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Last Updated: Friday, 14 November, 2003, 11:10 GMT
Timeline: Sri Lanka crisis

Saturday, 1 November 2003

Tamil Tigers spokesman
A spokesman for the Tamil Tigers discusses their draft proposal

The Tamil Tiger rebels submit a detailed draft for a power-sharing administration in Tamil-dominated zones in the north and east of Sri Lanka.

They announce they are ready to restart peace talks which stalled in April 2003.

Sri Lanka's Government says it will discuss the draft with the Tigers, and asks Norwegian mediators to arrange fresh dates for peace talks.

Monday, 3 November

Washington says it supports recent peace moves on the island, as it prepares to welcome Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe for talks with George Bush.

Tuesday, 4 November

President Chandrika Kumaratunga dismisses three top government ministers and suspends parliament, while the prime minister is in the US.

President Kumaratunga
President Kumaratunga addresses the nation...

She says the government's soft stance on the Tigers has jeopardised national security.

Troops are ordered onto the streets to secure key installations in the capital.

Mrs Kumaratunga appoints her nominees to replace the sacked defence, information and interior ministers.

Mr Wickramasinghe attacks the president's "desperate and irresponsible" actions from Washington, but urges his supporters to stay calm.

Wednesday, 5 November

President Kumaratunga declares a state of emergency.

Ranil Wickramasinghe and George Bush
...while the prime minister stands shoulder to shoulder with George Bush

Government ministers criticise the president for imperilling the peace process, despite her televised assurance that the ceasefire with the Tamil rebels will remain in place.

Mr Wickramasinghe insists he is still in control after a meeting with George Bush.

Thursday, 6 November

Supporters mob Mr Wickramasinghe at Colombo airport upon his return from the US.

President Kumaratunga declares the state of emergency over.

She calls for a cabinet of national unity that would include ministers from her own party, currently in opposition.

Sunday, 9 November

Mr Wickramasinghe says he may hand over the reins of the peace process to the president, as he no longer controls the key ministries.

Monday, 10 November

A spokesman for the prime minister says he is ready for snap elections to resolve the political crisis.

Until then, he says, the peace process with the Tigers is on hold.

President Kumaratunga invites the prime minister and leading members of his party to discuss her proposal for a new cabinet.

Tuesday, 11 November

Prime Minister Wickramasinghe says he will meet the president to discuss ways of rescuing the peace process.

Norwegian peace envoys arrive in Colombo and hold discussions with Mr Wickramasinghe.

Wednesday, 12 November

President Kumaratunga and Mr Wickramasinghe hold talks in Colombo.

No breakthrough is made to ease their power struggle, or restart peace talks with the Tigers - but the two leaders do agree to meet again next week.

Later in the day, the Norwegian envoys also have talks with the president.

Thursday, 13 November

Norwegian envoys meet rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran at a secret location.

Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister Vidar Helgesen tells journalists after his meeting that the Tigers felt they needed some clarity about who was in charge of the peace process.

The rebels seek a guarantee from the Norwegians that the Sri Lankan Government would continue with its commitment to the ceasefire agreement.

Friday, 14 November

Norwegian mediators say Sri Lanka's peace process is on hold until the country's political crisis is resolved.

They say the ceasefire agreement is being respected.

President Chandrika Kumaratunga says that she wants peace talks to continue.

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