Return to homeTravelDocs: http://www.traveldocs.com/lk/index.htm
USLC: http://www.loc.gov/collections/country-studies/?q=sri+lanka Known in the ancient world as Taprobane
(Tambapanni) and later called Serendip and Ceylon. A Hindu Tamil
minority (18%) and Buddhist Sinhalese majority (75%) comprise the
population. Muslims comprised about 7%.
(SFC, 6/20/96, p.A8)(SFE, 9/16/96, p.A9)(SFC,
Sri Lanka is about the size of West Virginia.
(WSJ, 7/13/99, p.B1)(SSFC,
11/9/03, p.A12) c900BC Anuradhapura (Sri Lanka)
was founded about this time. It served as the capital from the 3rd
century BC to the 11th century AD.
(AM, Mar/Apr 97 p.D)(Arch, 7/02, p.32)
543 BC Colonists from northern India subdued the
indigenous Vaddahs (Veddah) of Sri Lanka, known in the ancient world
as Taprobane and later called Serendip. Descendants of those
colonists, the Buddhist Sinhalese, form most of the population.
(SFC, 6/20/96, p.A8)(SFC, 9/22/97, p.A10)
543BCE-1815CE The Mahavamsa (600BCE-400CE), Great
Chronicle, describes the history of the Sinhalese people (Sri Lanka)
over this period. The 1st part, from King Mahasena, which dates back
to the legendary 5th century BC King Vijaya, was written by King
Dhatusena's brother, the venerable thera Mahanama in the 6th century
c400BC-1100AD Anuradhapura served as the capital
during this period.
(SFE, 9/16/96, p.A9)
260BCE Ashoka, the 3rd ruler of the Mauryan Empire
(India), converted to Buddhism after defeating the Kalinga region.
He began promoting Buddhist teaching throughout the subcontinent and
beyond to Sri Lanka and even Greece.
251BC Aryan Hindus occupied Ceylon. [See Sri
161BC Elara (b.235BC), Tamil king (205BC-161BC),
died. He ruled Sri Lanka from the ancient capital of Anuradhapura.
161BC-137BC The legendary King Duthagamani ruled
Sri Lanka. He began construction of the Ruvanvali stupa. His brother
Saddhatissa completed the project.
(Arch, 7/02, p.34)
137BC Dutugemunu (Dutthagamani), Sinhalese king of
Sri Lanka (161BC to 137 BC), died. He gained rule after defeating
Elara, a Tamil usurper from India. He is said to have slain the
invader while riding his elephant Kandula.
277-304 King Mahasen ruled Sri Lanka. He built 16
large reservoirs, including the massive Minneriya tank, and two
irrigation canals that have continued to be part of the irrigation
system in the north-central region. After his demise, people started
venerating him as "God of Minneriya."
c300-400 Temple of the Tooth in Kandy reportedly
held a tooth of the Buddha brought from India in the 4th century.
(SFC, 1/26/98, p.A9)
477 The usurper King Kasyapa I
founded Sigiriya and built his castle atop a 550-foot outcrop. He
had murdered his father Dhatusena.
(AM, Mar/Apr 97 p.D)(Arch, 7/02, p.32)
495 Moggallana, half brother of
Kasyapa, returned from exile to claim the throne. Kasyapa committed
suicide after his elephant bolted on a battlefield facing
(Arch, 7/02, p.32)
993 The south Indian Cola
Empire captured Anuradhapura (Sri Lanka).
(Arch, 7/02, p.34)
1017 The south Indian Cola
Empire transferred the capital of Sri Lanka to Polonnaruva which
then served as the capital of Sri Lanka until 1300. It was a
fortified citadel surrounded by Hindu and Buddhist religious
(AM, Mar/Apr 97 p.D)(Arch, 7/02, p.34)
1518 Portugal and the Kingdom
of Kotte, Ceylon, signed a peace treaty.
1651 Giuseppe Vaz was born in
Goa, India. He chose to work in Sri Lanka amid persecution of
Catholics by Dutch colonial rulers, who were Calvinists. He was
later credited with having revived the Catholic faith in the
country. Pope Francis planned to canonize Rev. Giuseppe Vaz during
his January, 2015, visit to Sri Lanka.
1732 Jun 3, Pieter Vuyst, Dutch
gov-gen. of Ceylon, was executed.
1736 Mar 23, Iman Willem Falck,
Dutch Governor of Ceylon (1765-83), was born.
1796 The British seized the
island under the name of Ceylon.
(SFC, 6/20/96, p.A8)
1800-1900 Tamil people of southern India were
taken by the British to Ceylon to clear the jungles and work
(SFC, 11/3/99, p.C6)
1815 The Culavamsa (Small
Chronicle) of Sri Lanka, a continuation of the Mahavamsa, ends with
events in this year.
(Arch, 7/02, p.32)
1815 The British took over
Ceylon (Sri Lanka).
(Arch, 7/02, p.34)
1837 The Mahavamsa ("Great
Chronicle"), a historical poem written in the Pali language of the
kings of Sri Lanka, was published by George Turnour, an historian
and officer of the Ceylon Civil Service. It covers the period from
the coming of King Vijaya of Kalinga (ancient Orissa) in 543 BCE to
the reign of King Mahasena (334–361).
1860 A British seaman proposed
digging a deeper, 19-mile shipping canal in the shallow Palk strait
between India and Sri Lanka. In 2004 India planned to go ahead with
(Econ, 11/6/04, p.44)
1904-1911 Leonard Sidney Woolf (1880-1969) served
in the Ceylon Civil Service. He later authored “The Village in the
Jungle,” a novel based on his time in Sri Lanka. In 2006 Victoria
Glendinning authored “Leonard Woolf: A Life.”
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonard_Woolf)(Econ, 9/16/06, p.93)
1937 Ceylon (Sri Lanka) banned
the capture of wild elephants. At the turn of the century some 10-15
thousand elephants roamed wild in Sri Lanka. By 2006 only some 3,000
(SFC, 5/19/06, p.A2)
1948 Feb 4, Colonial rule ended
and the island nation of Ceylon -- now Sri Lanka -- became an
independent dominion within the British Commonwealth.
(SFE, 9/16/96, p.A9)(SFC, 6/20/96, p.A8)(AP,
1951 Sep 8, Sri Lanka’s finance
minister Junius Jayewardene (1906-1996) made an impassioned plea on
behalf of Japan at the Peace Treaty signing in San Francisco. He
declined compensation from Japan, which had carried out several
aerial bombing raids in Colombo and the eastern port city of
1954 Nov 26, Velupillai
Prabhakaran (d.2009), founder of the Tamil New Tigers (TNT later
renamed to LTTE), was born in Velvettithurai Sri Lanka.
1956 Sinhalese, which few
Tamils spoke, was made the sole official language of Sri Lanka.
(SFC, 6/1/00, p.C2)(Econ, 1/30/10, p.28)
1958 In Sri Lanka P.P. James
(34) was falsely jailed for the murder of his father, who remained
alive after being knifed by an assailant. James spent the next 50
years in jail, a victim of the country’s bureaucracy.
1959 Wijayananda Dahanayake
(d.1997 at 94) became the Prime Minister after the assassination of
Solomon Bandaranaike. He handed power over to the widow of
Bandaranaike’s after 6 months.
(SFC, 5/5/97, p.A20)
1960 Jul 21, Sirimavo
Bandaranaike, leader of the Freedom Party, became the first woman
prime minister of Ceylon. In Sri Lanka, an island country in the
Indian Ocean formerly known as Ceylon she served as prime minister
twice, 1960-65 and 1970-77. Under her leadership a republican
constitution was adopted in 1972 and the name of Ceylon changed to
(HNQ, 5/23/98)(HN, 7/21/98)
1964 Dec 23, India and Ceylon
were hit by a cyclone and 4,850 were killed.
1964 In Sri Lanka Dr. Hudson
Silva and his wife Irangani de Silva, founders of the Eye Donation
Society, sent their first cornea abroad, hand-carried in an
ice-packed tea thermos aboard a flight to Singapore. By 2012 60,000
corneas have been donated.
1970 Michael Ondaatje, Sri
Lanka-born writer, authored his novel "The Collected Works of Billy
(SSFC, 9/9/01, DB p.70)
1970-1977 Sirimavo Bandaranaike served as prime
minister for a 2nd term.
1971 Apr 5-1971 Apr 23, In
Ceylon (later Sri Lanka) the People’s Liberation Front attempted a
nationwide coup, but the army and Mr. Bandaranaike’s government
(WUD, 1994, p. 1688)
mid 70s Policies to slash the number of Tamils in
universities and protect Buddhism and the Sinhalese language were
enacted and triggered violence and the call for and independent
Tamil state of Eelam.
(SFE, 9/16/96, p.A9)
1972 May 22, The island nation
of Ceylon became the republic of Sri Lanka, which is Sinhala for
resplendent land, with the adoption of a new constitution under PM
Sirimavo Bandaranaike. Sinhala was made the official language and
Buddhism the state religion.
(SFC, 6/20/96, p.A8)(AP, 5/22/97)(HNQ,
5/23/98)(SFC, 5/30/00, p.A25)
1972 In Sri Lanka the Tamil New
Tigers (TNT) was founded by Velupillai Prabhakaran, an
eighteen-year-old school dropout, who was the son of a minor
government official. TNT abandoned the political process altogether
and geared itself for violence. The Tamil rebellion began and
thousands were killed in the ultra-leftist campaign. Suicide bombers
of the Tamil Tigers later killed Pres. Ranasinghe Premadasa and
former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
1975 In Sri Lanka Velupillai
Prabhakaran, after being part and parcel of the Tamil movement,
carried out his first political murder. He assassinated Jaffna Mayor
Alfred Duraiappah at point blank range while the Mayor was about to
enter the Hindu temple at Ponnaalai.
1976 May 5, In Sri Lanka the
TNT was renamed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE),
commonly known as Tigers.
1976 May 14, In Sri Lanka the
Tamil United Liberation Front adopted the Vaddukkoaddai Resolution
declaring the Tamils’ right to statehood.
1977 Junius Richard Jayewardene
[Jayawardene] was elected prime minister. He left a will saying that
his eye corneas should be used in Sri Lanka and Japan. In 1999 an
89-year-old Japanese woman received one cornea.
(SFC, 11/2/96, p.A21)(USAT, 8/27/99, p.14A)
1977 Sri Lanka suspended the
(Economist, 10/6/12, p.48)
1978 Jan 2, In Sri Lanka Junius
Richard Jayewardene (1906-1996) became the first president with true
executive powers. He served as president until 1989.
1978 Sep 7, Sri Lanka’s new
constitution went into effect. The new Constitution provided for a
unicameral Parliament with legislative power and an Executive
1978 Nov 23, In Sri Lanka a
cyclone killed 1,500 people.
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)
1978 Nov 25, An Icelandic DC-8
jet crashed and killed 183 Muslim pilgrims in Sri Lanka.
(WUD, 1994, p.1691)
1978 Sri Lanka adopted a system
of proportional representation. Most seats in Parliament were for
elected MPs, but about 13% were shared on the basis of the number of
votes polled by political parties.
(Econ, 4/17/10, p.47)
1979 The Sri Lanka government
gave architect Geoffrey Bawa (1919-2003) the assignment to design a
new Parliament building.
(SSFC, 6/1/03, p.A31)
1980 Architect Geoffrey Bawa
(1919-2003) was commissioned to create the new Ruhuhu Univ. near
(SSFC, 6/1/03, p.A31)
1981 Oct, In Sri Lanka the
Tamil Tiger insurgency began in earnest as Velupillai Prabhakaran
(1954-2009) shot 2 soldiers running errands in Jaffna.
(AP, 5/18/09)(Econ, 5/30/09, p.44)(Econ, 6/6/09,
1982 Oct, In Sri Lanka Junius
Richard Jayewardene (1906-1996) was re-elected for a 6-year term as
premier and president.
1982 Nov 21, In Sri Lanka the
first Tiger activist to be killed by security forces was shot and
wounded and died a few days later on November 27.
1983 Jul 23, A regional
struggle for independence by Tamil Tigers in the north escalated
into a civil war when they killed 13 Sri Lankan Sinhalese soldiers.
The nation's Sinhalese majority responded by killing thousands of
Tamil civilians in the south. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
were formed and led by Vellupillai Prabhakaran. They were initially
a group of 26 fighters.
(SFC, 7/24/96, p.A9)(SFE, 9/16/96, p.A9)(AP
internet 7/23/97)(SFC, 8/8/98, p.B1)
1983 Jul 24, Island-wide
anti-Tamil riots broke out in retaliation for the deaths of soldiers
the day before and some 400 people died. This marked the beginning
of the civil war.
(SFC, 7/24/96, p.A9)(WSJ, 6/29/95, p.A-1)
1985 The South Asian
Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was founded in Dhaka,
Bangladesh, with the aim of promoting economic cooperation and
alleviating poverty in South Asia. Members included Bangladesh,
Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
1986 May 3, Tamil Tigers bombed
an Airlanka plane at Colombo airport and killed 16 people.
(SFC, 7/24/96, p.A9)
1986 Bawa Muhaiyadeen, Sufi
member of the Quadiriyya order, died. His work included the book:
“Islam and World Peace: Explanations of a Sufi.”
(SSFC, 10/28/01, p.B7)
1987 Apr 17, In Sri Lanka
Tamil extremists shot dead 127, mainly Sinhalese, in Trincomalee.
1987 Apr 21, In Sri Lanka Tamil
Tigers exploded a car bomb at the Colombo central bus stand and 113
people were killed.
(SFC, 7/24/96, p.A9)(http://tinyurl.com/mvxnv)
1987 May 26, Sri Lanka launched
Operation Liberation, an offensive against the Tamil rebellion in
Jaffra. It ended May 31 with over 1,000 deaths and 2,000 arrests in
1987 Jul 24, Tiger leader
Velupillai Prabhakaran arrived in India to sign a peace agreement
with the Sri Lankan government. Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi
brokered the agreement with Sri Lanka delivering autonomy to Tamil
areas in exchange for an end to the war. The peace agreement was
signed by Junius Richard Jayewardene, president of Sri Lanka.
(SFC, 7/24/96, p.A9)(SFE, 9/16/96, p.A9)(SFC,
1987 Jul 30, Some 50,000 Indian
troops arrived in Jaffna, Sri Lanka, to disarm the Tamil Tigers and
enforce a peace pact. After a time they began fighting the Tigers
and in 1990 the government asked them to leave.
(SFC, 7/24/96, p.A9)(SFC, 11/2/96, p.A21)(Econ,
1987 Aug 5, Tamil Tigers began
to surrender their weapons to the Indian army, but later changed
course and began to fight the Indians. Official Indian government
aid to the rebels was cutoff but the southern Tamil Nadu state and
rightist Hindu factions of the Indian army continued helping the
(SFC, 7/24/96, p.A9)
1987-1989 In Sri Lanka thousands of leftists were killed in attempts
to topple the government. In 2000 a retired general and 2 aides went
on trial for the deaths and disappearances.
(WSJ, 7/19/00, p.A1)
1988 Chandrika Kumaratunga (42)
watched her husband, a film star and rising politician in Sri Lanka,
get killed by a political rival. Her mother and father had both
served as prime ministers.
(SSFC, 11/9/03, p.A12)
1989-1990 In Sri Lanka the government staged an
offensive against the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP, People’s
Liberation Front), a Marxist rebel group. In 1997 the government
admitted that nearly 17,000 people died or vanished during the
offensive. Human rights groups estimated that some 60,000 people
were killed or disappeared.
(WSJ, 9/4/97, p.A1)(SFC, 9/4/97, p.A3)
1989-1990 A group of 25 high school students
disappeared. It was later learned that school principle Dayananda
Lokugalappathi had convinced the military that the students were
linked to the JVP. In 1999 a court sentenced 6 soldiers and the
principle to 10 years in prison.
(SFC, 2/11/99, p.C3)
1990 Mar 20, The last Indian
peacekeepers left Sri Lanka.
1990 The Liberation Tigers of
Tamil Eelam evicted some 75,000 Muslims from northern Sri Lanka and
most fled to Puttalam. Muslims comprised some 8% of Sri Lanka’s 20
million people. In the east the rebels slaughtered up to 1,000
(Econ, 10/13/07, p.45)
1991 Mar 2, A Tiger car bomb in
Colombo killed deputy defense minister Ranjan Wijeratne.
(SFC, 7/24/96, p.A9)
1991 May 21, A Tamil suicide
bomber assassinated Rajiv Gandhi at a campaign rally near Madras.
Tamil leader Velupillai Prabhakaran ordered the assassination.
Gandhi and 16 others were killed when the female Tamil bomber,
Dhanu, presented him flowers hiding explosives packed with 10,000
metal pellets. 41 Indian and Sri Lankan suspects were charged with
murder and conspiracy. 12 suspects later committed suicide when they
were trapped by police. In 1999 4 of the 25 convicted had their
death sentences confirmed. 3 death sentences were commuted to life
in prison and 19 sentences were set aside. In 1999 3 Tamil men and a
woman, convicted in 1991, were scheduled for execution.
