Foreign Intervention in South Asia: A Case Study from Sri Lanka

January 14, 2016 - 3:30 pm

Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor (West Tower)
Washington, DC
Foreign Intervention in South Asia: A Case Study from Sri Lanka​

A conversation with:
Mark Salter
Author of “To End a Civil War”
Richard L. Armitage
Armitage International, L.C.
Erik Solheim
Çhief Negotiator of the Sri Lankan Peace Process
Introduced and Moderated by:
Bharath Gopalaswamy
Director, South Asia Center
Atlantic Council
Please join the Atlantic Council for a conversation with a panel of experts to discuss Norway’s experience mediating conflict in Sri Lanka, and explore the role foreign actors play in South Asia more broadly.

Across South Asia, external actors have often intervened to mediate conflict and build stability. Despite best efforts and often better resources, international involvement in South Asian conflicts has often faltered from lack of local support or consensus coupled with concerns over sovereignty. This was the case in Sri Lanka, where a five-year long Norwegian-led mediation process between the Tamil Tigers and Sri Lankan government unraveled, in part, due to a failure in securing bipartisan political support. The South Asia Center will convene a panel of experts to discuss Norway’s experience mediating conflict in Sri Lanka, and explore the role foreign actors play in South Asia more broadly.


On Twitter? Follow @ACSouthAsia and use #ACSriLanka.

Atlantic Council
1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor (West Tower Elevator) 
Washington, DC 

This event is open to press and on the record. 

VISITING THE COUNCIL: Metro and parking info 


Mark Salter is a writer, researcher, and consultant. While Salter is a teacher and BBC journalist by training, over the last twenty-five years, he has worked in a wide range of professional settings including international nongovernmental organizations, research institutes, and intergovernmental organizations. Salter’s work focuses on issues of democracy, conflict, reconciliation, and diversity management. For ten years he served as a senior staff member of International IDEA, an IGO supporting democratic consolidation around the world. He was centrally involved in policy and advocacy initiatives with a wide range of organizations including the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Inter-Parliamentary Union.  Salter recently authored To End a Civil War, a book that tells the story of Norway’s mediation effort in Sri Lanka during the country’s decades’ long civil war. 
Richard L. Armitage is the President of Armitage International, L.C. and a former US Deputy Secretary of State (2001­–05). Prior to returning to government service in 2001, Armitage was President of Armitage Associates, L.C. from 1993 until 2001. From 1989-93, Armitage served in various high level diplomatic positions, including as a Special Emissary to Jordan’s King Hussein during the 1991 Gulf War and as Director of US Assistance to the new independent states of the former Soviet Union. Prior to this, Armitage served in the Pentagon as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (1983-89) and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asia and Pacific Affairs (1981-83). Armitage first visited Sri Lanka in 1981 and continues to maintain his long-standing relationship with the people and country of Sri Lanka. Armitage graduated in 1967 from the US Naval Academy and served three combat tours in Vietnam. He is the recipient of numerous US and foreign military decorations, as well as awards for distinguished public service.
Erik Solheim took the lead of the main body of world donors, the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC), in January 2013. Since becoming Chair, he has emphasized reform of the Official Development Assistance, focusing more assistance to the least developed countries. Solheim also serves as the United Nations Environment Programme’s Special Envoy for Environment, Conflict, and Disaster. Prior to his current post, Solheim served as Norway’s Minister of the Environment of International Development and as Minister of International Development. He has played a pivotal role for climate and the environment. Solheim established the UN REDD, a global coalition to conserve the world’s rain forests. As such, he is the recipient of many awards, including the UNEP’s “Champion of Earth” Award.