Agreements that Betrayed Sri Lanka:Post-Tsunami Operational Management Structure (P-TOMS)
Posted on April 8th, 2013

Shenali Waduge

Since 1987 there have been a series of secretly signed agreements that have proven detrimental to the country. Silence of biased media to expose and inform the public to generate enough momentum against these agreements has meant nationalist lobbies have had to step in to fill the void. For all its past records, the JVP must be mentioned for its role in bringing to the attention of the masses important agreements that would with time provide the ground to divide the nation. The Indo-Lanka Accord, 2002 ceasefire agreement, ISGA and the PTOMS will go down as a few of the most treacherous agreements signed placing a terrorist organization on par with a democratic government.

Countries do not function to an individual’s whims and fancies and certainly not to personal ideologies that public officials believe in. Legal and constitutional provisions cannot be shoved into corners or shrewdly replaced by drafting new legislation and fooling trusting leaders into placing signatures on documents detrimental to Sri Lanka’s sovereignty. Yet, there appears no end to the treacheries that prevail.

Let us look at how the PTOMS came about closely following the 2002 Ceasefire and the ISGA.

¬  2001 December “”…” UNF Government led by Ranil Wickremasinghe

¬  1994-2004 President “”…” Chandrika Kumaratunga

¬  4 November 2003 “”…” President Kumaratunga suspends Parliament takes over Ministries of Defense, Interior and Information (while Ranil Wickremasinghe PM was overseas)

¬  5 November 2003 “”…” State of Emergency Declared

¬  7 February 2004 “”…” Parliament dissolved and elections put to April

¬  2 April 2004 “”…” UPFA Government with JVP alliance wins Parliamentary Elections

¬  1 November 2003 “”…” ISGA proposals forwarded by LTTE (that came with a USD5billion aid package-it was to secure this that the UNF Govt was unceremoniously ousted)

¬  26 December 2004 “”…” Tsunami struck causing over 30,000 deaths and immeasurable damage to property and infrastructure.

¬  PTOMS was a result of discussions between the Peace Secretariats of LTTE and GOSL.

Jayantha Dhanapala was Head of GOSL Peace Secretariat from 1 June 2004 as well as President Kumaratunga’s Senior Advisor and came to a consensus with the LTTE on the joint mechanism for tsunami relief.

Nationalist organizations protested vehemently against the signing of the PTOMS “”…” all warnings were ignored.

JVP resigned from the Chandrika Govt on 16 Jun 2005 protesting against PTOMS.

The PTOMS was signed on Friday 24th June 2005 and came with an AID PACKAGE OF USD3billion.

M.S. Jayasinghe, Secretary to the Ministry of Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconciliation, signed on behalf of the Government while Shanmugalingam Ranjan, Deputy Head of the Planning and Development Secretariat (PDS) signed on behalf of the LTTE in Kilinochchi.

NOTE: The SLFP opposed both the ISGA and the PTOMS.


Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) for the Establishment of a

Post-Tsunami Operational Management Structure (“P- TOMS”)


  • Tsunami on 26 December 2004 destroyed human lives and property.
  • Need for all communities to cooperate on humanitarian grounds
  • Need for equitable allocation of post-tsunami funds
  • Humanitarian need in a spirit of partnership between GOSL and the LTTE (the Parties) to deliver relief, rehabilitation, reconstruction and development to the coastal communities in 6 districts “”…” Ampara, Batticoloa, Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Trincomalee
  • Establishing PTOMS between GOSL and LTTE


PTOMS was to plan, implement and coordinate post-tsunami work and would have a High Level Committee called the Post-Tsunami Coastal Reconstruction Committee / Regional Committee for the 6 districts / 6 District Committees

The High Level / Regional Committee and District Committees to address concerns of all persons in Tsunami Disaster Zone (TDZ) “”…” tsunami affected land area adjacent to sea within 2km landwards from low water line.

Scope of

High-Level Committee “”…”

§  1 nominee from GOSL (no mention of Sinhala nominee),

§  1 nominee from LTTE,

§  1 nominee by Muslims

Functions “”…”

§  Formulating policies for equitable allocation and disbursement of donor funds in TDZ,

§  Monitoring of PTOMs.