(HFA, '96, p.30)(SFE, 9/16/96, p.A9)(SFC, 1/9/96,
p.A10)(SFEC, 8/3/97, p.A15)(SFC, 1/29/98, p.A10)(WSJ, 5/12/99,
p.A1)(SFC, 10/16/99, p.A16)(SFC, 5/30/00, p.A25)
1993 May 1, Pres. Ranasinghe
Premadasa (b.1924), the 3rd president of Sri Lanka, was killed by a
Tiger suicide bomber in Colombo.
(SFC, 7/24/96, p.A9)(AP, 5/1/98)(SFC, 6/8/00,
1993 Nov 11, Tamil Tiger forces
overran Pooneryn army camp. Some 600 servicemen were killed or
captured. The army put the rebel death toll at 500.
(SFC, 7/24/96, p.A9)
1994 Aug 16, The People’s
Alliance government came to power and promised to end the civil war.
(SFC, 7/24/96, p.A9)
1994 Oct 13, Peace talks began
(SFC, 7/24/96, p.A9)
1994 Oct 23, A suicide bomber
in Colombo, Sri Lanka, killed 50 people including Gamini Disanayake,
the opposition presidential candidate.
1994 Oct, Lionair, co-founded
by Chandran Rutnam and a partner from Texas, began serving
government controlled cities. In 1995 it accepted a government
contract to fly supplies to the Jaffna region.
(WSJ, 1/28/00, p.A6)
1994 Nov 24, A Tiger suicide
bomber killed opposition pres. candidate Gamini Disanayake and 51
(SFC, 7/24/96, p.A9)
1994 Dec, Chandrika
Bandaranaike Kumaratunga was elected president of Sri Lanka on a
platform of peace and reconciliation.
(SSFC, 11/9/03, p.A12)
1995 Jan 8, The Tigers and
government agreed to a truce.
(SFC, 7/24/96, p.A9)
1995 Apr 19, The Tigers broke
the truce and blew up 2 navy boats and killed 12 sailors in the port
(SFC, 7/24/96, p.A9)
1995 Apr 28-29, Tigers used
anti-aircraft missiles for the first time and downed 2 air force
transport planes that killed 90 people.
(SFC, 7/24/96, p.A9)
1995 Jun 4, The Tigers blew up
a ship chartered by the Int’l. Committee of the Red Cross.
(SFC, 7/24/96, p.A9)
1995 Jun 30, A 12-year old
civil war continued. Nearly 150 people were killed in the bloodiest
day of the war when insurgents stormed Mandaitivu Island, not far
from the rebel held Jaffna Peninsula.
(WSJ, 6/29/95, p.A-1)
1995 Jul 28, The Tigers lost
some 400 guerrillas in a raid on Weli Oya army camp where only 2
(SFC, 7/24/96, p.A9)
1995 Oct 3, The Sri Lankan army
claims to have killed 200 Tamil Tiger rebels on the northern Jaffa
(WSJ, 10/4/95, p.A-1)
1995 Oct 17, The army started
the 1st phase of an effort to take full control of the Jaffna
peninsula. Shelling and bombing against civilians often occurred.
(SFC, 7/24/96, p.A9)
1995 Oct 20, Tiger guerrillas
blew up two oil depots in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
(SFC, 7/24/96, p.A9)
1995 Oct 25, Tamil Tiger rebels
struggled to halt an army offensive in their Jaffna stronghold.
(WSJ, 10/26/95, p.A-1)
1995 Nov 2, The government
believed that the Liberation Tigers of the Tamil Eelam (LTTE) might
deploy suicide troops and poison gas in the heavily mined city of
(V. Sun, 11/3/95, p.A-1)
1995 Nov 11, Two rebel suicide
bombers killed 15 people in Colombo in an unsuccessful attack on
(SFC, 7/24/96, p.A9)
1995 Dec., The army captured
more than half of the northern rebel stronghold of Jaffna. Complete
control was expected in days.
(WSJ, 12/1/95, p.A-1)
1995 Dec. 6, The flag of Sri
Lanka was raised over the Tamil stronghold of Jaffna. This marked
the biggest victory in the 12 year war in which 39,000 people have
(WSJ, 12/6/95, p.A-1)
1995 5,000 people were killed
this year in fighting with the Tamil Tigers.
(WSJ, 7/11/96, p.A10)
1996 Jan. 31, An
explosive-packed truck crashed into the Central Bank in Colombo and
killed at least 55 and injured at least 1400 people. The Tamil
Tigers rebel group were blamed. They had been fighting for
independence for 12 years. A Tiger suicide bomber blew up the
Central Bank and killed almost 100 people. The bombing killed 88 and
injured 1,400. After 73 people were killed in the Central Bank
bombing the US declared the Tamil Tigers a terrorist organization.
(WSJ, 2/1/96, p.A-1)(SFC, 7/24/96,
p.A9)(SFC,10/15/97, p.C4)(SFC, 3/11/00, p.A10)
1996 Feb 7, Tamil rebels
attacked Sri Lankan troops in the eastern part of the island nation.
They killed 11 and lost 15 of their own fighters. The Colombo
suicide bombing of last week killed 83.
(WSJ, 2/8/96, p.A-1)
1996 Feb 11, Tamil politicians
in Sri Lanka charged that government troops killed 24  civilians
in the eastern district of Trincomalee. Villagers in 1997 gave
evidence against 8 soldiers charged in the killings.
(WSJ, 2/12/96, p.A-13)(SFC, 6/6/97, p.E3)
1996 Feb 14, A Tiger arms ship
was sunk of the northeastern coast.
(SFC, 7/24/96, p.A9)
1996 Mar 5, The Sri Lankan army
raised flags over Jaffna town marking the end of a 7 week campaign
to capture the Tamil rebel stronghold.
(SFC, 7/24/96, p.A9)
1996 Mar 30, Tamil rebels
mounted suicide attacks on a naval convoy and killed a crew of ten.
35 rebels were killed and six of their vessels were sunk off the
island nation’s northeast coast.
(WSJ, 4/1/96, p.A-1)
1996 May 29, The army chief
offered a general amnesty to more than 20,000 deserters and
announced plans to recruit another 10,000 soldiers. He wants to
bolster the army of 100,000 to finish the 12-year war with Tamil
(WSJ, 5/30/96, p.A1)
1996 Jun 17, Sri Lankan troops
killed 15 Tamil Tiger rebels in the northern Jaffna peninsula.
(SFC, 6/18/96, p.A10)
1996 Jul 1, Tamil Tiger
separatists ambushed an army patrol and killed 29 soldiers while
losing at least 35 of their own.
(SFC, 7/2/96, p.A10)
1996 Jul 4, A suicide bomber
killed an army commander and 20 others when she leaped in front of a
motorcade in Jaffna.
(WSJ, 7/5/96, p.A1)
1996 Jul 18, Some 4,000 Tamil
rebels overran Mullaitivu military base 175 miles NE of Colombo and
overcame 1,200 defenders.
(WSJ, 7/19/96, p.A1)(SFC, 7/24/96, p.A9)
1996 Jul 19, In Sri Lanka Tamil
rebels sank a navy gunboat with 40 members. The Tigers claim to have
killed 500 government soldiers at the Mullaitivu camp.
(SFC, 7/20/96, p.A8)
1996 Jul 24, Two bombs blamed
on Tamil separatists ripped through a commuter train near Colombo,
Sri Lanka, killing 64 civilians and wounding more than 400.
(WSJ, 7/25/96, p.A1)(AP, 7/24/97)
1996 Aug 3-1996 Aug 4, Sri
Lanka’s military said it killed some 200 Tamil separatist rebels in
a weekend battle. Rebels said 100 government soldiers were killed.
Both sides denied the others claims.
(WSJ, 8/6/96, p.A1)
1996 Aug 8, Tamil Tigers
defended their northern stronghold in Kilinochchi against thousands
(SFC, 8/8/96, p.C1)
1996 Aug 30, In Sri Lanka
rebels ambushed a police patrol 115 miles east of Colombo.
(WSJ, 8/30/96, p.A1)
1996 Sep 22, Sri Lanka’s
military said it killed or wounded 200 Tamil rebels with a loss of
30 government troops.
(WSJ, 9/24/96, p.A1)
1996 Sep 25, Sri Lanka’s
military said it killed or wounded 500 Tamil rebels with a loss of
58 government troops and 115 wounded since Sunday when their
offensive began near Kilinochchi.
(SFC, 9/26/96, p.A11)
1996 Sep 30, Sri Lanka
government troops seized a guerrilla stronghold and climaxed an
8-day battle that left 900 dead.
(WSJ, 9/30/96, p.A1)
1996 Sep, Sri Lanka soldiers
and police raped and strangled an 18-year-old student and murdered 3
others near Chemmanihi. In 1998 4 soldiers were convicted and
sentenced to death for the killings.
(SFC, 7/4/98, p.A11)
1996 Dec 25, Some 280 migrants
from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka were suspected of having drowned
in the Mediterranean while being transshipped in the Malta-Sicily
channel. At least 283 people died while on the illegal voyage from
Alexandria to Italy.
(SFEC, 1/5/97, p.A13)(Econ., 4/25/15, p.21)
1997 Jan 9, Tamil rebels
attacked 2 northern military bases and killed at least 60 soldiers
with 232 wounded. A later count had 223 soldiers and 350 guerrillas
(WSJ, 1/10/97, p.A1)(SFC,3/7/97 , p.A17)
1997 Mar 6, Tamil Tiger rebels
overran the army base at Vavunativu and left more than 200 dead.
(SFC, 3/7/97, p.A24)
1997 May 18, Security forces
claimed to have killed some 250 separatist Tamil Tigers and to have
captured the northern town of Nedunkeni.
(SFC, 5/19/97, p.A14)
1997 May, The government army
began its “Sure of Victory” campaign and moved to open the
(SFC, 8/8/98, p.B1)
1997 Jun 5, The film “Dark
Night of the Soul” by Prasanna Vithanage was an Int’l. film festival
award winner and premiered in the Bay Area.
(SFC, 6/5/97, p.E3)
1997 Jun 11, A Tamil Tiger
rebel raid claimed 300 soldiers dead vs. 50 guerrillas. The
government said 97 soldiers were killed at Thandikulam and
(SFC, 6/12/97, p.A14)
1997 Aug 4, Weekend fighting
reportedly left 200 Tamil Tigers and 67 government troops dead. The
rebel bodies were severely disfigured.
(SFC, 8/5/97, p.A9)
1997 Aug 11, It was reported
that Sri Lanka was getting desperate for recruits and that more than
12,000 soldiers had deserted the army in recent months. Women were
being recruited and it was noted that half of the Tamil rebel attack
forces were composed of women. The government military service was
comprised of some 114,000 vs. about 5,000 Tamil fighters.
(SFC, 8/11/97, p.A7)
1997 Aug 19, Government jets
hit rebel positions and some 20,000 government troops met guerrillas
en route to Puliyankulam where 7 soldiers and more than 50 rebels
were reported killed.
(SFC, 8/20/97, p.A9)
1997 Aug 28, Pres. Kumaratunga
pushed parliament to enact constitutional changes to address Tamil
(SFC, 8/29/97, p.A16)
1997 Sep, Tamil guerrillas sank
a ship in the Trincomalee area. By 1999 leakage of the 700 tons of
oil in the ship was threatening the coastline.
(SFC, 2/19/99, p.A6)
1997 Oct 1, A government clash
with Tamil Tigers left at least 70 combatants dead in Puliyankulam.
(SFC, 10/2/97, p.A3)
1997 Oct 15, 18 people were
killed in a series of bomb blasts in downtown Colombo and some 110
were injured. The blasts occurred at the 39-story World Trade
Center. 15-20 youths were said to have taken part in the attack. The
Liberation Tigers were reported to be led by Velupillai Prabhakaran,
the son of a fisherman.
(SFC,10/15/97, p.C4)(SFC,10/17/97, p.A12)(SFC,
1997 Oct 18, It was reported
that the civil war had caused the loss of some 2.5 million palmyrah
trees, a hardwood that helps prevent soil erosion during the
monsoons. The trees were being used for bunkers and checkpoints by
the army and the Liberation Tigers.
1997 Oct 25, Government troops
seized 965 ethnic Tamils for questioning over an earlier truck
bombing. Rebels in the northeast attacked a military post that left
6 soldiers and three rebels dead.
1997 Nov 2, The military bombed
a ship unloading weapons for the Tamil Tigers and 60 people were
1997 Nov 26, Amnesty Int’l.
reported that the military killed 600 people arrested in the war
zone that were reported missing over the last 18 months.
1997 Dec 25, In Sri Lanka
fighting erupted in the north and at least 17 people were killed.
1997 Dec, In Sri Lanka Tamil
Tiger rebels detonated a truck bomb that was targeting the navy
commander at the Galle port area.
1998 Jan 15, A Jaffna library
of Tamil literature was reopened as a gesture conciliatory gesture
toward separatist rebels.
(WSJ, 1/16/98, p.A1)
1998 Jan 25, Suicide bombers
killed themselves and 8 others as their truck crashed through the
gates of the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy. The temple reportedly
held a tooth of the Buddha brought from India in the 4th century.
Enraged Sinhalese burned down a Hindu cultural center in Kandy in
(SFC, 1/26/98, p.A9)
1998 Feb 6, A suicide bomber
killed 10 people in Colombo and rebels pressed attacks on government
(WSJ, 2/9/98, p.A1)
1998 Feb 22, Rebel gunboats
attacked a 12-ship convoy carrying soldiers to northern Sri Lanka.
Up to 70 people were killed when 2 vessels were sunk. Rebel
casualties were estimated at 30. At least 6 of the 25 rebel boats
(SFC, 2/23/98, p.A12)
1998 Mar 5, In Colombo a bus
bomb with at least 2 shrapnel-laden bombs killed at least 32 people
and injured over 300.
(SFC, 3/6/98, p.A12)
1998 May, In Sri Lanka Sarojini
Yogeswaran, mayor of Jaffna, was shot and killed by suspected Tiger
rebels. He had just been elected in Jan.
(SFC, 8/8/98, p.B1)
1998 May, In Sri Lanka
Brigadier Larry Wijeratne was killed by a Tiger suicide bomber.
(SFC, 8/8/98, p.B1)
1998 cJun, A soldier made
allegations that government soldiers had buried at least 400 Tamils
in mass graves in Chenmanni near Jaffna city. The soldier was
convicted of raping and murdering a Tamil teenager. An excavation of
the site was scheduled for Jun, 1999.
(SFC, 4/2/99, p.D3)(SFC, 4/10/99, p.C14)
1998 Jun, Pres. Kumaratunga
ordered censorship on war reporting.
(SFC, 8/8/98, p.B1)
1998 Aug 4, Pres. Kumaratunga
ordered a month-long state of emergency and effectively postponed
provincial elections scheduled for August.
(SFC, 8/8/98, p.B1)
1998 Aug 8, It was reported
that recent fighting has left some 1,800 guerrillas and 1,600
government troops dead.
(SFC, 8/8/98, p.B1)
1998 Sep 11, Separatists bombed
City Hall in Jaffa and killed Mayor Ponnuthurai Sivapalan and at
least 11 others.
(SFC, 9/12/98, p.C2)
1998 Sep 27, Government troops
clashed with Tamil rebels and at least 49 people were killed.
(SFC, 9/28/98, p.A10)
1998 Sep 29, A Lionair
commercial plane, Flight 602, carrying 55 people disappeared off the
coast after leaving the Jaffna peninsula. The Ukrainian-built
Antonov-24 was bound for Colombo. The government said 700 soldiers
and rebels had died in a 3-day battle in the north. Later reports
put the death toll to 1300.
(SFC, 9/30/98, p.A11)(WSJ, 9/30/98, p.A1)(WSJ,
1998 Dec 23, At least 30
insurgents were killed in Oddusuddan in the heaviest fighting in
(USAT, 12/23/98, p.8A)
1999 Mar 16, A suicide bomber
killed 2 people in a Colombo assassination attempt.
(WSJ, 3/17/99, p.A1)
1999 Apr 3, 15 rebels were
killed at Janakapurna village and 4 soldiers were killed by a land
mine in Tanmakeny village. 5 other rebels were killed in the north.
(SFC, 4/5/99, p.A9)
1999 Apr 9, Investigators found
16 human skeletons buried in the Durayappa Stadium in Jaffna where
it was alleged that hundreds of ethnic Tamils were buried.
(SFC, 4/10/99, p.C14)
1999 Jun 27, An offensive
against Tamil rebels left 16 government soldiers and 41 guerrillas
(WSJ, 6/28/99, p.A1)
1999 Jul 29, A suicide bomber
killed Neelan Tiruchelvam, a leader of the Tamil minority, in
Colombo. Tiruchelvam had helped draft changes to the constitution
that would grant greater autonomy to Tamil dominated areas. The
bombing appeared to be the work of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil
(SFC, 7/30/99, p.D2)
1999 Aug 11, Suspected Tamil
rebels set off a mine under a bus carrying police officers and at
least 11 people were killed and 17 wounded.
(SFC, 8/12/99, p.D3)
1999 Sep 18, In Sri Lanka over
50 Sinhalese villagers were massacred by female-led Tamil rebels.
(SFC, 9/29/99, p.A10)(SFC, 3/11/00, p.A10)
1999 Oct 30, Savumiamoorthy
Thondaman, Tamil trade unionist and politician, died at age 86-87.
