Says Dr Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, executive director at the Center for Policy Alternatives, "The ltte's been able to control the agenda of the peace process, initiating a political and diplomatic offensive that the government seems to be either unwilling or unable to respond to positively."
The turning point for both sides was the failure of the ltte's massive offensive in the middle of last year. Not only did it fail to recapture the Jaffna peninsula, it also suffered debilitating losses. Unable to face the dramatic increase in firepower available to the army after the Jaffna debacle, the ltte launched a propaganda drive indicating it was ready for 'unconditional' peace talks—but with foreign mediation. This was counter to Colombo's persistent rejection of any foreign involvement.