§  Also empowered to bring additional land areas within TDZ provided it is impacted by the tsunami.

§  One of the members will be selected to serve as Chairperson and role shall rotate every two months.

§  The Committee can have one observer representing multilateral donors and one observer representing bilateral donors at the meetings.

§  Decisions will be based on consensus or seek donor assistance. Possibility to suspend cooperation giving 14 days notice is also possible.

§  The High-Level Committee shall have a secretariat with staff and be located in Colombo and can determine its own procedures to discharge functions.

Regional Committee “”…”

§  Responsible for areas of the TDZ in the 6 districts,

§  development of strategies for implementation and prioritization of post-tsunami emergency relief, rehabilitation, reconstruction and development measures, monitoring of projects, fund management.

Regional Committee will comprise of

§  2 members nominated by GOSL (one is the Deputy Chairperson),

§  5 members of LTTE (one will become the Chairperson),

§  3 members of the Muslim (one is another Deputy Chairperson)

§  one observer from multilateral donors and one member from bilateral donors shall attend meetings.

§  Decisions will be based on consensus.

§  Chairperson shall have final say.

§  Regional Committee will be located in Kilinochchi.

§  Procedures will be determined in consultation with High Level Committee.

§  A small Secretariat for the Six Districts shall be set up and may draw staff from the Secretariat for Immediate Humanitarian and Rehabilitation Needs (SIHRN).

§  The Secretariat shall be named as the Regional Secretariat for Post-tsunami Coastal Reconstruction and Development (RSPCRD), and shall provide secretarial and administrative services to the Regional Committee.

§  A Project Management Unit (PMU) will be set up.

District Committees “”…”

§  the 6 district committees will identify, prioritize and generate needs to the Regional Committee.

§  The 2002 Ceasefire Agreement will continue and the PTOMS MOU will not alter any existing clauses of the 2002 Agreement.


§  PTOMS will be in operation for a period of 1 year from the date of signing “”…” MOU can be extended by consensus

§  Donors to cover all costs and expenses related to establishing and functioning of PTOMS.

§  Regional fund “”…” Post-Tsunami Coastal Fund for the 6 districts with foreign and local funds. A Multilateral agency will be custodian of the regional fund


Questions raised in signing the PTOMS:

  • The mistake made by Ranil Wickremasinghe led Government in signing the 2002 CFA was that it questioned why a democratic government should enter an agreement with a proscribed terrorist organization “”…” why was the same mistake being repeated?
    • The LTTE was proscribed by Sri Lanka in 1998 following the Dalada Maligawa bombing. That proscription was lifted in 2002 on the insistence of the LTTE as a precondition to enter peace talks and sign the Cease Fire Agreement.
    • Not only did the Wickremasinghe Government lift the ban on LTTE, it went on to recognize the existence of an LTTE administration in the North East of Sri Lanka and it demarcated LTTE-controlled areas- was this not a violation of Sri Lanka’s Constitution.
    • What can we think of Government negotiators when the PTOMS mechanism provided for a regional committee of 10 members 5 of whom were to be LTTE appointees and 3 Muslims whilst there is no mention of any Sinhala representation except GOSL “”…” GOSL does not represent Sinhalese!!!?  Does the country hold in esteem officers that negotiated and accepted such clauses without argument and insistence on change?
      • Why did SL officials agree to PTOMS for only the 6 districts of NE when the South was equally affected? Why was the South of Sri Lanka omitted from the USD3billion aid package?
      • If the West has proscribed the LTTE was it willing to give funds to the district committee headed by the LTTE? Luckily the US and Japan went on to say they would not supply funds to PTOMS.
      • This then raises the question of why these nations did not object to the clauses on financial matters before PTOMS was signed.

International praise of the PTOMS agreement between LTTE and GOSL:

  • India, Canadian Government and the EU were all in praise of the PTOMS.
  • UN Secretary General “”…” Kofi Annan “I am pleased that today, the Sri Lanka Government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish the Post-Tsunami Operational Management Structure, a joint tsunami aid sharing mechanism that will allow for the distribution of relief funds to all affected areas in Sri Lanka.”