(SFC, 11/3/99, p.C6)
1999 Nov 7, The military
command was shuffled after Tamil Tigers overran 10 strategic camps
earlier in the week. Hundreds of soldiers were dead or missing.
(SFC, 11/8/99, p.C14)
1999 Nov 9, Pres. Chandrika
Kumaratunga said 4,000 people were driven from their homes by the
rebels and that the military had suffered 101 dead and 743 wounded.
(SFC, 11/10/99, p.A14)
1999 cNov 14, A bomb injured 34
people at an opposition rally for Ranil Wickremesinghe.
(WSJ, 11/15/99, p.A1)
1999 Nov 23, A Tamil offensive
brought Talladi into range for artillery pieces.
(WSJ, 11/24/99, p.A1)
1999 Nov 28, The rebels offered
talks to end the 16-year civil war as presidential elections
(WSJ, 11/29/99, p.A1)
1999 Dec 11, Rebels led by
Villupillai Prabhakaran pushed toward Jaffna with an attack at
Elephant Pass. The Defense Ministry claimed that 261 rebels were
killed as opposed to 12 soldiers and 4 civilians. Rebels put their
losses at 38.
(SFC, 12/15/99, p.A17)
1999 Dec 15, Brig. Sunil
Tennakoon said 480 rebels had been killed in the attack at Elephant
Pass, as opposed to 28 soldiers and that the mass assault was
blocked. Guerrillas said 38 fighters were killed as opposed to over
(SFC, 12/16/99, p.C2)
1999 Dec 18, In Colombo, Sri
Lanka, a suicide bomb attack wounded Pres. Chandrika Kumaratunga and
killed 26 people. Another bomb at a rally of the United National
Party killed at least 11 people and injured 40 others. Tamil rebels
were blamed. In 2010 Sakthivel Ilankesvaran, an ethnic Tamil man
employed as a driver, was sentenced to 30 years of hard labor.
(SFEC, 12/19/99, p.A21)(WSJ, 12/20/99, p.A1)(AP,
1999 Dec 21, In Sri Lanka
presidential elections were held. At least 7 people were killed in
poll violence. Pres. Chandrika Kumaratunga won 51% of the vote.
Ranil Wickremesinghe, the nearest rival, won 43%.
(WSJ, 11/24/99, p.A1)(WSJ, 12/22/99, p.A1)(SFC,
1999 Dec 23, Fighting broke out
at Lyakachchi and at least 101 guerrillas and soldiers were later
(SFC, 12/25/99, p.A14)
2000 Jan 3, Fighting was
reported at a key northern pass that had left 60 people dead on both
(WSJ, 1/3/00, p.A1)
2000 Jan 4, In Colombo, Sri
Lanka, a suicide bomber set off explosives strapped to her body and
killed herself and 19  others near the prime minister's office.
A Tamil politician was shot dead by motorcycle assassin nearby.
(SFC, 1/5/00, p.A8)(WSJ, 1/6/00, p.A1)
2000 Jan 27, A parcel bomb
exploded in a post office and killed at least 11 people in
Tamil-dominated Vavuniya. 73 people were injured and Tamil rebels
(SFC, 1/28/00, p.A15)
2000 Feb 8, Bombs exploded in 2
buses around Colombo and 2 people were killed and 31 injured.
(SFC, 2/9/00, p.C3)
2000 Feb 16, 57 soldiers and
guerrillas were killed in renewed fighting as Knut Vollebaek, the
foreign minister of Norway, met with Pres. Chandrika Kumaratunga to
help broker peace talks.
(SFC, 2/17/00, p.D3)
2000 Mar 10, A bomber blew
himself up and killed 19 others including 5 policemen. 64 people
were injured as he missed a motorcade of Cabinet ministers. 4 rebels
committed suicide as troops closed in on them following the botched
(SFC, 3/11/00, p.A8)(WSJ, 3/13/00, p.A13)
2000 Mar 30, An air force plane
leased from a Ukrainian company crashed and 36 military personnel
were killed along with 4 Russian crew members.
(SFC, 3/31/00, p.E4)
2000 Apr 2, A rebel attack
launched 7 days earlier had left 78 fighters dead. Rebels said 700
government troops had been killed since the attack began with 71
rebels dead. The army admitted to 102 deaths and claimed 210 rebels
killed. Thousands of residents were stranded near the Elephant Pass
(SFC, 4/3/00, p.A9)
2000 Apr 19, The Defense
Ministry reported 12 soldiers dead from fighting over the causeway
linking Jaffna to the mainland. Rebels reported 100 soldiers killed
and 26 rebels dead.
(SFC, 4/20/00, p.C4)
2000 Apr 22, Rebels took over
(SFC, 5/9/00, p.A10)
2000 Apr 23, The government
confirmed that it lost the battle for the control of Elephant Pass.
Rebels claimed 1000 soldiers died in the fight.
(WSJ, 4/24/00, p.A1)
2000 Apr 30, Rebels captured a
key army base at Pallai.
(SFC, 5/1/00, p.A13)
2000 May 4, The government
imposed censorship on the foreign media and gave wide powers to the
military as rebels poised to recapture Jaffna.
(SFC, 5/5/00, p.A18)
2000 May 10, Tamil rebels
attacked army posts on three fronts near Jaffna after the government
rejected an offer to allow 40,000 troops to withdraw.
(WSJ, 5/11/00, p.A1)
2000 May 12, Some Tamil Tiger
rebels rolled into Jaffna and forced government troops to retreat.
(SFC, 5/13/00, p.A9)
2000 May 22, Over 150 Tamil
rebels were killed over 2 days of fighting for control in Jaffna.
Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister met with Foreign Minister Lakshman
Kadirgamar in Colombo in an attempt to broker a peace.
(SFC, 5/23/00, p.A12)
2000 Jun 5, The government
claimed that it had killed some 1,000 rebels in recent days. The
censorship over foreign media was lifted.
(WSJ, 6/6/00, p.A1)
2000 Jun 7, C.V. Gooneratne,
Minister for Industrial Development, was killed along with 20 other
people on War Heroes Day by a suicide bomber near Colombo.
Gooneratne’s wife died the next day and the toll climbed to 23.
(SFC, 6/8/00, p.A12)(SFC, 6/9/00, p.A18)
2000 Jun 14, A suicide bomber
killed himself and 2 civilians when he rammed a bus with 25 sick air
force soldiers. None of the troops were hurt.
(SFC, 6/15/00, p.A16)
2000 Jun 26, It was reported
that at least 500 civilians had died in fighting since March.
(WSJ, 6/26/00, p.A1)
2000 Jun 30, The Supreme Court
threw out the government’s news censorship system.
(SFC, 7/1/00, p.A13)
2000 Jul 4, The government
reimposed censorship on local media and foreign journalists
reporting on the civil war.
(SFC, 7/5/00, p.A4)
2000 Jul 6, The military
reported 50 guerrillas killed in commando attacks on northern Tamil
bases. Tamil rebels reported 35 dead.
(SFC, 7/7/00, p.D6)
2000 Aug 3, The government
presented rebels with a new constitution that offered autonomy to
minority Tamils. Ramil Wickremesinghe, opposition United National
Party leader, rejected the offer.
(SFC, 8/4/00, p.D3)(SFC, 8/5/00, p.A11)
2000 Sep 3, The government
began “Operation Sunrise” against rebels in the Jaffna Peninsula.
(SFC, 9/5/00, p.A12)
2000 Sep 4, The government
“Operation Sunrise” left some 144 government soldiers and over 230
rebels dead along with some 766 wounded.
(SFC, 9/5/00, p.A12)
2000 Sep 10, Government forces
destroyed 14 Tamil Tiger bunkers in Jaffna. 12 soldiers and 70
guerrillas were killed.
(SFC, 9/11/00, p.B8)
2000 Sep 17, Government troops
captured Chavakachcheri, 6 miles east of Jaffna. 4 soldiers and 1
officer were reported killed.
(SFC, 9/18/00, p.A9)
2000 Oct 2, A suspected suicide
bomber killed at least 19 people at a political rally.
(WSJ, 10/3/00, p.A1)
2000 Oct 5, A suicide explosion
near an election rally left 13 people dead in Medawachchiya.
(SFC, 10/6/00, p.D4)
2000 Oct 10, At least 5 people
were killed in violence during parliamentary elections.
Kumaratunga’s People’s Alliance led the voting over the United
National Party with 107 seats to 89 in the 225-seat legislature.
(WSJ, 10/11/00, p.A1)(SFC, 10/12/00, p.A16)(SFC,
2000 Oct 10, Sirimavo
Bandaranaike, the 1st woman in the world to serve as a prime
minister, died at age 84 just after voting in elections.
(SFC, 10/11/00, p.A24)
2000 Oct 19, A suicide bomber
killed himself, 2 other people and injured 21 in Colombo after
police challenged him near the Town Hall.
(SFC, 10/19/00, p.C10)(SFC, 10/20/00, p.a16)
2000 Oct 23, Rebels launched an
attack against the navy base at Trincomalee. The military said 24
combatants died including 18 rebels.
(WSJ, 10/24/00, p.A1)
2000 Oct 25, In Sri Lanka some
3000 Sinhala villagers in Bindunuwewa attacked a Tamil rebel child
rehabilitation center and killed 26 ex-fighters (14-25). They were
angered when the child soldiers took hostage a Sinhalese officer.
(SFC, 10/26/00, p.D8)(Econ, 7/18/09, p.40)
2000 Nov 23, In Sri Lanka rebel
mortar shells killed 2 children at the Al-Manar school in Mutur.
(SFC, 11/24/00, p.D8)
2000 Nov 27, The Tamil Tiger
rebels called for unconditional peace talks along with a cease-fire.
(SFC, 11/28/00, p.A18)(WSJ, 11/28/00, p.A1)
2000 Dec 16, Government troops
stage an offensive against rebels in the northern Jaffna Peninsula.
12 soldiers were killed along with 26 rebels.
(SSFC, 12/17/00, p.D9)
2000 Dec 19, Government
soldiers detained 8 Tamil civilians. Their bodies were later found
in a mass grave.
(WSJ, 12/27/00, p.A1)
2000 Dec 21, In Sri Lanka Tamil
rebels announced a unilateral month-long cease-fire with hopes of
resuming peace talks. Sri Lanka launched a new offensive just hours
following the rebel cease-fire.
(SFC, 12/22/00, p.A22)(WSJ, 12/22/00, p.A1)
2000 Dec 24, Government forces
raided a rebel camp in Navatkuli and killed 18, including 14 girl
(SFC, 12/25/00, p.A16)
2000 Dec 26, A cyclone hit the
northeast and killed 8 people.
(SFC, 12/29/00, p.B5)
2001 Jan 4, The defense
ministry announced that the civil war left 3,753 people dead in
2000, including 87 civilians.
(SFC, 1/5/01, p.D2)
2001 Jan 16, A government
offensive left 41 people dead including 22 rebels and 18 soldiers.
(SFC, 1/17/01, p.A11)
2001 Feb 22, Rebels extended a
unilateral cease-fire and said they wanted peace talks.
(SFC, 2/23/01, p.A20)
2001 Apr 3, Sri Lanka agreed to
open peace talks with Tamil rebels following diplomatic initiative
(WSJ, 4/4/01, p.A1)
2001 Apr 23, Tamil Tiger rebels
decided to end their unilateral cease-fire.
(SFC, 4/24/01, p.A12)
2001 Apr 25, Sri Lanka soldiers
attacked rebel positions and 32 were killed with 180 wounded. Rebels
lost 75 fighters with 300 wounded.
(SFC, 4/26/01, p.A14)
2001 Apr 26, Sri Lanka soldiers
pushed rebels back near Eluthumadduval. 87 soldiers were killed with
382 wounded. The army said 110 rebels were killed with 300 wounded.
(SFC, 4/27/01, p.D4)
2001 cApr 29, Sri Lanka
appealed for peace talks following bloody battles and retreats in
(WSJ, 4/30/01, p.A1)
2001 Jun 4, Anti-terrorist
commandos killed 14 Tamil Tiger rebels trying to infiltrate the
(SFC, 6/5/01, p.A14)
2001 Jul 2, Government jets
were sent against rebel bases near Jaffna.
(WSJ, 7/3/01, p.A1)
2001 Jul 20, In Sri Lanka
thousands of demonstrators were blocked from marching into the
capital to protest the suspension of parliament by Pres.
Kumaratunga. 2 people were killed.
(SFC, 7/20/01, p.D4)(WSJ, 7/20/01, p.A1)
2001 Jul 23, Tamil separatists
attack an air base, damaged a number of planes and shut down the
nation’s only int’l. airport. 7 soldiers and 8 guerrillas were
killed. 3 jetliners and 8 warplanes were blown up in a suicide
attack by 13 rebels.
(WSJ, 7/24/01, p.A1)(WSJ, 7/25/01, p.A1)(SFC,
2001 Aug 21, A referendum on a
new constitution was scheduled. On Aug 7 Pres. Kumaratunga postponed
it to Oct 18.
(WSJ, 7/12/01, p.A1)
2001 Sep 16, Tamil rebels in
about 20 boats attacked a ship with 1,200 Sri Lankan soldiers and
killed at least 11. 12 soldiers were missing and 15 rebels were
(SFC, 9/17/01, p.A18)
2001 Oct 10, Pres. Kumaratunga
dissolved parliament and set elections for Dec 5 after defections
left her coalition in the minority.
(WSJ, 10/11/01, p.A1)
2001 Oct 29, A suicide bomber
blew himself up after being stopped by police in Colombo. 2 others
were killed and 18 injured.
(WSJ, 10/30/01, p.A1)
2001 Oct 29, Tamil Tiger rebels
attacked a fuel ship with explosive-packed boats. 4 rebels died
along with 3 people aboard the ship. The M.V. Silk Pride, carrying
660 tons of fuel, exploded and sank.
(SFC, 11/1/01, p.C7)
2001 Dec 4, In Sri Lanka the
death toll reached 45, since Oct 21, as elections began for a new
225-seat Parliament. Poll violence killed 10 and an army blockade
kept some 130,000 minority Tamils from casting ballots. The
opposition United National Party won.
(SFC, 12/5/01, p.A7)(WSJ, 12/6/01, p.A1)(SFC,
2001 Dec 7, Pres. Kumaratunga
called on Ranil Wickremesinghe, head of the United National Party,
to form a government. The UNP promised to pursue peace talks with
(SFC, 12/8/01, p.A6)
2001 Dec 19, Rebels declared a
(WSJ, 12/20/01, p.A1)
2001 Dec 23, Sri Lanka's
Premier traveled to India to press for greater involvement in peace
talks with the Tamil rebels.
(WSJ, 12/24/01, p.A1)
2002 Feb 21, Sri Lanka approved
a Norwegian long-term cease-fire plan already approved by Tamil
(SFC, 2/22/02, p.A13)
2002 Feb 22, Sri Lanka and
Tamil Tiger rebels signed a Norwegian long-term cease-fire plan. The
death toll stood at more than 65,000 when the cease-fire was signed.
(SFC, 2/23/02, p.A9)(AP, 7/3/06)
2002 Apr 10, Rebel leader
Velupillai Prabhakaran made his 1st public appearance in 15 years
and pledged his commitment to peace talks along with the goal of an
independent Tamil state. The 18-year civil war had already left
(SFC, 4/11/02, p.A11)(WSJ, 4/11/02, p.A1)
2002 Sep 9, Tens of thousands
of Sri Lankans rallied in the capital Colombo in a show of support
for peace talks with separatist Tamil Tiger rebels aimed at ending
one of Asia's longest-running wars.
2002 Sep 16, Sri Lanka's
government and Tamil Tiger rebels began peace talks brokered by
Norway in Thailand.
(Reuters, 9/16/02)(SFC, 9/16/02, p.A7)(WSJ,
2002 Sep 28, Sri Lanka and
Tamil Tiger rebels exchanged prisoners of war as part of the ongoing
peace process, and the rebels claimed they had no more prisoners in
2002 Oct 31, Velupillai
Prabhakaran, the reclusive leader of Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger
guerrillas, was sentenced in absentia to 200 years' jail, as
government and rebel officials began talks in Thailand to try to end
19 years of war.
2002 Nov 27, Velupillai
Prabhakaran, leader of Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers, said he was willing
to settle for regional autonomy.
2003 Feb 7, Three Tamil Tiger
rebels blew up their boat, killing themselves, after they were found
trying to smuggle an anti-aircraft gun and hundreds of rounds of
ammunition into Sri Lanka.
2003 Mar 10, The Sri
Lankan navy exchanged fire with a Tamil Tiger boat off the northern
coast, sinking the rebel vessel and likely killing all 10 on board.
2003 Mar 20, A suspected Tamil
Tiger rebel boat attacked and sank a vessel carrying Chinese
fishermen off eastern Sri Lanka, killing 17 people on board.
2003 Apr 26, In Sri Lanka
Bastiampillai Deogupillai (86), a former bishop of the troubled
northern city of Jaffna, has died. Deogupillai had aided tens of
thousands of people during Sri Lanka's 19-year civil war.
2003 May 17, In south-central
Sri Lanka flash floods and landslides killed at least 300 people and
drove some 150,000 people from their homes.
