The action of the Royal Bhutan Army (RBA) and the Royal Bhutan Guards (RBG) was swift and sharp. Consequently, the ULFA appealed to King Wangchuk on December 17, urging him to halt the offensive as "the organisation was not a threat to Bhutan's sovereignty". ULFA's commander-in-chief Paresh Barua told journalists that his outfit was prepared to negotiate with Thimphu on the issue of the location of their camps if the military operations were suspended. This statement by the ULFA's elusive chief was interpreted by many as a ceasefire and surrender offer.
But that was wishful thinking. While Barua wanted the King to call off the offensive, he was clear the ULFA cadre would not surrender. On day four of the operations, December 18, Bhutan said it could consider halting the operations if the rebels came up with the offer to surrender and agree to leave the kingdom. "We shall not surrender under any circumstances. Our boys will fight till the last man and the last bullet," was Barua's response.