 Locals praising PTOMS:

  • Jayantha Dhanapala :

o   “There is nothing to fear in the Post-Tsunami Operational Management Structure (P-TOMS),” 

o   “We have to accept the challenge of working with the LTTE, and the fact that they have come into the programme gives an indication of them being willing to work with the government of Sri Lanka “”…” perhaps for the first time,”

o   “nature’s intervention” on 26 December 2004 provided a “window of opportunity” to work with the LTTE “”…” “surpassing all political differences, which separated us and caused a stalemate”.

o   Commenting on opposition to the P-TOMS by extremist elements, he said: “These elements don’t represent the mainstream of Sri Lankan opinion”¦. It is important, therefore, to realise that the more vocal minority is not necessarily representative of Sri Lankan opinion.”

o   Both sides realise that this is an “ƒ”¹…”unwinnable war’. But what is depressing is that amidst this ceasefire “”…” which is an ideal climate for us to move forward to translate the temporary truce into permanent peace “”…” we are having a number of low-intensity conflicts, which do not help the situation.”

  • Harim Peiris then Director General Ministry of Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconciliation as well as Presidential Spokesmen of Chandrika Government “The non-implementation of the P-TOMS which had the status of a signed agreement between the government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE, could create the implication that there is no real political space or that credit would be given to the LTTE” “”…” Sri Lanka is lucky he is no longer holding any post in public office.
  • Kumar Rupesinghe praised the 3 tier structure of the PTOMS”¦.saying “it was the only way out”. He also campaigned for the ISGA claiming it was “the maturity of the political debate in the country” and said “ISGA was the only vehicle”.
  • Jehan Perera said PTOMS would “help build mutual trust”.

President Rajapakse (then Prime Minister) when asked his opinion on the PTOMS claimed he was not aware of the contents of the draft agreement and thus unable to comment.

Opposition to PTOMS: came from all quarters of the Nationalists of the country.

Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) opposed appointment of DEW Gunasekera as the Constitutional Minister and representative of the Government in the PTOMS “DEW Gunasekera is the Secretary of the Communist Party. From the time we know, he has been a sympathizer of the LTTE whose only dream is dividing the country”¦.he is not even a people’s representative”¦he became an MP through the National list”.


Having resigned from the Government the 39 JVP MPs went on to file 3 Fundamental Rights petitions with the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka alleging an infringement of their fundamental rights guaranteed by Articles 12(l) and 12(2) of the Constitution (FR petitions : 228/05,  229/05, 230/05

JVP’s FR was on 5 objections:

1.    Secretary to Triple R Ministry did not have “any authority” to sign MOU

2.    President could not constitutionally authorize the MOU in view of Article 42 and 43 (1) of the Constitution.

3.    No legal basis to enter MOU with LTTE which was not recognized by law in view of it being identified with terror, violence, death, destruction.

4.    That the “powers and functions” of the Regional Committee were “governmental in nature”. and that such powers and functions cannot be “validly conferred on such committees in the manner contemplated in the MOU”.

5.    Regional Fund managed by a multilateral agency formed “part of the funds of the Republic” and should be disbursed and accounted provided in the Constitution. (This was said to be the World Bank)


Supreme Court Judges :

Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva, Supreme Court Judges Raja Fernando and R.A.N.G Amaratunga

Counsels for Petitioners : HL de Silva PC, SL Gunasekera, Gomin Dayasri, Minoli Jinadasa, Manohara de Silva.  Special mention of these legal luminaries who did not take a cent to give their legal counsel to a cause that affected the sovereignty of the nation. These were true lawyers upholding their profession with professionalism and integrity.

Counsels for the Respondents: K C Kamalasabayson PC, Attorney General with P A Ratnayake, PC, ASG, Ms. D Dias Wickremasinghe, SSC and Viraj Dayaratne SC for (Attorney General), R K W Gunasekera for 3rd respondent, Nigel Hatch, P.C., with Ms. K. Geekiyanage for the Secretary, Ministry of Relief, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Respondent) in S.C.(FR) 230/05.