(WSJ, 5/19/03, p.A1)(AP, 5/21/03)
2003 Jun 9, Japan pledged $1
billion in aid to help rebuild war-torn Sri Lanka as a major donor
conference opened in Tokyo. $2 billion in aid was pledged but
without the participation of the country's Tamil rebels.
2003 Jun 15, Suspected Tamil
Tiger rebels killed a Tamil politician opposed to them, fueling
tensions a day after the murder of another politician and an ocean
battle between government and rebels forces.
2003 Sep 17, In Sri Lanka 19
million people shared space with about 3,000 wild elephants. As
forests dwindled the huge beasts entered villages to forage in
garbage dumps for food.
2003 Oct 3, In Sri Lanka the US
Embassy said it has re-designated the Tamil Tigers as a terrorist
organization, despite an ongoing peace process between the Sri
Lankan government and the rebels.
2003 Nov 4, Sri Lanka's Pres.
Kumaratunga suspended Parliament and deployed troops around the
capital after firing three key cabinet ministers who were trying to
coax Tamil rebels back into talks to end a 20-year civil war. Her PM
and arch foe, Ranil Wickremessinghe, was in Washington to confer
with Pres. Bush.
(AP, 11/4/03)(WSJ, 11/6/03, p.A1)(SFC, 11/7/03,
2003 Nov 5, In Sri Lanka Pres.
Kumaratunga declared a state of emergency.
(Econ, 11/8/03, p.41)
2003 Sri Lanka’s population was
about 19 million.
(WSJ, 7/13/99, p.B1)(SSFC, 11/9/03, p.A12)
2004 Feb 7, Sri Lanka's
president dissolved parliament, paving the way for elections nearly
three years ahead of schedule.
2004 Feb 11, Sri Lanka's
president fired 39 ministers and deputy ministers from the caretaker
government headed by her rival.
2004 Mar 30, In Sri Lanka
gunmen stormed the home of a Tamil parliamentary candidate who was
allied to a renegade rebel leader, killing the candidate and one of
2004 Mar, In Sri Lanka eastern
regional commander Vinayagamoorthy Muraleetharan, aka Karuna, split
with Liberation Tigers in order to establish his own administration.
(SFC, 4/10/04, p.A8)
2004 Apr 2, In Sri Lanka Pres.
Kumaratunga's political alliance won the most seats in parliamentary
elections, indicating deep popular support for its tough stance
toward Tamil Tiger rebels.
(AP, 4/3/04)(WSJ, 4/5/04, p.A1)
2004 Apr 5, In Sri Lanka Pres.
Kumaratunga appointed Mahinda Rajapakse as PM.
(SFC, 4/6/04, p.A2)
2004 Apr 6, With Tamil Tiger
rebels threatening to restart the civil war, Sri Lanka's newly
installed PM called on neighboring India to help revive the island's
faltering peace process.
2004 Apr 9, Rival Tamil Tiger
guerrilla factions fought with mortars and guns, in a battle that
killed at least nine people, wounded 20.
2004 Apr 24, In Sri Lanka
President Chandrika Kumaratunga's alliance won a key regional
election, nearly 3 weeks after it emerged as the single largest
party in parliamentary polls.
2004 May 28, Malaysia issued a
detention order for Buhary Syed Abu Tahir, a Sri Lankan businessman,
on charges that in 2002 he brought 7 Libyan technicians to Malaysia
to be trained to operate machines to produce centrifuge parts for
Libya’s nuclear weapons program. Tahir was a key associate of Abdul
Qadeer Khan, former head of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program.
(WSJ, 6/4/04, p.A10)
2004 Jul 7, In Sri Lanka a
Tamil Tiger suicide bomber detonated explosives at a police station,
killing herself and 4 officers.
2004 Jul 12, A Sri Lankan woman
was beheaded in the Saudi capital for murdering her employer. Bader
el-Nisaa Mibari had been convicted of killing Sara bint Mohammed
al-Haqeel, a Saudi woman, after trying to rob her with the help a
2004 Jul 24, Sri Lanka's Tamil
Tiger rebels killed eight rivals in the worst outbreak of violence
in three months.
2004 Nov 27, Sri Lanka's Tamil
Tiger rebels threatened to resume a two-decade war for self-rule if
the government does not agree to discuss their demands soon.
2004 Dec 26, The world's most
powerful earthquake in 40 years triggered massive tidal waves that
slammed into villages and seaside resorts across southern and
southeast Asia. The initial estimated death toll of 9,000 soon rose
to some 230,000 people in 14 countries. The magnitude 9.0 earthquake
was the world's fifth-largest since 1900 and the largest since a 9.2
temblor hit Prince William Sound Alaska in 1964. The epicenter was
located 155 miles south-southeast of Banda Aceh, the capital of Aceh
province on Sumatra, and six miles under the seabed of the Indian
Ocean. In Indonesia at least 166,320 people were killed.
Bangladesh reported 2 killed; India: at least
9,691 deaths: thousands were missing and possibly dead in India's
remote Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Indonesia: At least 101,318
people were killed on Sumatra island and small islands off its
coast. Kenya reported 1 killed. Malaysia: At least 68 people,
including an unknown number of foreign tourists, were dead. Myanmar:
At least 90 people were killed. Sri Lanka: At least 30,680 were
killed in government and rebel controlled areas. The Maldives, an
archipelago of 1,190 low-lying coral islands and a tiny population
of 280,000, at least 82 people were killed and missing. At least 42
islands were flattened in the low-lying atoll nation. Somalia: At
least 298 were killed. Tanzania: At least 10 killed. Thailand: The
confirmed death toll for Thailand reached 5,322, but many suspected
Myanmar migrants were not counted. Some 230,000 people were killed
in a dozen countries.
(SFC, 12/28/04, p.A1)(AP, 12/30/04)(SSFC, 1/2/05,
p.A12)(AP, 1/7/05)(Econ, 1/22/05, p.41)(AP, 12/25/09)(AP, 11/12/13)
2005 Feb 7, In Sri Lanka E.
Koushalyan, the LTTE's political wing leader for the eastern
province, was killed in an ambush along with four other senior
rebels and former Tamil legislator Chandra Nehru. Military officials
said they suspected the attack was carried out by a breakaway
faction of the Tamil Tigers led by the former number two in the
leadership, known as Karuna.
(AP, 2/8/05)(Econ, 2/26/05, p.40)
2005 Apr 15, In Sri Lanka at
least five renegade Tamil Tiger rebels were killed in a fresh bout
of violence in the restive northeast.
2005 Apr 25, Pakistan said the
start of a free trade agreement with Sri Lanka in June is expected
to double business between the 2 countries to almost 300 million
dollars in the first year.
2005 Apr 27, In northwestern
Sri Lanka an intercity passenger train collided with a bus that
tried to dash through a railroad crossing, killing 35 people.
2005 Apr 28, Dharmeratnam
Sivaram (46), a top Tamil journalist whose articles favored the
mainstream Tamil rebels over a breakaway faction, was fatally shot
hours after being seized by attackers at a restaurant in Colombo.
2005 Apr 29, Sri Lanka's
government ordered a "full-scale investigation" into the slaying of
a senior Tamil journalist who was abducted overnight as he left a
2005 May 16, In Sri Lanka at
least one man was killed and four wounded in fresh violence, as
international aid donors tried to nudge the island's warring parties
to revive peace talks.
2005 Jun 15, Sri Lanka's
president vowed to go ahead with a deal to share tsunami aid with
the rebel Tamil Tigers, despite a threat by a ruling coalition
partner to leave the government if she does not back down.
2005 Jun 16, Marxists lawmakers
quit Sri Lanka's governing coalition over the president's plan to
share tsunami relief with ethnic Tamil rebels.
2005 Jul 10, In Sri Lanka 4
Tiger rebels were killed at their LTTE office in Trimcomalee,
despite a ceasefire. Violence in the area quickly escalated. The
government denied responsibility for the attack.
2005 Aug 12, In Sri Lanka
foreign minister Lakshman Kadirgamar (73), an ethnic Tamil, was shot
in the head and heart after finishing a swim at his home. Tamil
Tiger rebels denied involvement.
2005 Aug 13, Sri Lanka declared
a state of emergency and deployed troops to search for suspects
Saturday after the assassination of the foreign minister.
2005 Aug 14, Security forces
arrested 12 minority Tamils before dawn in connection with the
assassination of Sri Lanka's foreign minister, and a Tamil lawmaker
said only a peace deal could stop such killings in a country many
fear is sliding back to war.
2005 Aug 22, The brother of Sri
Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga was sworn in as foreign
minister to replace Lakshman Kadirgamar, assassinated by suspected
2005 Aug 26, Sri Lanka's
Supreme Court ruled that President Chandrika Kumaratunga's final
term expires in December, ending her controversial 11-year reign and
clearing the way for a vote before November 21.
2005 Aug 29, In Sri Lanka
attackers on a bicycle hurled grenades at a Tamil-language newspaper
office in the capital of Colombo, killing a security guard.
2005 Sep 8, Sri Lanka's Tamil
Tiger guerrillas ambushed a police patrol in the island's restive
northeast, killing two constables and wounding six.
2005 Oct 24, Sri Lanka's
president and her main political rival agreed for the first time to
forge a bipartisan approach to the island's peace process aimed at
ending decades of ethnic bloodshed.
2005 Nov 4, Victor Hettigoda, a
wealthy Sri Lankan presidential candidate, said he will use his
personal fortune to buy a cow for every home if he is elected in the
Nov 17 elections.
2005 Nov 12, In Dhaka,
Bangladesh, a 2-day summit aimed to alleviate poverty and boost
trade and cooperation among Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives,
Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Leaders called for greater
cooperation within the region to deal with the aftermath of
disasters like the Kashmir earthquake and last year's devastating
2005 Nov 14, Sri Lanka awarded
long-term resident and British science fiction writer Arthur C.
Clarke its highest civilian award for his contributions to science
and technology and his commitment to his adopted country.
2005 Nov 17, In Sri Lanka
well-armed rebels and sporadic explosions blocked thousands of Sri
Lankans from voting for a new president to help the country end
decades of civil war and recover from last year's devastating
tsunami. Ex-Premier Wickremesinghe, favoring Tamil rebel talks,
faced Premier Rajapakse, a skeptic on peace.
(AP, 11/17/05)(WSJ, 11/17/05, p.A1)
2005 Nov 18, An election
official said PM Mahinda Rajapakse, a hard-liner toward Tamil
rebels, won Sri Lanka's presidential election by a narrow margin.
Suspected separatist rebels in Akkaraipattu tossed grenades into a
Mosque during morning prayers, killing at least four Muslim
worshippers. Rajapakse later appointed his 3 brothers to run
(AP, 11/18/05)(Econ, 6/9/07, p.26)
2005 Dec 4, In Sri Lanka a land
mine killed 6 Sri Lankan soldiers with 3 wounded in a northern area
that is home to most of the country's Tamil minority. A government
soldier near the northern city of Jaffna. The military blamed the
Tamil Tiger rebels for attacks.
(AP, 12/04/05)(AP, 12/05/05)
2005 Dec 6, In Sri Lanka a land
mine blast killed 6 soldiers in the northern city of Jaffna.
2005 Dec 11, Japanese peace
envoy Yasushi Akashi invited Sri Lanka and Tamil Tiger rebels to
meet in Japan for talks to save their ceasefire, which is threatened
with collapse after 34 people were killed in fresh violence.
2005 Dec 23, Powerful land mine
blasts blew up a bus carrying Sri Lankan sailors, killing 15 and
injuring at least 15 others. Tamil separatist rebels were suspected
in the attack amid an escalation of violence that is threatening to
return the South Asian nation to civil war.
2005 Dec 25, In Sri Lanka
gunmen shot and killed Joseph Pararajasingham (71), a pro-rebel
legislator during midnight Christmas Mass. He represented the Tamil
National Alliance, a proxy party of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil
Eelam, the rebel group that wants to create a homeland for Sri
Lanka's 3.2 million ethnic Tamil minority.
2005 Dec 27, In Sri Lanka a
land mine killed at least 10 soldiers on the northern Jaffna
peninsula. A police officer patrolling the eastern town of Kalmunai
was killed. Tiger rebels were blamed.
(SFC, 12/28/05, p.A5)
2005 Dec 31, In Sri Lanka
police and soldiers cordoned off five districts in Colombo and
detained more than 900 people during door-to-door searches to track
down Tamil Tiger rebels.
2005 The EU awarded Sri Lanka a
concession known as “GSP Plus” to help the country deal with the
2004 tsunami. The preferential tariff treatments were due to expire
(Econ, 8/16/08, p.42)
2006 Jan 2, In Sri Lanka 5
civilians suspected of working for separatist rebels were allegedly
killed when their grenades exploded before they could hurl them at
troops. Forensic tests showed that the victims had been shot dead.
The incident referred to as Trincomalee massacre happened when 5
minority Sri Lankan Tamil high school students playing by the beach
were briefly detained and then shot dead.
2006 Jan 7, In Sri Lanka an
explosives-rigged fishing boat rammed a Sri Lankan navy gunboat,
killing 13 of 15 sailors in a rebel suicide attack.
(AP, 1/7/06)(SSFC, 1/8/06, p.A3)
2006 Jan 12, In Sri Lanka at
least 9 sailors died when a bus they were traveling on was blown up
by a mine.
(Econ, 1/14/06, p.47)
2006 Jan 17, Suspected Tiger
rebels set off two more mines and fought a gunbattle with troops
leaving 3 people dead. The United Nations urged talks and
peace-broker Norway made a fresh bid to pull Sri Lanka back from the
brink of war.
2006 Jan 19, Suspected Tamil
Tiger rebels exploded anti-personnel mines twice in eastern Sri
Lanka, killing four people and injuring 25 others.
2006 Jan 25, Sri Lanka's
president and the leader of Tamil Tiger rebels agreed on to resume
2006 Jan 26, In Sri Lanka a
rocket propelled grenade shot at rebel vehicles in the east of the
island killed a rebel commander. Rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil
Eelam (LTTE) said government forces fired the grenade a day after a
deal to end a three-year deadlock in talks.
2006 Feb 7, Chandrika
Kumaratunga, Sri Lanka's former president (1994-2005), returned her
expensive retirement gift, a 1.5 acre (0.68 hectare) area of land
near the national parliament to the state, after legal action was
filed against her.
2006 Feb 11, In Sri Lanka a
suspected separatist rebel boat carrying explosives blew up,
apparently killing at least four men on board.
2006 Mar 4, Sri Lanka said it
will put the clock back by half an hour and revert to its original
time after a 10-year experiment that largely failed to save energy.
"The change will take place from the Tamil and Sinhala New Year on
2006 Mar 4, An armed group
attacked a Tamil Tiger rebel checkpoint in eastern Sri Lanka,
killing two guerrillas in what the rebels called a "serious"
violation of the country's cease-fire.
2006 Mar 16, In Sri Lanka
thousands of civil servants demanding higher salaries marched in
Colombo, part of a daylong nationwide strike that paralyzed the
2006 Mar 25, Suspected Tamil
Tigers blew up their fishing boat to avoid capture by a navy patrol
off the west coast of Sri Lanka, leaving six rebels dead and eight
2006 Mar 31, In Sri Lanka the
ruling coalition won an overwhelming victory in local elections,
according to results released by the government, a result seen as an
endorsement of the president's negotiations with Tamil Tiger rebels.
2006 Apr 11, In northeast Sri
Lanka a mine exploded and killed 10 sailors in a military bus.
(SFC, 4/12/06, p.A3)
2006 Apr 12, In northeastern
Sri Lanka 2 explosions in a market killed 17 people in the town of
Trincomalee and cast a cloud over upcoming peace talks.
(AP, 4/13/06)(AFP, 4/29/06)
2006 Apr 15, Suspected rebels
detonated 2 mines in Sri Lanka, killing 7 security personnel as both
the government and the rebels cast fresh doubts over plans to resume
2006 Apr 17, In northern Sri
Lanka land mines blasts in killed 4 soldiers and 2 Tamil Tiger
rebels, raising the death toll from a week of bloody unrest to at
2006 Apr 20, Tamil Tiger rebels
announced they were indefinitely postponing talks aimed at saving a
truce with the Sri Lankan government as 4 more people were killed in
2006 Apr 24, Sri Lanka's
military accused ethnic Tamil minority rebels of killing six
Sinhalese rice farmers working in their fields to provoke ethnic
2006 Apr 25, A pregnant suicide
bomber blew herself up in front of a car carrying Sri Lanka's
highest-ranking general, killing 8 people and badly injuring the top
2006 Apr 26, In Sri Lanka
escalating violence between government forces and Tamil rebels left
at least 15 civilians dead and 15,000 Tamil villagers fleeing for
2006 Apr 27, In Sri Lanka
rebels said some 40,000 civilians fled homes in northeastern Sri
Lanka to escape government airstrikes on Tamil rebel areas in recent
days that have killed at least a dozen people. In northern Sri Lanka
mine attacks killed five military personnel and wounded another
five. Police found five headless corpses near Colombo.
