Tamil Tigers Timeline: 26 years of terror


*1983: An ambush by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the north kills 13 soldiers, triggering anti-Tamil riots in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo. Hundreds are killed and thousands flee.



*1987: Government creates new councils for Tamil areas in north and east, and signs agreement with Indian Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi for India to send peace-keeping troops to enforce a truce. The Tigers refuse to disarm and three years of fighting ensues. More than 1,200 Indian soldiers killed in clashes with LTTE.



*1990: India withdraws from Sri Lanka. The LTTE gains control of the northern city of Jaffna, expelling Muslims.



*1991: Gandhi is assassinated by a suspected LTTE suicide bomber after his efforts to bring about peace in Sri Lanka prove unpopular.



*1993: The Sri Lankan President, Ranasinghe Premadasa, is killed in Colombo by a suicide bomber.



*1995: The government agrees to a truce with rebels, but the conflict flares again after LTTE sinks a naval craft. The government regains control of Jaffna, but war continues across the north and east of the country for the next six years. LTTE targets Sri Lanka's holiest Buddhist site and in a suicide attack on the country's international airport destroys half the Sri Lankan Airlines' fleet. A bomb attack wounds President Kumaratunga.



*2002: Norwegian mediation leads to a landmark ceasefire and the decommissioning of weapons begins. The road linking the Jaffna peninsula with the rest of Sri Lanka is opened for the first time in 12 years. The government lifts a ban on Tamil Tigers, who drop their demand for a separate state.



*2004-05: Tamil Tiger commander Colonel Karuna Amman breaks away from LTTE, taking 6,000 fighters with him. State of emergency declared after a suspected Tiger assassin kills the Sri Lankan foreign minister. The anti-Tiger hardliner, Mahinda Rajapaksa, wins the presidency.



*2006: Fighting flares up and fresh talks in Geneva fail. But the following year, government forces capture LTTE strongholds.



*2008: In early January, the government pulls out of the 2002 ceasefire agreement and launches a massive offensive.



*January 2009: Troops capture Kilinochchi – the northern town held by Tamil Tigers for 10 years and used as their administrative headquarters. President Rajapaksa calls it an unparalleled victory and urges rebels to surrender.



*February 2009: The government rejects international calls for a temporary ceasefire as concerns are raised over the humanitarian situation of civilians trapped in the war zone.



*March 2009: The former rebel leader Amman is sworn in as a government minister, whilst another senior Tamil Tiger figure, Thamilenthi, is reported to have been killed. The UN meanwhile accuses both sides in the conflict of having carried out war crimes.

*April 2009: The government gives rebels 24 hours to surrender after rejecting calls for a truce. Tens of thousands of civilians leave the battle zone.



*M ay 2009: President Rajapaksa says the war is nearing an end as government takes control of the entire coastline. The military claims that more than 50,000 civilians have reached safety in the past four days.

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
scotland decidesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmSo what makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes the hobby look 'dysfunctional', they say
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

English Teacher, full time supply role, Isle of Sheppey

Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: The Job: Our client school is lo...

ICT Teacher, full time supply role, Isle of Sheppey

Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: The Job: Our client school is lo...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Maths Teacher

£90 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Science Teacher (mater...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week