ARGUED ON: 8 and 12th July 2005

DECIDED ON: 15th July 2005 (20 page interim order)

Supreme Court Judgment: INTERIM ORDER

i) an interim order is not granted in respect of the entirety of the MOU referred to and the Structure as provided in the MOU consisting of Committees may be established and become functional subject to the restrictions as are imposed by this judgment; the operation of Sections 6(b)(ii), 6(b)(iv), 6(b)(f),6 (1) and 7 of the MOU are stayed pending the final determination of this application;

iii) the funds both foreign and local intended to be deposited in the Regional Fund as provided in Section 7 may instead be dealt with according to the provisions of the Constitution and deposited in a separate account with a Custodian to be designated, if lawfully authorized;

iv) the location of the Regional Committee may be decided on by the parties in compliance with the criteria that has been stated;

V) a Project Management Unit (PMU) may be set up in lieu of the Unit provided for in Section 6(1) by the relevant Ministry in accordance with the applicable procedure. Such Project Management Unit would be at liberty to coordinate and implementation the projects with the District Committees, the Regional Committee and the High Level Committees as provided in the MOU


The jubilation of the interim order was heralded by the entire nation that was against separatism.

JVP Statement “”…” “The court ruling has thwarted the President’s bid to handover administrative and financial powers to a group of terrorists”,

Vijitha Herath, JVP – “We have succeeded in our struggle. There is nothing in the agreement now.”  

LTTE’s Tamilselvan’s response to the Interim Order was that it reflected the “continuation of the methods adopted by the Sinhala majoritarian political leaders” “”…” there are many who would agree but does that mean the majority must blindly watch the country separated/divided and given to terrorist movements who are functionary proxies in a bigger gameplan?

There is little doubt that these money “carrots” dangled as aid package using humanitarian laws are designed in taking the weaknesses of leaders to mind and proven by the manner that the leaders and cohorts signatory to the successive agreements have jumped to accept clauses detrimental to the nation. The silence of the media in not taking up what their role is as public citizen number 1 in ensuring that as watchdog the nation remains sovereign and undivided needs to be mentioned. Almost always the media has stepped forward to denounce the nationalists as “extremists” and obstructing development etc.

Media’s role need to change. Leaders need to be more tuned into how their decisions affect the nation and its people. Public officials need to function with integrity and not simply as “yes men”.



21 Responses to “Agreements that Betrayed Sri Lanka:Post-Tsunami Operational Management Structure (P-TOMS)”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    TRAITORS have remained traitors!!

    Jayantha Dhanapala
    Harim Peiris
    Kumar Rupesinghe
    Jehan Perera
    DEW Guna

    Thank G~d this PTOMS crap failed.

    The reason for the RIGHT judgment was ALL the judges were SLs (NOT Tamils or Muslims).

    Supreme Court Judges : Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva, Supreme Court Judges Raja Fernando and R.A.N.G Amaratunga

    Because PTOMS failed NO aid went to NE and many LTTE terrorists and their terrorist families died.

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    British people celebrating Thatcher’s death.


    “Several hundred people gathered in south London on Monday evening to celebrate Margaret Thatcher’s death with cans of beer, pints of milk and an impromptu street disco playing the soundtrack to her years in power.

    Young and old descended on Brixton, a suburb which weathered two outbreaks of rioting during the Thatcher years. Many expressed jubilation that the leader they loved to hate was no more; others spoke of frustration that her legacy lived on.

    To cheers of “Maggie Maggie Maggie, dead dead dead,” posters of Thatcher were held aloft as reggae basslines pounded.

    Clive Barger, a 62-year-old adult education tutor, said he had turned out to mark the passing of “one of the vilest abominations of social and economic history”.

    He said: “It is a moment to remember. She embodied everything that was so elitist in terms of repressing people who had nothing. She presided over a class war.”

    Not all those attending were old enough to remember Thatcher’s time in power. Jed Miller, 21, clutching a bottle of cider, said: “She was a bit before my time, but family never had anything good to say about her.”

    Not all were there to celebrate. Student Ray Thornton, 28, said he was there to commemorate “victims” of Thatcherism. “It is a solemn day. It is important to remember that Thatcherism isn’t dead and it is important that people get out on the street and not allow the government to whitewash what she did,” he said.