2006 Apr 30, In eastern Sri
Lanka at least 18 rebels were killed and many wounded when Tamil
Tiger guerrillas launched a major attack against a breakaway
2006 May 2, Sri Lanka’s
President Mahinda Rajapakse called for immediate peace talks with
Tamil Tiger rebels, saying his tiny tropical island had seen enough
violence. Gunmen stormed the offices of the Uthayan newspaper in
Jaffna, 400 kilometers north of the capital Colombo, killing a
manager and another employee. The next day the government said the
murders were timed to embarrass it as Sri Lanka hosted UNESCO World
Press Freedom Day celebrations, while the rebel Tamil Tigers blamed
government forces for the attack.
(AP, 5/2/06)(AFP, 5/3/06)
2006 May 5, Sri Lanka's navy
and air force hit Tamil Tiger targets on land and sea in the
island's northwest, while a policeman died in a fragmentation mine
attack, further straining a battered 2002 ceasefire.
2006 May 7, In Sri Lanka a
senior Japanese envoy began talks with government officials to try
to save the peace process. Tamil rebels said troops abducted 8 men
in the island's north.
2006 May 11, Tamil Tiger rebels
sank two Sri Lankan navy gunboats in sea battles and attacked a
ferry transporting 700 soldiers. The military hit back with air
strikes. At least 50 rebels were killed and 17 Sri Lankan sailors
(AFP, 5/11/06)(WSJ, 5/12/06, p.A1)
2006 May 13, Tamil rebels
threatened to resume war if they are denied access to the sea and
claimed government naval forces killed eight Tamil civilians in an
attack in northern Sri Lanka.
2006 May 17, In Sri Lanka a
rebel sniper shot dead a soldier at a de facto front line while two
civilians were killed elsewhere.
2006 May 18, Sri Lanka asked
donor nations to nudge Tamil Tigers to the table. EU officials
agreed in principle to blacklist Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels as a
"terrorist" group, in a move the rebels said would only lead to war
in the country.
(AFP, 5/18/06)(AFP, 5/19/06)
2006 May 21, In Sri Lanka 2
soldiers were killed and two others wounded in two separate Claymore
mine attacks in the northeastern Trincomalee district and the
northern district of Vavuniya. Figures maintained by the
Scandinavian truce monitoring mission showed that 510 people were
killed in Sri Lanka's embattled regions since December.
2006 May 24, In Sri Lanka 3
security personnel died in a mine blast as a Norwegian peace envoy
arrived to salvage a collapsing ceasefire.
2006 May 28, Sri Lankan police
detained the drivers of 18 vehicles trying to smuggle explosives
across a de facto frontier post into the government-controlled part
of the Jaffna peninsula.
2006 May 29, Sri Lanka's Tamil
Tiger rebels agreed to more talks to shore up the implementation of
a collapsing ceasefire as the EU moved to ban them as a terrorist
2006 Jun 1, The US pledged
"tangible military cooperation" with embattled Sri Lanka, but warned
the government here against a return to war with Tamil Tiger rebels.
2006 Jun 6, Suspected Tamil
rebels exploded bombs outside a naval base near Sri Lanka's capital,
wounding two people while three others were killed in a similar
2006 Jun 7, A mine explosion in
northeast Sri Lankan killed 8 civilians and wounded 14. Tamil Tiger
rebels said the attack was carried out by government troops who had
infiltrated an area held by the guerrillas.
2006 Jun 10, At least five
people were shot dead in Sri Lanka's restive northeast port district
of Trincomalee and the main city of Colombo.
2006 Jun 13, In southern Sri
Lanka at least 42 passengers were injured when two trains collided.
2006 Jun 15, In northern Sri
Lanka a powerful land mine ripped through a packed bus, killing at
least 64 people, including 15 school children in the worst act of
violence since a 2002 cease-fire. Sri Lanka's air force responded by
bombing rebel-held areas in the northeast.
(AP, 6/15/06)(SFC, 6/15/06, p.A3)
2006 Jun 16, Sri Lanka's air
force pounded Tamil Tiger rebel positions for a second day in
retaliation for a bus bombing that killed 64 people.
2006 Jun 17, Tamil Tiger rebels
stormed a village in boats, firing grenade launchers at a police
station near a navy base at the islet of Mannar. Military
helicopters fired on the boats. Tiger rebels said they had killed 12
soldiers; the navy said three sailors were killed and eight were
missing. The military said up to 30 rebels were killed in the
fighting, but rebels acknowledged only two wounded. At least 52
people were killed as heavy sea and land battles erupted while Tamil
Tiger rebels warned that the island would plunge in a "fatal war" if
the military kept up air strikes. Sri Lankan troops stormed a church
in Pesalai, a village north of Mannar, where some 200 Tamil
civilians were seeking shelter, shooting and throwing grenades. The
assault killed 5 people and injured 47.
(AFP, 6/17/06)(AP, 6/18/06)(SSFC, 6/18/06, p.A23)
2006 Jun 18, In northern Sri
Lanka a mine blast blamed on Tamil Tigers rebels killed 3 police.
2006 Jun 19, Sri Lanka invited
Tamil Tiger rebels to negotiate peace and save their collapsing
ceasefire as 2 more soldiers were killed in a weekend of violence
that left over 50 people dead.
2006 Jun 24, Sri Lanka's Tamil
Tigers extended a deadline for EU truce monitors to withdraw from
the island, while the army accused the rebels of shooting dead 2
soldiers in the northwest.
2006 Jun 26, In Sri Lanka a
suicide bomber on a motorcycle blew himself up next to a car
carrying Maj. Gen. Parami Kulatunga, the country's
third-highest-ranking military officer, killing the officer and
(AP, 6/26/06)(AP, 1/8/08)
2006 Jun 27, Renegade Tamil
militants killed at least four members of the Tamil Tiger rebel
group in eastern Sri Lanka.
2006 Jul 2, Sri Lanka’s Tamil
Tigers, claiming they have just trained 6,000 civilians in armed
combat, accused the UN of exaggerating the number of child
fighters in the rebels' ranks. Police said Sampath Lakmal, a
freelance Sri Lankan journalist, has been gunned down near the
(AFP, 7/2/06)(AP, 7/2/06)
2006 Jul 3, At least seven
people were killed and dozens wounded in three Claymore mine attacks
carried out by Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka's northern and
2006 Jul 11, Four Tamil Tiger
rebels were killed when Sri Lanka's navy retaliated against an
attacking rebel boat in the sea off Northern Jaffna peninsula.
2006 Jul 14, Sri Lankan
government troops clashed with Tamil Tiger rebels in the worst
fighting since a cease-fire halted the civil war in 2002, leaving as
many as 16 dead. The military said 13 soldiers were missing.
2006 Jul 18, In northern Sri
Lanka a roadside bomb killed one person and wounded six others,
including four government soldiers.
2006 Jul 19, Sweden launched a
fresh effort to salvage Sri Lanka's troubled truce as ceasefire
monitors reported at least 900 people killed in a surge of ethnic
violence since December.
2006 Jul 25, Sri Lanka, which
at 80,000 has the largest contingent of expatriate workers in
Lebanon, wants those trapped in the conflict to stay put and those
who have fled the bombings to return, a minister said.
2006 Jul 26, Sri Lanka's
military carried out air attacks against suspected Tamil Tiger
positions in northeast Sri Lanka after the rebels allegedly blocked
an irrigation canal.
2006 Jul 29, Sri Lanka's air
force bombed Tamil Tiger rebel positions for a fourth day, killing
at least 8 rebels and wounding 14.
2006 Jul 31, In northeastern
Sri Lanka heavy fighting over control of a water supply killed 35
Tamil rebels and seven soldiers. A rebel leader declared the island
nation's four-year-old cease-fire over.
2006 Aug 1, A pro-rebel Web
site reported said Tamil Tiger rebels destroyed a Sri Lanka navy
boat in a battle near an eastern port killing 8 sailors. Navy
spokesman Commander D.K.P Dassanayake denied the report and said
sailors destroyed three rebel attack boats.
2006 Aug 2, Tamil rebels said
they had overrun four Sri Lankan army camps around the northeastern
port of Trincomalee. The Defense Ministry acknowledged that five
soldiers were killed in the attacks and claimed its forces killed 40
insurgents and wounded 70 others.
2006 Aug 3, In Sri Lanka
artillery fire hit 4 schools being used as shelters from fighting
raging between government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels, killing at
least 17 people in the northeastern town of Muttur.
(AP, 8/3/06)(SFC, 8/4/06, p.A10)
2006 Aug 4, Sri Lankan troops
thwarted a Tamil Tiger rebel attack in northeastern Muttur, killing
35 insurgents. The Red Cross said 6,000 to 7,000 families were still
trying to flee Muttur.
(AP, 8/5/06)(AP, 8/7/06)
2006 Aug 5, Sri Lankan soldiers
retook control of Muttur after six days of fighting Tamil rebels
there, and the military urged thousands of displaced civilians to
2006 Aug 6, Sri Lanka rejected
peace broker Norway's deal with Tamil Tiger rebels to lift a water
blockade at the root of the latest bloodshed that has claimed at
least 425 lives.
2006 Aug 7, In Sri Lanka 17
civilians working for a French aid agency were found slain execution
style in Muttur after fierce battles between rebels and the
government over water supplies. All but one were Tamils. In 2008 a
local rights group accused Colombo of a major cover-up of the August
2006 killing of Action Against Hunger (ACF) workers and for the
first time named a list of suspects.
(AP, 8/7/06)(AP, 8/29/06)(AFP, 4/3/08)
2006 Aug 8, In Sri Lanka Tamil
rebels released water from a disputed reservoir, ending a 19-day
blockade that sparked some of the worst fighting between government
troops and guerrillas in four years. In Colombo a car bomb killed
two people, including a 3-year-old girl.
2006 Aug 10, The Sri Lankan
military attacked Tamil Tiger rebels from land and air, and the
rebels retaliated in heavy fighting that killed at least 13
combatants. A Nordic cease-fire monitor warned that the situation
2006 Aug 11, The Sri Lankan air
force bombed Tamil Tiger-held areas in the east. Tamil Tigers warned
of a humanitarian crisis after 42,000 people were displaced by a
surge in violence that has left Sri Lanka's truce in tatters, as
fighting erupted on two new fronts.
(AP, 8/11/06)(AFP, 8/11/06)
2006 Aug 12, Sri Lankan rebels
attacked a key naval base as they mounted a fierce push to retake a
northeastern peninsula considered the traditional home of the
country's ethnic Tamils. Sri Lankan war planes bombed Tiger rebel
positions as the fiercest fighting since a 2002 ceasefire left at
least 127 people dead. A Sri Lanka government spokesman said the
Tamil Tiger rebels offered to renew peace talks. Weeks of intense
fighting brought Sri Lanka close to resuming its civil war. Ketheesh
Loganathan, a Tamil senior peace official, was assassinated. He was
deputy chief of the secretariat which coordinated the government's
side of a Norway-brokered peace process.
(AP, 8/12/06)(AFP, 8/12/06)(AP, 8/13/06)
2006 Aug 13, Sri Lankan troops
and Tamil Tiger rebels fought ground battles and artillery duels as
the weekend death toll rose to 186. The rebels denied they were
ready to talk peace. At least 15 people died in fighting around the
St. Philip Neri Church in Allaiiddy, a predominantly Tamil village
located on an island just west of the Jaffna Peninsula. The island,
like the peninsula, is held by the government.
(AFP, 8/13/06)(AP, 8/14/06)
2006 Aug 14, Fighting in Sri
Lanka's north and east, and a bombing in the capital, left at least
50 people dead, including 43 schoolgirls killed in what the Tamil
Tigers charged was a government air raid on a children's home in
rebel territory. Hours later in Colombo, an auto rickshaw packed
with explosives blew up as a car carrying Pakistan's high
commissioner, Basir Ali Mohmand, passed along a crowded road. At
least seven people were killed, including four army commandos
guarding the envoy.
2006 Aug 16, Sri Lankan war
planes bombed Tamil Tiger positions as troops hunted rebel
infiltrators in northern Jaffna peninsula after resisting a
2006 Aug 17, Sri Lankan troops
beat back a fresh attempt by Tamil Tigers to overrun the main
defenses of the northern peninsula of Jaffna and killed at least 98
guerrillas. At least six soldiers were killed and 60 wounded in the
2006 Aug 18, The UN said more
than 41,000 people on Sri Lanka’s Jaffna peninsula, about 10 percent
of its population, were believed to have fled their homes and warned
that supplies in the area had reached "alarmingly low levels".
2006 Aug 25, The UN food agency
said fighting between Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels and security
forces has forced at least 204,000 people from their homes in the
eastern and northern parts of the country. A food relief ship began
unloading in northern Sri Lanka to lift a two-week siege of the
Jaffna peninsula as fresh clashes left five rebels dead.
(AP, 8/25/06)(AFP, 8/25/06)
2006 Aug 26, In Sri Lanka
police found a large weapons cache hidden in a house on the
outskirts of Colombo, and arrested 17 people suspected of planning a
major attack. Sporadic fighting left 12 rebels killed and 20 injured
during a battle in the northeastern Batticaloa district. A
bomb killed six Sri Lankan soldiers and wounded 11 as they cleared
up after fierce fighting with Tamil Tiger rebels in the besieged
northern Jaffna peninsula.
(AP, 8/26/06)(AFP, 8/27/06)
2006 Aug 28, In Sri Lanka at
least 31 people were killed and another 105 wounded as security
forces moved to push back rebel artillery threatening a strategic
2006 Aug 31, Indian officials
said more than 11,000 Tamil refugees have fled to India since
January to escape renewed fighting between the Sri Lankan army and
separatist rebels and more are likely to come.
2006 Aug, In Sri Lanka Tamil
rebels abducted 56 boys and girls during a 4-day period this month
in Batticaloa district. UNICEF figures showed that 5,666 children
had been abducted between a cease fire in 2002 and July 2006. The
organization speculated that only about a third of such cases were
reported to them.
(SSFC, 9/17/06, p.A17,18)
2006 Sep 1, Sri Lanka's navy
said it sank 12 Tamil rebel boats overnight, including five suicide
craft, and killed as many as 100 rebel fighters during a fierce
six-hour sea battle off the country's northern coast.
2006 Sep 4, Sri Lanka President
Mahinda Rajapakse said security forces had captured Sampur, a key
town used by Tamil Tigers to target artillery at a major naval port.
Rajapakse urged the rebels to return to peace talks.
2006 Sep 9, In northern Sri
Lanka at least 26 troops were killed and over 125 wounded in new
fighting as Tamil rebels resisted an army advance into
2006 Sep 10, Officials said Sri
Lanka's military had lost 28 soldiers in 3 days of stiff artillery
and mortar attacks as it advanced slowly toward northern Tamil Tiger
rebel strongholds. The rebels accused Colombo of ignoring moves by
Norway to end the latest bloodshed.
2006 Sep 11, Sri Lankan troops
and Tamil Tiger rebels exchanged mortar and artillery fire across
their northern front lines. The military said the death toll from
five days of heavy fighting rose to 148.
2006 Sep 17, Sri Lanka's Tamil
Tiger rebels accused government soldiers in concert with
paramilitary units of killing nearly 100 civilians in the island's
embattled Jaffna peninsula this month. Sri Lanka's navy gunboats and
war planes bombed a suspected Tamil Tiger arms ship.
2006 Sep 18, In eastern Sri
Lanka the bodies of 11 Muslim men were found hacked to death. Tamil
Tiger rebels and government forces blamed each other for the
2006 Sep 25, The Sri Lankan
navy said it had sunk 11 Tamil Tiger rebel ships loaded with troops
and weapons during a five-hour sea battle, killing around 70
2006 Sep 27, The Sri Lanka
government revealed that Tamil Tigers have agreed to resume
face-to-face negotiations and end a seven-month deadlock in talks.
2006 Sep 28, European
cease-fire monitors said at least 200 civilians have been killed in
two months of fighting between Sri Lankan soldiers and separatist
Tamil rebels, and both sides are to blame.
2006 Sep 29, In Sri Lanka war
planes bombed rebels and 8 people were killed in new violence. The
UN warned that fighting between troops and Tamil guerrillas had
badly hit tsunami reconstruction.
2006 Oct 3, Sri Lanka's Tamil
Tiger rebels agreed to unconditional talks with the government but
warned they will pull out of a 2002 cease-fire if the government
persists with its military campaign.
2006 Oct 4, Sri Lanka's air
force bombed separatist rebel positions in the embattled north, a
day after the insurgents agreed to peace talks with the government.
2006 Oct 5, In Sri Lanka
relatives and aid workers said the K-faction, a feared militia on
Sri Lanka's volatile eastern coast, has abducted hundreds of men and
boys, some as young as 12, to fight in the country's civil war, with
the government's consent. The Karuna faction split from the
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in 2004.
2006 Oct 6, In Sri Lanka heavy
sea and land battles erupted with the military reporting the
recovery of 22 bodies of Tamil rebels after a Norwegian envoy failed
to secure a deal to re-launch peace talks. 49 Tamil Tiger rebels
were killed in a raid by theK-faction of rebels in eastern Sri
Lanka. 5 of the splinter group died in the fighting.
