Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, who will be handed this year’s Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to achieve a peace agreement with the FARC guerrillas, says that although the Sri Lankan model was extensively studied they did not think it was the correct procedure for Colombia. Beginning with a ceasefire agreement in early 2002, for almost five years a series of peace talks, facilitated by Norway, took place between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE. The Colombian President’s agreement with FARC put an end to 50 years of civil war.
Responding to a question by “N.Sethu from NORWAY NEWS – NIPS” at a press conference after arriving in Oslo on Friday for his acceptance of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, President Santos said that each conflict has its own dynamics and its own conditions.
“We did not follow the Sri Lanka process in many respects.
We did not think it was the correct procedure for the Colombian case but we studied it,” he said. “We studied it very much and we have been having past conversations with Sri Lanka about reintegration.”
The 65-year-old said that Colombia has very good experience with reintegration because they have reintegrated more than 58,000 combatants both from guerilla and paramilitary groups.
“And so I think we have some experience there and we have shared this with the Sri Lankan government.”
“We took from the different processes what we thought was applicable for Colombia,” he added.