    Unemployed Kiki Madden scrawled “you snatched my milk and our hope” on a fence and said she felt slightly guilty taking delight in Thatcher’s death, “but in the end I can’t deny the fact that Thatcher made me so unhappy when I was a kid. I grew up in Liverpool and all my friends’ dads lost their jobs on the docks under Thatcher. It was an awful time.”

    A chorus of “so long, the witch is dead” erupted, along with chants of “Maggie Maggie Maggie, dead dead dead,” from the gathering as champagne bottles were popped.”

  3. A. Sooriarachi Says:

    We must applaud the JVP for taking this issue to the courts and we must also applaud the patriotic lawyers who appeared frr the Petitioners.

    This was a most dangerous time with Ranil as Priminister and Chandrika as President, both of whom were treated as inflated ego idiots by the Norweigians and the Tigers and they knew how to flatter these two to push through the separatist plans.
    So thank let us thank the JVP and the lawyers who pulled back the country from the brink of falling into the separatist trap. It was also providence that the US and Japan declined to deal with Ptoms.

  4. Sri Rohana Says:

    As far as I remember in 2006 PTOM final meeting was held in Kandy, at Hantane Institute of Fundamental Studies hall. All the parliamentarians and Norway, U.K, India and other so-called peace talk sponsors and N.G.O’s invited. On the stage chandrika and her UF ministers were seated. J.V.P minister Vijitha Herath represented his party on the stage. There were three J.V.P cabinet ministers in that cabinet and never heard them protested against PTOM in the cabinet level.
    While PTOM meeting going on Ven. Athuraliya Rathana thero got up and read a statement why JHU against PTOM. This was the turning point of chandrika’s PTOM. After Rathana thero’s speech PTOM had a miserable ending. Same evening JHU protested peacefully in Colombo and various cities but chandrika ordered police to attack the peaceful Bhikkus with baton and tear gas.

    After these incidents only J.V.P realised that the majority of Sri Lankan’s were against the PTOM. And they made a U-turn and protested in the parliament when the PTOM bill submitted. One chandriaka’s loyalist Kandy district SLFP member yelled loudly to show his loyalty in parliament “Yanthranaya apita oney” Mangala and other chandrika’s yes boys were for PTOM.
    Later on J.V.P filed a fundamental right case against PTOM and Supreme courts accepted it. But originally JHU only protested against chandrika’s PTOM traitor bill. So real credit must go Aturaliya Rathana Thero and JHU for save our country in 2006 from traitor chandrika. Same traitor initiated CFA but Ranil signed the agreement with Prabakaran. N.G.O’s had pumped the idea to chandriaka that after PTOM and CFA she can qualify for the Nobel Peace Award. But both failed and chandrika at home with no balls.

  5. Fran Diaz Says:

    We would like to thank the JVP for the good work done !

    We also recall the JVP earlier plan on the ‘Dahasak Wav’ to rehabilitate the many tanks of Lanka. I remember feeling thrilled about it then. What has happened to that plan now ? It should be revived.

    Addressing the Tsunami event which brought in the PTOMS as a sequel : The Tsunami was the start of loss of power for the ltte.

  6. SA Kumar Says:

    Nobel Peace Award- Now this goes to MR !!! but he should not get his saram wet by UN meeting !

  7. Fran Diaz Says:

    There should be NO MORE SECRETLY SIGNED PACTS on any matter affecting the citizens of Sri Lanka. That is NOT Democratic.
    That is NOT how Democracy works.

    No wonder Sri Lanka is in deep trouble. Pres MR & GoSL paying dearly for mistakes of past GoSLs.

  8. Lorenzo Says:

    Toiletnet has gone really crazy this time.

    Wild elephants deployed by Colombo’s forest department claim lives of Tamils in Batticaloa

    [Tue, 09 Apr 2013, 09:12 GMT]
    Sri Lankan Forest Department, in recent weeks, has brought in a number of wild elephants from Sinhala areas into the jungles adjacent to Koa’ra’laip-pattu South Division of the Batticaloa district, where uprooted Tamil people have resettled after the end of war.”

  9. Lorenzo Says:


    US state department has identified 4 Al Qaeda linked Jihad groups in SL.