(AFP, 10/6/06)(AP, 10/7/06)
2006 Oct 11, In Sri Lanka 72
army troops, including eight officers, were killed and 515 wounded
in fighting in the northern peninsula of Jaffna. The army claimed
200 rebels were killed, a figure dismissed by the Liberation Tigers
of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The Tigers said only 10 of its fighters were
killed. The government toll reached 129 in the country’s worst
battle since 2002.
(AP, 10/12/06)(WSJ, 10/13/06, p.A1)
2006 Oct 15, Sri Lanka's navy
sank a rebel boat loaded with arms along the west coast, killing at
least five Tamil Tiger separatists.
2006 Oct 16, In Sri Lanka Tamil
rebels rammed a truck packed with explosives into a convoy of
military buses, killing at least 103 people and wounding 150 more in
one of the deadliest insurgent attacks since the 2002 cease-fire.
2006 Oct 17, Sri Lankan fighter
jets pounded two suspected Tamil Tiger bases and a camp.
2006 Oct 18, Suspected Tamil
Tiger rebels posing as fishermen blew up two boats in a suicide
ambush on a Sri Lankan naval base in Galle, killing 2 sailors. The
rebels last hit the Galle port area in December 1997, when they
detonated a truck bomb that was targeting the navy commander at the
(AP, 10/18/06)(AFP, 10/19/06)
2006 Oct 19, Sri Lanka's Tamil
Tiger rebels agreed to attend peace talks with the government this
month in a breakthrough announcement after a week of bloody attacks
left over 250 dead. In northern Sri Lanka 3 government soldiers were
killed in attacks blamed on the Tiger rebels.
(AP, 10/19/06)(AP, 10/19/06)
2006 Oct 21, Sri Lanka's
government said it will provide safe passage for rebels traveling to
Geneva for peace talks, as the navy destroyed two insurgent boats
approaching a naval base. The Tamil Tigers threatened to extend
their battle against government troops across the island if Colombo
"wants a war", as the navy said they killed 20 rebels in sea
(AP, 10/21/06)(AFP, 10/21/06)
2006 Oct 26, Sri Lanka's
warring parties arrived in Geneva for their first face-to-face
meeting in eight months as the EU racked up international pressure
for a halt to ethnic bloodshed.
2006 Oct 28, In Sri Lanka
suspected Tamil Tiger rebels fatally shot a government soldier and
wounded six police officers in two bomb attacks as peace talks began
2006 Oct 29, Sri Lanka's peace
talks collapsed after a failure by the warring parties to agree on a
new meeting and fruitless wrangling over "humanitarian issues"
during two days of negotiations in Geneva.
2006 Nov 2, Sri Lankan war
planes pounded suspected Tamil Tiger targets for a third straight
day after the defense ministry said the guerrillas were preparing
for a major offensive. A military bomb attack inside the rebel
political capital of Kilinochchi hit a house, killing five people.
2006 Nov 8, In Sri Lanka an
artillery blitz on a rebel-held area killed about 65 civilians. Next
day the government expressed regret, but blamed the Tamil Tigers for
using human shields.
2006 Nov 9, In Sri Lanka at
least 9 vessels were destroyed in a naval clash between Tamil rebels
and Sri Lanka's navy off the northern coast. Rebels claimed they
killed 26 sailors and captured four others.
2006 Nov 10, In Sri Lanka
Nadaraja Raviraj, a prominent Tamil legislator, was assassinated in
Colombo. The government navy said it killed six rebels in an attack
on Tamil Tiger boats.
2006 Nov 13, In eastern Sri
Lanka 4 Tamil Tiger rebels were killed in a firefight.
2006 Nov 14, In Sri Lanka 3
soldiers were killed when Tamil Tiger rebels detonated a bomb in the
northern district of Vavuniya. Another soldier was killed in a
similar blast in the Jaffna peninsula.
2006 Nov 16, Sri Lanka's
President Mahinda Rajapakse appealed to Tiger rebels to resume talks
to end bloodshed on the island as a British envoy met with the
guerrillas to try to jumpstart stalled peace efforts.
2006 Nov 18, In Sri Lanka a sea
battle, a bomb blast and gunfire killed at least 23 people, a day
after the rebels denounced a government call to disarm as a joke.
2006 Nov 23, The Sri Lankan
military killed at least 19 insurgents in a fierce battle with Tamil
Tiger rebels in the restive east. The separatist Liberation Tigers
of Tamil Eelam, however, said only one of their fighters died, and
claimed to have killed seven government commandoes.
2006 Nov 25, Sri Lankan
warplanes attacked a camp housing Tamil Tiger rebel suicide bombers
in the country's north.
2006 Nov 30, Cambodia's PM Hun
Sen condemned attempts by Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels to push for
a separate state, after talks in Phnom Penh with the island's
2006 Dec 1, A suicide bomber
targeted a convoy carrying Sri Lanka's defense secretary in Colombo,
killing himself and two soldiers. The defense secretary, who is also
the president's brother, was unharmed.
2006 Dec 9, Tiger rebels said
artillery duels in northeast Sri Lanka had killed at least 45
people, including 15 civilians and 30 government soldiers, after a
Norwegian peace bid failed.
2006 Dec 10, In Sri Lanka some
3,000 civilians fled the northeast as heavy artillery duels over the
last 2 days killed more than 110 people, including 41 civilians. 24
soldiers were killed and 69 wounded in artillery and mortar battle
with the insurgents in the eastern Batticaloa district. 40 rebels
were also killed.
(AFP, 12/10/06)(AP, 12/11/06)
2006 Dec 13, Security forces
shot dead at least six Tamil Tiger rebels during a confrontation in
Sri Lanka's restive eastern province.
2006 Dec 14, Anton Balasingham
(68), the top peace negotiator for Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels,
died at his home in London after a battle with cancer.
2006 Dec 24, Germany said it
will not offer the Sri Lankan government new aid until the peace
process in the country advances and called on other nations to
increase the pressure on Colombo.
2006 Some 500,000 arrivals to
Sri Lanka yielded $410 million, making tourism the country’s 3rd
biggest dollar earner.
(Econ, 5/1/07, p.55)
2006 The conflict in Sri Lanka
this year left over 3,500 dead and displaced over 250,000 people,
mostly Tamils. Some 15,000 fled to India.
(Econ, 12/16/06, p.40)
2007 Jan 2, Tamilnet.com said
at least 15 civilians were killed and dozens more wounded when Sri
Lankan air force jets "carpet bombed" territory held by the Tamil
2007 Jan 5, In Sri Lanka an
explosion inside a passenger bus killed 6 people in Nittambuwa.
Officials blamed the Tamil Tiger rebels, but the group denied any
2007 Jan 6, In Meetiyagoda, Sri
Lanka, an explosion inside a passenger bus killed 15 people.
Officials blamed the Tamil Tiger rebels, but the group denied any
2007 Jan 12, In the tea growing
region of central Sri Lanka at least 18 people were killed in
landslides. The National Disaster Management Center said at least
three people were killed and another 61,000 made homeless in south
and central Sri Lanka in flash floods caused by heavy monsoon rains.
(AP, 1/12/07)(AP, 1/14/07)
2007 Jan 16, In Sri Lanka
fierce clashes for control of a stretch of rebel-held-land in
eastern Batticaloa district left at least 16 dead. The military said
it lost four soldiers and that 29 more were wounded during the
battle. A pro-rebel Web site said only 12 guerrillas died. TamilNet
said 40 Sri Lankan soldiers were killed.
2007 Jan 19, Sri Lankan troops
captured the main rebel bastion in the island's east. After weeks of
fighting, at least 45 security forces and 331 Tiger rebels were
killed in the battle for Vakarai.
2007 Jan 21, In Sri Lanka's
northern waters Tiger rebels rammed an explosives-laden boat against
a private merchant vessel operated by foreign crew, sparking a land,
sea and air battle.
2007 Jan 23, In northern Sri
Lanka 2 roadside bombs exploded in Jaffna town, killing a government
soldier and three civilians.
2007 Jan 31, In eastern Sri
Lanka suspected separatist Tamil rebels detonated a roadside bomb,
killing six policemen and one civilian.
2007 Feb 7, In Sri Lanka
Selliah Parameswar, a Hindu priest who welcomed President Mahinda
Rajapakse to a former guerrilla bastion, was dragged out of his
house in Batticaloa district and killed by a group of unidentified
gunmen. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) blamed a
breakaway group allegedly linked to government forces.
2007 Feb 12, Sri Lanka's navy
said it destroyed a boat of the separatist Tamil Tiger movement and
killed at least eight rebels off the country's east coast.
2007 Feb 16, Sri Lanka's navy
said it destroyed two Tamil Tiger rebel boats as the craft were
hauling hundreds of thousands of steel balls often used in bombs.
Four rebel fighters were believed killed. Tamil Tiger rebels accused
Sri Lankan security forces of killing 39 civilians and blamed them
for the disappearance of 39 others in the last two weeks.
(AFP, 2/16/07)(AP, 2/16/07)
2007 Feb 19, A Saudi court
ordered the bodies of four Sri Lankans to be displayed in a public
square after being beheaded for armed robbery.
2007 Feb 20, Sri Lankan
military aircraft bombed rebel-held territory, killing at least two
villagers, as the military reported four more deaths.
2007 Feb 23, European
cease-fire monitors said that nearly 4,000 people were killed in Sri
Lanka in the past 15 months and they emphasized the importance that
the government and the rebels adhere to the cease-fire.
2007 Feb 27, In Sri Lanka the
US and Italian ambassadors were wounded when their helicopters came
under fire from ethnic Tamil rebels who said they mistook them for a
2007 Feb 28, Sri Lanka
escalated sea and land attacks against Tamil Tigers and killed at
least 18 people.
2007 Mar 9, The Sri Lanka
Defense Ministry said ground troops, backed by artillery, had
captured three Tamil Tiger bases in the northeast in a major
military operation. Anti-insurgency commandos overran a rebel base
in eastern Sri Lanka, killing at least 20 guerrillas. Suspected
Tamil Tiger rebels shot dead four security personnel and four park
officials inside a wildlife sanctuary as fighting escalated
elsewhere on the island.
(AP, 3/9/07)(AFP, 3/10/07)
2007 Mar 10, The number of
refugees in eastern Sri Lanka climbed past 100,000 after heavy
fighting in rebel-held parts of the island forced thousands of
civilians to flee their homes in recent days.
2007 Mar 11, Sri Lanka's
president chided his top police officers over a new wave of
"execution-style" killings and demanded immediate action to end a
climate of terror.
2007 Mar 12, The Sri Lanka air
force bombed a strategic Tamil Tiger jungle base in Thoppigala,
killing at least eight rebels, including two senior guerrillas.
2007 Mar 23, Sri Lankan troops
advanced into territory held by Tamil Tiger rebels, shifting the
battle lines to the island's north where the latest death toll on
both sides hit 37.
2007 Mar 24, Sri Lankan troops
and Tamil Tiger rebels were locked in intense battles in the
island's northeast, for a second straight day, as both sides
reported heavy casualties.
2007 Mar 25, In northern Sri
Lanka thousands of Tamil civilians were on the run as troops and
Tiger rebels traded artillery fire across a de facto border, with
both sides claiming heavy casualties.
2007 Mar 26, Tamil rebels
launched their first airstrike in the nearly quarter-decade conflict
with Sri Lanka's government, using at least one small plane to bomb
an air base outside the capital and killing three airmen.
2007 Mar 27, A Tamil Tiger
rebel drove an explosive-laden tractor to a military camp in eastern
Sri Lanka, drawing fire from guards and triggering a blast at the
entrance. At least seven people, including the bomber, were killed.
2007 Apr 1, In Sri Lanka 12
Tamil Tigers were killed in clashes in the northwestern district of
2007 Apr 2, In eastern Sri
Lanka at least 16 people, including three children, were killed and
25 wounded when a bomb ripped through a crowded bus. Sri Lankan
security forces killed at least 23 Tamil Tiger rebels in fresh
fighting in the island's east.
(AP, 4/2/07)(AFP, 4/3/07)
2007 Apr 4, Sri Lanka’s defense
ministry said its warplanes "bombed and completely destroyed" a key
Tamil Tiger naval base.
2007 Apr 7, A roadside bomb
tore through a civilian bus in northern Sri Lanka, killing seven
people and wounding 26. The army blamed Tamil Tiger rebels for the
2007 Apr 10, Clashes between
Sri Lankan soldiers and Tamil rebels in the island's north killed
about 30 people. In southern Sri Lanka a passenger bus collided with
a beer delivery truck and burst into flames, killing at least 23
people and injuring 56.
(AP, 4/10/07)(AP, 4/12/07)
2007 Apr 14, Suspected Tamil
Tiger rebels shot dead five people in eastern Sri Lanka, as the
country marked the traditional New Year and the president appealed
for national unity.
2007 Apr 17, Sri Lankan
authorities have issued a death threat against Champika
Liyanaarachchi, a newspaper editor for reporting on military
excesses and human rights abuses.
2007 Apr 20, In Sri Lanka’s
northern district of Vavuniya troops on foot patrol fired at
suspected Tamil Tigers killing four rebels. A landmine explosion in
the northeastern district of Polonnaruwa killed two soldiers and
wounded two others.
2007 Apr 21, In Sri Lanka
suspected Tamil Tiger rebels set off a landmine targeting troops on
patrol in Batticaloa. A civilian was killed and three others
2007 Apr 23, A bomb ripped
through a long-distance bus in northern Sri Lanka, killing at least
three passengers and wounding 35 in the third bombing of a civilian
bus this month.
2007 Apr 24, Tamil rebel planes
bombed government positions in northern Sri Lanka in their
second-ever airstrike. The military said six soldiers were killed
but that the aircraft were turned back before reaching a key base.
2007 Apr 29, Tamil Tiger rebels
bombed a fuel refinery and gasoline storage facility near the Sri
Lankan capital, and authorities cut power to the city. Hours later,
the military pounded rebel positions in the north.
2007 May 1, Australian police
arrested two men accused of raising money for Sri Lanka's Tamil
Tiger rebels on the pretext of collecting donations for victims of
the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
2007 May 5, Sri Lankan naval
craft sank two suspected Tamil Tiger boats off the island's
northeastern coast, inflicting heavy losses on the guerrillas.
2007 May 6, In eastern Sri
Lanka a landmine detonated by Tamil Tigers killed three police
commandos, while seven suspected rebels died elsewhere in the
2007 May 10, Thirunavukarasu
Varatharasa (37), a Sri Lankan national, pleaded guilty in a
Maryland court to charges he tried to smuggle US weapons to Tamil
Tiger rebels. He was the last of six defendants in the plot to be
convicted of trying to obtain military weapons in the 2006 scheme.
2007 May 13, Tamil Tiger rebels
attacked a group of Sri Lankan soldiers who had crossed into
insurgent territory in the north, sparking a battle that left 7
guerrillas and a soldier dead.
2007 May 17, In Sri Lanka said
security forces had shot dead at least 20 Tamil Tiger rebels in
northern Sri Lanka in a fresh outbreak of fighting.
2007 May 20, Sri Lanka's
government claimed to have killed more than 500 rebels in the past
four months and lost 44 of its own soldiers in fierce fighting that
has completely shattered the island nation's peace process.
2007 May 21, In northern Sri
Lanka 6 people were killed during deepening fighting between
government soldiers and separatist rebels.
2007 May 24, In northern Sri
Lanka a flotilla of rebel boats launched a deadly raid on a navy
camp, hours before a bomb exploded near an army bus in the capital
killing one soldier and wounding six people. Tigers claimed to have
killed 32 sailors. Government troops killed 12 suspected Tamil Tiger
rebels in the northern Vavuniya district.
(AP, 5/24/07)(AFP, 5/25/07)(Econ, 6/9/07, p.24)
2007 May 28, In Sri Lanka a
Tiger roadside bomb in Colombo killed 7 soldiers and civilians.
(Econ, 6/9/07, p.24)
2007 May 29, In Sri Lanka
troops and police stepped up security in Colombo after two bomb
blasts by suspected Tiger rebels within 24 hours killed 11 people.
2007 May, Inflation in Sri
Lanka stood at 17%.
(Econ, 5/5/07, p.56)
2007 Jun 2, Two Sri Lankan Red
Cross workers, ethnic Tamil men abducted from Colombo two days ago,
were found shot to death. The Tigers launched a night attack near
Omanthai and claimed to have killed 30 soldiers. The army said it
killed 52 Tigers.
(AP, 6/3/07)(Econ, 6/9/07, p.24)
2007 Jun 6, Sri Lanka's
President Mahinda Rajapakse held talks in Colombo with a top
Japanese envoy on the future of the island's peace process following
bloody recent clashes. A bomb detonated by suspected Tamil rebels
derailed a train in eastern Sri Lanka.
2007 Jun 7, Police in Sri
Lanka's capital rounded up hundreds of ethnic Tamils deemed a threat
to security and bused them to Tamil regions in the north and east of
2007 Jun 8, Sri Lanka's highest
court ordered police to stop expelling Tamils from the capital.
2007 Jun 19, Sri Lanka
government troops killed up to 44 Tamil rebels in clashes in
northern and eastern Sri Lanka while destroying three small camps in
the insurgents' last eastern stronghold.
2007 Jun 30, Gunmen shot dead
two civilians in Sri Lanka's northern Jaffna peninsula, as the
government and Tamil Tigers blamed each other for the latest in a
string of such killings.
