consultancy House
T. Yarlamuthan Director,
Special Task Force, Vadamarachchi East
1 Department of
Sociology and Human Geography, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1096
Blindern, 0317 Oslo, Norway. E-mail:
2 Qualitative interviews
were conducted in Kilinochchi (August 2005) with the leadership
of the LTTE Peace Secretariat, the LTTE Planning and Development
Secretariat (PDS), the Secretariat for Immediate Humanitarian
and Rehabilitation Needs in the North and East (SIHRN), the
Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO), the North-East
Secretariat on Human Rights (NESOHR), the Tamil Eelam Police,
the LTTE Special Task Force for Tsunami-affected areas, and The
Economic Consultancy House (TECH). Meetings and interviews have
also been held in Oslo (2003-2005) with representatives from
LTTE�s Political Wing (Jaffna Branch), the Tamils Rehabilitation
Organisation, the All Ceylon Tamil Congress, the Secretariat for
Immediate Humanitarian and Rehabilitation Needs in the North and
East (SIHRN), the Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) and
the North-East Secretariat on Human Rights (NESOHR).
3 The present peace process
follows after four failed attempts at conflict resolution
through negotiated settlements: the
Thimpu talks in 1985, the
Indo-Lanka Accord in 1987, the
Premadasa/LTTE talks in 1989-90
Bandaranaike/LTTE talks in 1994-95 (Balasingham
2004, JBIC 2003, Uyangoda 2005).
The first Eelam war broke out after the
anti-Tamil riots of July 1983
and ended with the
Indo-Lanka Peace Accord in July 1987. The second Eelam war
started after the departure of the Indian Peace- Keeping Force
in 1989 and the failed peace talks with the government of
President Premadasa in 1989-90 and lasted until the peace
negotiations with the Government of President Kumaratunga in
1994-1995. The third Eelam war ensued shortly after the
breakdown of the peace negotiations in April 1995 and lasted
until the informal ceasefire agreement of December 2001. This
ceasefire was later formalised through a Memorandum of
Understanding on 21 February 2001 and a formal
Ceasefire Agreement on 22 February 2002. At the time of
writing (January 2006), there has been a gradual escalation of
violence and a growing sense that the Ceasefire Agreement is
likely to collapse and be replaced by a fourth Eelam war.
5 To acknowledge the existence
of a dual state structure and to examine LTTE as a political
actor that is involved in a state building process is highly
controversial in Sri Lanka. The World Bank�s country
representative to Sri Lanka, Peter Harrold,came
under heavy criticism in March 2005 for recognising the
existence of an unofficial LTTE state. In an interview with
Sunday Times, Harrold stated that: �Given the fact that there is
an officially recognized LTTE-controlled area, a kind of
unofficial state, and since it is a party to the ceasefire
agreement with the Government, the LTTE has the status of a
legitimate stakeholder� (Sunday Times 3 March 2005). The Janatha
Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), a Marxist Sinhalese nationalist party
which was part of the United People�s Freedom Alliance (UPFA)
government at the time, demanded that the statement should be
withdrawn or the Bank should remove Harrold from his position as
he had �overstepped his duties� and made a statement that
�undermines sovereignty of Sri Lanka and challenges the
authority of the state� (TamilNet 07.03.2005,
of Sri Lanka Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process