    Sri Lanka Jamthi Islam
    Thauhid Jamath
    Thableeq Jamath
    Jamathi Muslim

    We knew it. We are not saying this now. It is USA saying it.

    Jihad groups have attacked peaceful Sinhalese in Welimada today. Al Qaeda.

  10. SA Kumar Says:

    peaceful Sinhalese in Welimada today. ! so begining of Islamic Thamil Eelam war 1 !!!

    Naalai pirkkum Thamil Eelam – (no Sooni , No Parnki, No seena , only for Saiva Thamilar ) !!!

    Sinhalese only get peace not peaceful from mother (i)lanka(i)! if they follow Bhuddist power force !!!

    no of the game is – if you say do not follow than Sinhala modaya will follow so country will be divided itself !!!

  11. herman Says:


    Sri Rohana highlighted an important point – I too remembered that the JHU initiated and lead criticisms against the PTOM. However, the JVP cleverly read the ground well and pushed their objections and oppostion more forcefully against the PTOM than any other party, therefore taking the credit, fully.

    Unfortunately, i’ve not read this contribution by the the JHU in any books so far have you Shenali, please?

    Sri Rohana, do you have any newspaper clippings on this JHU episode, please?

  12. SA Kumar Says:

    no of the game is- correction – name of the game is

  13. Marco Says:

    As a researcher you missed out an important personal like the late Lakshman Kadirgamer in his role on PTOMS

  14. Senevirath Says:

    Iread in papers about ven. Rtathana protesting. Sri Rohana is correct. Any way the J.V.P changed and later became more active ..

  15. Sri Rohana Says:

    Herman & Senevirath! Thanks for your comments. I’ll try my best to get the newspaper article or any references.

  16. Lorenzo Says:


    “When we first heard of Mr. Kadirgamar over 10 years ago, in 1994 we had not met him in person. We had only read about his straightforward and honest actions through the media. We followed his work over the years. In 2004 when we came to form the new government we thought him the most suitable for the highest office then available. It is no secret that we campaigned strongly for him. Others who now unreservedly extol his virtues would understand and appreciate our viewpoint. We believe we must all learn from him the qualities of honesty and straightforwardness.

    After the Sandanaya was dissolved we spoke with him. He was disappointed. We said that this was not the first Sandanaya or the last. And we said that whatever be the fate of the political alliance, our appreciation of him would not diminish. Later when we met him for a non-political chat we found him as open as ever. He did not betray SLFP secrets but clearly his discomfort on such issues as PTOMS were plain to see.

    So the great LK was OPPOSED to PTOMS. He also asked the president NOT to appoint PTOMS members IF it became an unfortunate reality.

    Stop lying Micro, just lie down!!

  17. Lorenzo Says:

    We should have made BETTER use of the tsunami.

    If another tsunami, cyclone, flood, etc. hits the north and the east, we should be PREPARED to dissolve the ethnic problem!!! No one can investigate such a vast number of casualties.

    Blame it on the rain!!

  18. Fran Diaz Says:

    CBK lost a father & husband to assassins from the Sinhala community. These experiences must have shaped her emotions and her political thinking surely must have been biased from those experiences ….. It would be absurd to think they did not affect her at all.

    Lessons to be learnt here for the ordinary people of Lanka.

  19. Fran Diaz Says:

    Re more on the Tsunami :

    MISSING PERSONS : Are people including people missing from the Tsunami (dead from Tsunami) also as Missing Persons of War with ltte ?
    GoSL ought to clarify the two ways people went Missing. The Missing after the Tsunami numbers must be very large indeed.

  20. Sri Rohana Says:

    Herman here I noted PTOM speech by Athuraliye Rathana Thero’s and the links
    “We understand that you have come with money or the promise of money. We are hopeful that you come with good intention and not with the idea of purchasing our dignity, buying our obedience, for we are not willing to sell our sovereignty or self-respect, without which we would indeed by poor.” Athuraliye Rathana Thero 2005.05.16 At PTOM meeting

  21. herman Says:

    Very Efficient, Sri Rohana, thank you very much.

    Suba Aluth Avrudka Wewa to You and all SLs.

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