2007 Jul 6, In Sri Lanka
soldiers intercepted a group of Tamil Tigers, killing 15, as they
fled the jungle area of Thoppigala in the eastern district of
Batticaloa. 4 people were killed elsewhere in the embattled island.
2007 Jul 14, Sri Lankan troops
used war planes and long-range weapons to attack suspected Tamil
Tiger positions as fresh fighting broke out. The clash with Tamil
Tiger rebels killed at least 10 Sri Lankan soldiers and left 34
2007 Jul 31, In northern Sri
Lanka hundreds of ethnic Sinhalese civilians fled three villages,
claiming the government had failed to protect them from attacks by
Tamil Tiger rebels.
2007 Jul, Sri Lanka’s army
declared that it had cleared the eastern part of the country from
rebels for the first time in 14 years.
(Econ, 10/6/07, p.44)
2007 Aug 11, In northeast Sri
Lanka security forces shot dead five suspected LTTE cadres as they
tried to lay landmines. Two gunmen riding on a motorbike shot dead a
Muslim man in the eastern district of Ampara.
2007 Aug 12, In Sri Lanka
suspected Tamil Tiger rebels set off a powerful land mine against a
military patrol in the Jaffna peninsula, killing a soldier and
wounding at least 16 others. Another civilian was killed and four
others were injured when the LTTE fired mortars at a northeastern
village in Weli Oya.
2007 Aug 30, Dozens of Sri
Lankan journalists took to the streets to condemn censorship and
support a columnist who exposed alleged corruption in the purchase
of second-hand supersonic jets.
2007 Aug 31, In northwest Sri
Lanka government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels traded artillery
fire, with each side claiming heavy casualties against the other as
well as among civilians.
2007 Sep 2, Sri Lanka said that
troops captured a Tamil Tiger naval base during a weekend advance
into rebel-held territory that the guerrillas said killed nine
2007 Sep 8, In Sri Lanka
military officials said at least 21 people were killed in fresh
violence in the embattled northern and eastern regions over the last
2007 Sep 14, A roadside bomb
blast and clashes between soldiers and secessionist Tamil Tiger
guerrillas across Sri Lanka's volatile north killed 29 people.
2007 Sep 27, In northern Sri
Lanka the military said artillery fire, gunbattles and a bombing had
killed 25 rebels, three civilians and a soldier. The civilian
casualties occurred when a remote-control bomb went off in a
2007 Sep 28, Naval attack craft
waged a three-hour sea battle with 20 Tamil Tiger boats off the
eastern coast of Sri Lanka, sinking three of the rebels' vessels and
killing one of their top naval commanders.
2007 Oct 7, Sri Lanka's navy
sank a ship carrying arms and war equipment for separatist Tamil
Tiger rebels, killing at least 12 people on board. Meanwhile, eight
rebels and a government soldier were reported killed in other recent
2007 Oct 15, In northern Sri
Lanka a fierce battle broke out between government troops and Tamil
rebels, leaving 30 guerrillas dead. 4 prominent activists resigned
from a government advisory panel on human rights, saying that
officials were more interested in fighting separatist rebels than
protecting human rights.
2007 Oct 22,
A group of Tamil Tiger fighters, backed by the rebel group's
tiny air force, carried out a surprise pre-dawn attack on a Sri
Lankan air force base, setting off a huge battle that killed five
airmen and 20 guerrillas. 24 of 27 aircraft were destroyed or
(AP, 10/22/07)(Econ, 11/10/07, p.54)
2007 Nov 2, A Sri Lankan
airstrike pounded a meeting of top rebel leaders, killing S.P.
Thamilselvan, the head of the Tamil Tigers' political wing and five
others in an attack seen as a major victory for the government in
its long fight with the guerrillas.
(AP, 11/2/07)(Econ, 1/31/09, p.49)
2007 Nov 7, The president of
Sri Lanka said there would be peace on the troubled island only
after more fighting to crush separatist rebels as he unveiled the
nation's biggest-ever war budget.
2007 Nov 21, In northern Sri
Lanka soldiers killed nine Tamil Tiger rebels in several clashes.
2007 Nov 26, In Sri Lanka
rebels said 11 schoolchildren and two others were killed when Sri
Lanka's military activated a roadside bomb near a car traveling near
2007 Nov 27, Sri Lanka’s air
force bombed the Tiger’s radio station killing 9 civilian staff.
(Econ, 12/8/07, p.48)
2007 Nov 28, In Sri Lanka a
bomb exploded near the entrance to a popular department store in a
busy Colombo suburb, killing 20 people and wounding 43. Earlier in
the day, a female suicide bomber sent by the rebels killed one
person and wounded two others in an unsuccessful attempt to
assassinate a government minister in his office in Colombo.
(AFP, 11/29/07)(Econ, 12/8/07, p.48)
2007 Nov, In Haiti 108 Sri
Lankan soldiers were recalled after investigators found they had
paid for sex with Haitians, some of whom were underage.
2007 Dec 1, In Sri Lanka at
least 11 Tamil Tiger rebels were killed and 49 injured in heavy
clashes across northern defense lines in Mannar. Elsewhere, 13
rebels were killed overnight in separate fighting near the
guerrillas' stronghold in the north of the island.
2007 Dec 3, Government troops
and Tamil Tiger rebels battled each other with rifles, mortars and
artillery across northern Sri Lanka, leaving 42 rebels and six
2007 Dec 5, Sri Lanka’s defense
ministry said at least 36 people including 7 soldiers were killed in
fresh fighting between security forces and Tamil rebels in the
embattled north. A land mine explosion blamed on Tamil separatists
tore through a passenger bus crowded with civilians in northern Sri
Lanka, killing at least 16 people and wounding 22 others.
(AFP, 12/5/07)(AP, 12/6/07)
2007 Dec 8, Soldiers and Tamil
Tiger rebels exchanged mortar and gunfire in northern Sri Lanka,
leaving 16 rebels dead.
2007 Dec 14, Clashes between
Sri Lankan soldiers and separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in the
country's embattled north left 31 guerrillas and one soldier dead.
2007 Dec 17, In northern Sri
Lanka renewed violence between Tamil rebels and government forces
left at least 33 people dead.
2007 Dec 18, In northern Sri
Lanka fighting killed 13 rebels and two soldiers. The Tigers said
they killed five soldiers.
2007 Dec 19, The Sri Lanka
military said soldiers killed four separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in
two separate clashes.
2007 Dec 22, In northern Sri
Lanka government forces captured a key defense line of Tamil Tiger
guerrillas in fighting that killed six rebels and one soldier.
2007 Dec 26, In northern Sri
Lanka a wave of infantry attacks killed at least 66 rebels and 14
2007 Dec 27, In northern Sri
Lanka Air force jets destroyed a Tamil naval base.
2007 Inflation in Sri Lanka
reached an annual rate of 21.6%.
(Econ, 2/9/08, p.48)
2008 Jan 1, In Sri Lanka a
gunman assassinated an opposition lawmaker and one other person at a
New Year religious service near Colombo, and the lawmaker's party
held the government responsible for his slaying.
2008 Jan 2, The Sri Lankan
government decided to withdraw from an internationally brokered
cease-fire with the insurgents. Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels
detonated a bomb near a bus carrying wounded soldiers through a busy
commercial district in Sri Lanka's capital, killing one soldier and
three civilians and wounding 24 other people. Air force jets
launched two airstrikes in the north, one targeting a Tamil Tiger
naval base in Mannar district and the other a logistics base in
Mullaitivu district. Some 5,000 people had died over the last two
years of the cease-fire.
(AP, 1/3/08)(Econ, 1/5/08, p.36)
2008 Jan 3, In northern Sri
Lanka heavy fighting broke out between government troops and Tamil
Tigers, hours after Colombo announced it was pulling out of a
tattered ceasefire agreement with the rebels.
2008 Jan 6, In northern Sri
Lanka heavy fighting raged where Tiger rebels said they lost a key
leader, as Norwegian-led monitors began pulling out before the
formal end of a tattered truce.
2008 Jan 7, According to new
military figures gunbattles between government troops and Tamil
Tiger rebels have brought the death toll for four days of fighting
to 81. Violence intensified following the government's Jan 2
announcement that it would formally withdraw from a 2002 cease-fire
2008 Jan 8, A Sri Lankan
government minister died in a roadside bombing blamed on the Tamil
Tiger rebels, the first successful assassination of a top Sri Lankan
official in 19 months. The bomb tore through the car carrying Nation
Building Minister D.M. Dassanayake as he traveled through the Ja-Ela
2008 Jan 13, In Sri Lanka
Japan's peace envoy opened talks, hinting international donors may
hold back much-needed foreign aid if the island's decades-long
ethnic conflict escalates. Government soldiers crossed the front
lines, destroying three bunkers and killing six rebels. Troops
killed a 7th insurgent when he went to inspect the front lines north
of rebel-held territory.
(AP, 1/13/08)(AP, 1/15/08)
2008 Jan 14, In Sri Lanka
Japanese mediator Yasushi Akashi met with Foreign Minister Rohitha
Bogollagama and President Mahinda Rajapaksa during the envoy's
three-day visit. Government fighter jets attacked a Tamil Tiger
intelligence and military base in Kombavikulam in a rebel-held area.
A second air raid destroyed a rebel artillery position in a village
in Mannar. The military said a wave of pitched battles, bombings and
an airstrike killed at least 22 guerrillas and 2 soldiers in
northern Sri Lanka. Rebels said they held off a major military
offensive in Mannar in a battle that killed at least 30 soldiers and
(AP, 1/15/08)(AFP, 1/15/08)
2008 Jan 16, In southeastern
Sri Lanka a bomb and shooting attack blamed on Tamil separatists
ripped through a packed civilian bus, killing 27 people as the
government officially withdrew from a cease-fire with the rebels.
Commandoes advanced into rebel territory in Mannar and destroyed a
bunker, killing 4 female rebels. 9 rebels were killed in a clash
elsewhere in Mannar.
(AP, 1/16/08)(AP, 1/17/08)
2008 Jan 17, Sri Lanka's
military said air force jets destroyed a hideout used by senior
Tiger rebels. The pro-rebel TamilNet Web site said the jets had
struck a civilian area and seven people had been wounded. Suspected
Tamil Tiger rebels fatally shot 10 ethnic Sinhalese civilians in
southern Thanamalwila village. A pro-rebel Web site said those
killed were civilians carrying guns provided by the government after
an attack on a farm in the same area that killed 32 people this
(AP, 1/17/08)(AP, 1/18/08)
2008 Jan 19, In northern Sri
Lanka 23 rebels, 17 in one battle alone, and one soldier were killed
in clashes. In northeastern Welioya village fighting killed six
rebels and left a soldier missing.
2008 Jan 20, In Sri Lanka
troops overran at least six rebel bunkers in Adampan village,
killing two female fighters. Simultaneous clashes took place in the
villages of Periyathampanai and Madu and, killing a total of 4
rebels. Soldiers killed an area rebel leader on the Jaffna
peninsula. Soldiers on the northern Jaffna peninsula fired on the
Tiger boats as they sailed near the shore.
2008 Jan 21, In Sri Lanka
government soldiers attacked Tamil Tiger rebel bunkers across the
front lines in the embattled north, triggering a battle that killed
15 guerrillas and two soldiers.
2008 Jan 24, In Sri Lanka 16
victims of what appeared to have been execution-style killings were
found by villagers in a district 206 km (130 miles) north of the
2008 Jan 26, Sri Lankan air
force jets bombed the Tamil Tiger rebels' naval headquarters while
the group's sea wing leaders were holding a meeting there.
2008 Jan 28, In Sri Lanka
security forces killed 45 rebels along the northern frontlines.
2008 Jan 29, In Sri Lanka the
defense ministry said its troops smashed 16 guerrilla bunkers in the
district of Mannar and killed at least 22 rebels. Tamilnet said at
least 11 school children and the principal of the school were among
those killed when the Sri Lanka Army triggered a Claymore mine
targeting a bus carrying school children.
2008 Jan 30, In Sri Lanka
troops overran at least 25 bunkers and killed 10 guerrillas.
2008 Jan 31, In northern Sri
Lanka a bomb being transported by a suicide bomber on a bicycle
exploded prematurely, killing 4 people and injuring 13. Separate
clashes across the north killed 15 Tamil rebels. Japan cautioned it
will review its aid policy unless the violence subsided.
(AP, 1/31/08)(AFP, 1/31/08)(AP, 2/1/08)
2008 Feb 1, In northern Sri
Lanka government troops attacked Tamil Tiger rebel bunkers along the
front lines, triggering a battle that killed 10 guerrillas and two
soldiers. In north-central Sri Lanka a bomb tore through a bus
packed with mostly elderly Buddhist pilgrims, killing 18-20 people
and wounding 51 others.
(AP, 2/1/08)(AP, 2/2/08)(Econ, 2/9/08, p.48)
2008 Feb 3, In Sri Lanka a
female suicide bomber attacked the main railway station in the
capital of Colombo, killing at least 15 people and wounding 93
others. The dead included 7 students and their baseball coach killed
on the eve of Freedom Day.
(AP, 2/3/08)(AFP, 2/5/08)(Econ, 2/9/08, p.66)
2008 Feb 4, In northeastern Sri
Lanka a roadside bomb attack blamed on Tamil Tiger rebels tore
through a civilian bus. 14 people were killed and 15 injured in the
Freedom day attack. According to the defense ministry, the rebels
have lost at least 913 fighters since the beginning of the year,
compared with just 37 government soldiers killed.
(AP, 2/4/08)(AFP, 2/5/08)
2008 Feb 7, In Sri Lanka
government troops attacked rebel bunkers along the northern front
lines, triggering gunbattles that killed 34 rebels and one soldier.
2008 Feb 8, In Sri Lanka
gunbattles along the front lines in the northern districts of
Jaffna, Mannar and Vavuniya killed 41 Tamil Tiger rebels and three
2008 Feb 12, Tiger rebels
shelled a key base in northern Sri Lanka, killing six soldiers and
wounding 10, as the defense ministry said the rebels sustained heavy
losses in new fighting.
2008 Feb 18, Sri Lankan
soldiers captured a line of strategic rebel bunkers after a battle
that killed 10 rebels and one soldier.
2008 Feb 22, In Sri Lanka
clashes broke out in at least six locations in northern Jaffna,
Mannar, Vavuniya districts and Welioya, leaving 31 rebels and one
2008 Feb 23, In Sri Lanka
fighting erupted in northeastern Welioya region, where soldiers
killed at least eight guerrillas. A bomb explosion on a bus wounded
at least 14 people in Mount Lavinia, near the Colombo.
2008 Feb 29, In Sri Lanka a
suspected Tamil Tiger suicide bomber blew himself up injuring 7
people as police tried to search his house in the heavily-guarded
Sri Lankan capital. In a massive search carried out shortly
afterwards, police recovered six powerful Claymore mines, the type
commonly used by Tamil Tiger rebels, from a house in the same area
2008 Mar 2, In Sri Lanka
artillery exchanges left at least 25 Tamil rebels and two Sri Lankan
soldiers dead as Pres. Rajapakse vowed to destroy the separatist
2008 Mar 3, In Sri Lanka 14
rebels were killed in ongoing clashes with government forces.
2008 Mar 3, The Sri Lankan navy
said it rescued 71 Burmese Bangladeshi citizens aboard a vessel that
had drifted for 12 days in the Indian Ocean. 20 others had died from
lack of food and water.
(SFC, 3/4/08, p.A3)
2008 Mar 4, In Sri Lanka 7
rebels were killed in ongoing clashes as government forces pushed
deeper into Tamil Tiger territory. 3 days of fighting left at least
90 guerrillas and nine government soldiers dead.
2008 Mar 6, K. Sivanesan (51),
a Sri Lankan Tamil lawmaker, was killed in a roadside bomb attack by
government security forces. At least 61 Tamil Tiger rebels and five
government troops were killed in 2 days of fresh fighting across Sri
Lanka's embattled north.
(AFP, 3/6/08)(AFP, 3/7/08)
2008 Mar 10, Sri Lankans
trickled to the polls in the turbulent eastern city of Batticaloa to
vote in the first municipal elections since government forces seized
control of the east last year from ethnic Tamil rebels. The Karuna
Group, a pro-government militia composed of former Tamil Tiger
rebels, won the election despite allegations that it used child
soldiers, extorted businessmen and carried out killings.
(AP, 3/10/08)(AP, 3/11/08)
2008 Mar 12, Sri Lanka’s
defense ministry said at least another 28 Tamil Tiger rebels were
killed by security forces in overnight fighting across Sri Lanka's
embattled north. Air force fighter jets pounded three suspected
rebel bases in Mannar.
2008 Mar 14, Sri Lanka’s
pro-rebel TamilNet Web site said rebels beat back advancing troops
on three fronts in Mannar and Welioya regions, killing 22 soldiers.
2008 Mar 16, In northern Sri
Lanka suspected separatist Tamil rebels killed a police officer and
a soldier in separate attacks, taking the death toll from two days
of violence to 30.
2008 Mar 18, In Sri Lanka
battles, roadside bombings and artillery attacks across the front
lines of Sri Lanka's civil war killed 35 ethnic Tamil rebels and two
soldiers. The combatants were killed in at least 17 different
2008 Mar 19, Arthur C. Clarke
(b.1917), English-born science fiction writer, died in Sri Lanka.
