The extension of the month long ceasefires by the LTTE and the Colombo government was expected, and there was no reason for it to be other-wise. So far, the ceasefires have been diligently observed by the two sides in respect to the avoidance of physical clashes. This has brought enormous relief to the people living in the conflict areas, not to mention urban areas such as Colombo, where the tension caused by the prospect of a sudden attack has diminished to nearly zero. The parties to the conflict too have benefited. They are able to rest and recuperate from their years of fighting.

For the government in particular, the ceasefire has been of great importance. It is able to show that it has delivered results to the people and honoured one of its key election-time promises. The other problems that the government confronts, such as the rising cost of living and the power shortage, cannot be resolved in the short-term even if efficiently dealt with. Although the business climate has improved, it only paves the way for future investments and this takes time. For the LTTE, too, the ceasefire has been important. Apart from making the Tamil people happy, it can reduce the momentum of the international movement to ban it as a terrorist organisation.

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Himal Southasian