Sri Lanka's peace initiative was flawed from the start and the island now faces an immediate prospect of more violence, the International Crisis Group (ICG) warns.
The conflict resolution, experts note however in a new study received here on Thursday, that neither government forces nor the Tamil rebels appear able to defeat the other.
"The renewal of conflict under the administration of President Mahinda Rajapaksa makes any political settlement more difficult," the Brussels-based group says, adding: "There is little evidence that either side can win militarily."
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) may have been weakened by an internal split and foreign pressure on their fundraising, but they remain a formidable force, ICG says.
The rebels were able to "mount terrorist attacks throughout the island and confront government troops in conventional battles," it says.
"Until attitudes change on both sides, the immediate prospect is for worsening violence."
The report comes after Tiger supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran on Monday announced that he was resuming a campaign for independence in the island's north and east and declared a Norwegian-arranged ceasefire "defunct."
The Crisis Group says a demand for a separate state called Eelam was unacceptable to the majority Sinhalese community and to the major regional power, India.
The report notes that the international community has a key role in restraining both sides and pushing for serious discussion.