With Norway and the US getting involved, diplomatic activity to find a negotiated political settlement to the Lankan crisis has picked up. But despite the hectic activities in Oslo, Colombo and New Delhi, analysts believe the negotiations will not take off until the rebel military offensive in the Jaffna peninsula ends. And obviously, the outcome of the battle would have a major bearing on the peace talks. "Nothing is going to happen on the peace front until the situation in Jaffna settles down," says a US diplomat in Colombo.
The Tamil rebels have kept up their pressure on government troops and are gaining ground daily. "The defence establishment in Colombo is getting increasingly concerned," says Iqbal Athas, the Sunday Times defence correspondent. The question is no longer whether Jaffna would fall but rather when and how it will happen. "The government seems to have no idea about how they will pull out over 30,000 troops from Jaffna if the need arises. They seem to be hoping for foreign intervention to help them do it," says another analyst.