After two decades of struggle and four abortive attempts at peace talks, including the deployment of the Indian army, the Indian peacekeeping force from 1987 to 1990, a lasting negotiated settlement of the conflict seemed possible when a ceasefire was declared in December 2001 and an internationally mediated ceasefire agreement was signed in 2002.  However, limited hostilities were renewed in late 2005 and the conflict began to escalate until the government launched a series of major military offensives against the LTTE beginning in July 2006 and driving the LTTE out of the entire eastern province of the island. The LTTE then declared that it would “resume its struggle for freedom for the state.”   Norway, which brokered the 2002 ceasefire, said a Nordic mission monitoring the ceasefire would now “most likely” be withdrawn. In the meantime, I would like to stress that ending the CFA in no way hinders the process of transition to a negotiated political solution. Indeed, we have a wider space to pursue this goal in a way that encompasses all parts of the Sri Lankan community, which has only been excluded between the government and the LTTE under the CFA and the agreement. As Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of His Excellency, stated in Matara on 26 December 2007, the doors remain open for the LTTE to join this process. It should be recalled that the 1985 talks on Thimpu, the Sri Lankan Indo-Agreement of 1987, the discussions between President Premadasa and the LTTE of 1990 and the discussions between the government of President Kumaratunda and the LTTE in 1994 did not take place with the presence of a CFA. Despite these incidents, the two sides agreed on 28 and 29 October to participate unconditionally in the peace talks in Geneva.  However, peace talks failed following a disagreement over the reopening of the major A9 motorway, which forms the link between Jaffna and government-controlled areas in the south. While the LTTE wanted the highway reopened, which was closed after heavy fighting in August, the government refused, saying the LTTE would collect taxes on transitists and launch new offensives against government forces.  2002 – After Norwegian mediation, two sides sign ceasefire. .