Clarke wrote or collaborated on close to 100 books and had moved to
Sri Lanka in 1956. He had just finished his last novel, co-authored
with Frederik Pohl, titled “The Last Theorem.”
(AP, 3/19/08)(SFC, 3/19/08, p.A2)(SSFC, 8/10/08,
2008 Mar 20, In Sri Lanka
troops, according to a statement the next day, ambushed ethnic Tamil
rebels with a roadside bomb, overran bunkers and engaged in
firefights across the north, killing 29 insurgents.
2008 Mar 25, In Sri Lanka
fighting across the war-ravaged northern district killed at least
one soldier and 19 rebels.
2008 Mar 26, A roadside blast
in Sri Lanka's restive eastern region killed two policemen while
fighting in the north left at least 19 rebels and one soldier dead.
2008 Mar 27, In northern Sri
Lanka a series of battles along the front lines killed 17 ethnic
Tamil rebels and two government soldiers.
2008 Apr 1, Strong fighting
broke out in northern Sri Lanka as government troops launched a
fresh offensive against Tiger rebels. The heavy fighting left 42
rebels and a soldier dead.
(AP, 4/1/08)(AP, 4/2/08)
2008 Apr 2, In Sri Lanka
government troops captured a strip of land from Tamil Tigers. 2
civilians were shot dead by suspected Tamil Tiger rebels in the
Wilpattu wildlife park.
2008 Apr 3, In Sri Lanka
battles along the northern front lines left 21 rebels and five
2008 Apr 4, Sri Lanka's air
force bombed and destroyed a Tamil separatist training camp in the
2008 Apr 6, A suspected Tamil
Tiger suicide bomber assassinated Jeyaraj Fernandopulle (55), Sri
Lanka's highways minister, as he opened a marathon in an attack that
also killed 13 others and wounded 100.
2008 Apr 10, In Sri Lanka
government forces attacked Tamil Tiger rebel bunkers along the front
lines in the war-ravaged northern region, triggering gunbattles that
killed 13 rebels and wounded 11 soldiers.
2008 Apr 11, Soldiers destroyed
two Tamil Tiger rebel bunkers in northern Sri Lanka while fighting
in the region left 11 separatists dead and eight soldiers wounded.
2008 Apr 13, Sri Lanka marked
its traditional new year with security forces and Tamil separatists
locked in fierce combat resulting in heavy losses on both sides.
Defense officials said at least 87 guerrillas had been killed in the
last 24 hours. Security forces smashed through defenses of Tamil
separatists, killing at least five rebels.
(AFP, 4/13/08)(AFP, 4/14/08)
2008 Apr 20,
Sri Lankan forces killed a Roman Catholic priest who was also
a top human rights campaigner inside rebel-held territory, as
fighting raged in the troubled north.
2008 Apr 22, In Sri Lanka
rebels said Tamil separatists had destroyed an army tank after Sri
Lankan war planes bombed a Roman Catholic church compound killing a
man and wounding two children.
2008 Apr 23, In Sri Lanka
officials said at least 52 guerrillas and 38 soldiers were killed
and hundreds more wounded as Tamil separatists reported repulsing a
Sri Lankan offensive ahead of key local elections. The defense
ministry said its forces killed more than 100 Tigers and reported
losing 43 soldiers, with another 33 missing in action. It was the
security forces' biggest loss in a single offensive since October
2006. Later reports said at least 165 government soldiers were
killed and 20 more left missing in the battle with Tamil
(AP, 4/23/08)(AFP, 4/24/08)(AFP, 4/25/08)
2008 Apr 24, Sri Lanka carried
out retaliatory air strikes against Tamil Tiger rebels, a day after
intense artillery battles left hundreds killed or wounded, according
to officials on both sides.
2008 Apr 25, In Sri Lanka a
bomb in a bus baggage rack exploded outside Colombo killing 24
people and wounding 40.
(SFC, 4/26/08, p.A3)
2008 Apr 26, In Sri Lanka the
defense ministry said a total of 54 Tiger guerrillas were killed in
separate clashes with security forces and heavy ground fighting was
continuing. The ministry said seven troops were also killed.
2008 Apr 27, In Sri Lanka Tiger
rebels used aircraft to bomb military targets, dealing a
psychological blow to security forces, as the two sides fought heavy
2008 Apr 28, Sri Lanka hailed
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit as an important step
in cementing closer ties between the two nations.
2008 May 1, In Sri Lanka
suspected Tamil Tiger rebels set off a roadside mine, killing two
police commandos, as violence raged on across the north.
2008 May 3, In Sri Lanka heavy
fighting between government troops and Tamil separatists left 35
rebels and eight soldiers dead.
2008 May 8, Sri Lanka’s defense
ministry said at least 74 Tamil Tiger rebels and three Sri Lankan
soldiers have been killed in 3 days of fighting in the island's
2008 May 9, In eastern Sri
Lanka a bomb hidden in a package exploded in a cafe in the town of
Ampara, killing 11 people on the eve local elections.
2008 May 10, Tamil Tiger rebels
sank the Invincible, a navy cargo ship moored in the northeast of
Sri Lanka, in an attack coinciding with key elections in the tense
eastern province. Allegations of fraud, voter intimidation and
sporadic violence marred the elections.
(AP, 5/10/08)(Econ, 5/17/08, p.56)
2008 May 11, Sri Lanka's ruling
coalition was declared the winner of key elections in the east of
the island, and hailed its victory as a major boost for the war
against Tamil rebels.
2008 May 16, Sri Lankan ground
troops killed at least 16 Tamil Tiger rebels while air force fighter
jets bombed guerrilla targets in the island's north. The offensive
came hours after a suicide bomber rammed into a police bus in the
capital of Colombo, killing 11 people and injuring more than 80.
2008 May 17, Sri Lankan air
force helicopters bombed a Tamil Tiger rebel operations center in
the contested north. Separate ground battles killed 12 insurgents.
2008 May 18, In Sri Lanka
government soldiers and the rebels fought several battles in
northern Mannar district, killing 40 rebels and 10 soldiers while
three other soldiers are reported missing. 21 other rebels and seven
soldiers were also killed in scattered fighting, mortar fire and
mine blasts across Jaffna. A pro-rebel Web site reported that the
rebels have stalled a military advance in Mannar, killing 26
soldiers and wounding more than 50. Three insurgents were also
killed in the battle the Web site reported, quoting an unnamed rebel
2008 May 20, In Sri Lanka
ground battles in the Welioya, Vavuniya and Mannar areas bordering
the rebels' de facto state in the north killed 25 rebels. Tamil
leader Balasegaram Kandiah (43), known by his nom de guerre, Brig.
Balraj, died of a heart attack. He reportedly led a number of
battles against government forces.
2008 May 22, In Sri Lanka
government soldiers killed 11 insurgents in three separate clashes
in Vavuniya. 10 soldiers were wounded. Other battles in Jaffna,
Mannar and Welioya killed 11 rebels and two soldiers.
2008 May 23, In Sri Lanka Army
troops launched two separate attacks along the front lines on the
Jaffna peninsula and destroyed 13 rebel bunkers. Guerrillas said 16
civilians were killed in a roadside bomb attack carried out by
government forces deep inside Tamil Tiger territory. Rebels also
said a government airstrike elsewhere in Kilinochchi killed an
infant and a teenage girl. Other fighting in the Vavuniya and Mannar
regions bordering the rebels' de facto state in the north killed
seven rebels and one soldier.
2008 May 24, In northern Sri
Lanka a new round of fighting killed seven Tamil separatists and two
2008 May 26, In Sri Lanka a
bomb ripped through part of a packed passenger train during evening
rush hour, killing 8 people and wounding 70 others near the Colombo.
2008 May 28, Sri Lanka’s
military said 20 insurgents and one soldier were killed in fighting
in Jaffna and Welioya.
2008 May 29, Sri Lanka's
military sank four Tamil Tiger rebel boats off the island's northern
coast after a battle that killed 7 rebels and one soldier. Army
troops captured the stronghold known as Munnagam Base after 3 days
of fighting. The military said 6 civilians were killed in a rebel
artillery attack. A pro-rebel Web site reported that guerrillas
raided a navy camp in Sirutheevu islet, killing 13 sailors and
seizing weapons. Other fighting in the Mannar and Vavuniya regions
in the north killed 4 rebels and wounded 8 soldiers.
(AP, 5/29/08)(AP, 5/30/08)
2008 May 30, Sri Lanka’s Tigers
repelled an army advance into rebel-held areas of Vavuniya and
Mannar, killing 31 troops and wounding at least 52 in several
clashes according to Tamilnet.com. The rebels condemned government
moves to devolve more power to the north and east
2008 May 31, In Sri Lanka 9
Tamil Tiger rebels and four soldiers were killed in new clashes in
Sri Lanka's restive north.
2008 Jun 4, In Sri Lanka a bomb
blast targeting a passenger train wounded 18 bystanders in Colombo
in the latest attack on civilians in the island nation. Tamil Tigers
reportedly killed 10 soldiers while security forces reportedly
killed 35 rebels during the heavy clashes across the island's north.
According to the defense ministry, 4,068 Tamil Tigers and 335
government troops have been killed since January.
(AP, 6/4/08)(AFP, 6/5/08)
2008 Jun 5, Fighting in
northern Sri Lanka claimed 16 LTTE members and two soldiers.
2008 Jun 6, In Sri Lanka
officials said at least 23 people were killed and 67 wounded in two
Tamil Tiger bomb attacks on public buses packed with civilians.
2008 Jun 7, In Sri Lanka
separate clashes in Vavuniya district killed 8 rebels and wounded
five soldiers. Other battles in Jaffna and Welioya killed six rebels
and wounded 10 soldiers.
2008 Jun 11, In Sri Lanka
government forces destroyed two Tamil Tiger rebel bunkers in the
embattled north while infantry clashes killed 13 rebels and two
2008 Jun 12, In Sri Lanka a new
round of fighting with Tamil Tiger separatists has killed 11 rebels
and two soldiers.
2008 Jun 13, In Sri Lanka's
north clashes in the Welioya area killed seven rebels and four
soldiers. 3 confrontations in Vavuniya and Mannar killed four rebels
and three soldiers.
2008 Jun 14, In Sri Lanka
ground battles left 15 guerrillas and two soldiers dead.
2008 Jun 15, Sri Lankan war
planes destroyed a suspected Tamil Tiger logistics base in the
island's northeast. The rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
(LTTE) said Sri Lankan jets had killed two civilians and wounded 11
more in the attack.
2008 Jun 16, In Sri Lanka
battles across the volatile north killed 14 ethnic Tamil rebels and
one government soldier.
2008 Jun 16, The Canadian
government added the World Tamil Movement to its list of terrorist
groups, describing it as a front organization that raised funds for
the rebel Tamil Tigers fighting against the government in Sri Lanka.
2008 Jun 17, In Sri Lanka
scattered fighting across the restive north killed 25 Tamil Tiger
rebels and six soldiers.
2008 Jun 18, Italian police
arrested 33 Sri Lankan Tamils charged with belonging to the outlawed
Tamil Tigers group fighting a separatist insurgency against the
government in Colombo. In addition to being charged with membership
of a proscribed organization, the 33 were also accused of having
helped finance the Tamil Tigers through remittances.
2008 Jun 19, In Sri Lanka
fighting between the government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels along
the northern front lines killed 26 rebels and three government
2008 Jun 21, Sri Lanka launched
air attacks in rebel-held territory in the island's north as ground
troops killed at least four guerrillas.
2008 Jun 22, Sri Lanka Army
troops captured six rebel bunkers near the front lines in Vavuniya
after a battle that killed 10 rebels and five soldiers. In the
nearby Mannar district, soldiers clashed with guerrillas, leaving 10
rebels and one soldier dead. Other battles in Welioya, Vavuniya and
Jaffna killed 13 rebels while wounding 30 rebels and 15 soldiers.
2008 Jun 23, In Sri Lanka
fighting in northern Sri Lanka killed 21 Tamil Tiger separatist
rebels and two soldiers.
2008 Jun 24, Fighting across
Sri Lanka's embattled northern region killed at least 32 ethnic
Tamil rebels and four government soldiers. Air force fighters bombed
a training base in the rebel stronghold of Mullaitivu while
helicopter gunships pounded rebel bunkers along the front lines in
2008 Jun 25, In northern Sri
Lanka at least 69 Tiger rebels and two soldiers were killed in the
last 2 days in heavy fighting where security forces wrested more
territory from the guerrillas.
2008 Jun 26, Sri Lankan forces
captured a Tamil Tiger supply center and bombed a rebel training
base amid a surge in the island's civil war that killed 49
insurgents and two soldiers.
2008 Jun 27, In Sri Lanka
government troops captured Andankulam town in Mannar after a battle
that killed 28 rebels and one soldier. Other battles killed 12
rebels and one soldier in the Welioya region, while in the northern
Jaffna peninsula, a soldier died in a roadside bomb blast blamed on
2008 Jun 28, In northern Sri
Lanka government troops captured a Tamil Tiger rebel-held village.
20 rebels and a soldier were killed in Vavuniya. Seven Tigers and a
soldier were killed in Mannar and 14 rebels died in Welioya.
(AP, 6/28/08)(AP, 6/29/08)
2008 Jun 29, In Sri Lanka army
troops took control of about 46 square miles of rebel-held territory
in the Mannar region. Soldiers killed 13 rebels in clashes in the
Welioya region. Another 13 rebels and two soldiers were killed in
battles in Mannar and Vavuniya districts.
2008 Jun 30, Sri Lanka's air
force bombed a Tamil Tiger rebel navy base, while separate ground
clashes in the country's war-torn north left 20 combatants dead.
2008 Jul 1, In Sri Lanka
fighting erupted in the Vavuniya and Welioya regions bordering the
rebels' de facto state in the north. The fighting in Vavuniya killed
16 rebels and one soldier, while in the nearby Welioya region, 11
rebels and one soldier died.
2008 Jul 2, In Sri Lanka a
series of battles between government forces and Tamil Tiger fighters
on the front lines of the civil war killed 26 rebels. The fighting
took place throughout the day, killing two rebels in the Vavuniya
area, 12 in Mannar and 12 in Welioya. Rebel spokesman Rasiah
Ilanthirayan disputed those figures, saying three of his fighters
and 11 soldiers were killed in the fighting.
2008 Jul 3, In Sri Lanka a wave
of battles in Mannar, Vavuniya and Welioya killed 32 rebels and two
2008 Jul 4, In Sri Lanka
soldiers took control of Michael Base in the rebel stronghold of
Mullaitivu district after three days of fighting. Other battles in
Vavuniya killed 18 rebels and wounded three soldiers. Fighting in
Mannar, Jaffna and Welioya left 15 rebels dead and one soldier
(AP, 7/4/08)(AP, 7/5/08)
2008 Jul 5, In Sri Lanka
clashes were reported in several villages in Vavuniya district where
12 rebels were killed. 3 rebels were killed in Mannar and 4 rebels
and a soldier were killed in Welioya.
2008 Jul 6, Sri Lankan fighter
jets bombed a Tamil Tiger rebel position in their northern
2008 Jul 11, In southern Sri
Lanka suspected rebel gunmen ambushed a crowded passenger bus as it
traveled down a small rural road. The attack killed a boy and three
women and wounded 25 others. Clashes broke out in the Mannar,
Vavuniya and Welioya regions surrounding the rebel stronghold killed
2008 Jul 12, In Sri Lanka 18
rebels and a soldier were killed in Mannar district; 7 rebels and a
soldier were killed in Vavuniya and six guerrillas died in Welioya.
Each side often exaggerates the casualties and damage inflicted on
its enemy while underreporting its own losses.
2008 Jul 15, In Sri Lanka
fighting reportedly killed a total of 51 rebels and a soldier.
2008 Jul 16, Sri Lankan
soldiers captured a key naval base used by the Tamil Tiger rebels in
the northern part of the country. Fighting in the north killed 24
rebels and 3 soldiers.
(AP, 7/16/08)(AP, 7/17/08)
2008 Jul 17, Sri Lankan air
force jets bombed a group of ethnic Tamil rebels. Troops attacked
rebel bunkers along the front lines in the Vavuniya area, killing 10
Tamil Tiger fighters. Fighting in the area also killed four
soldiers, while a fifth soldier was missing in action. Fighting in
Welioya killed nine rebels and one soldier, while another rebel was
killed in Jaffna.
(AP, 7/17/08)(AFP, 7/18/08)
2008 Jul 18, Sri Lankan
warplanes carried out air raids over the rebel-controlled northern
region of Mullaittivu, targeting a Tiger logistics base. The
military said fighting in the northern Vavuniya district left nine
rebels killed. 7 insurgents were killed along the Welioya front,
while 3 more were killed in Jaffna.
(AFP, 7/18/08)(AP, 7/19/08)
2008 Jul 19, In Sri Lanka
soldiers killed 11 rebels in Vavuniya while five rebels died in the
nearby Mannar district. A soldier was killed by a sniper's bullet in
2008 Jul 20, Sri Lankan
government forces captured a Tamil Tiger rebel base in the north
after a 48-hour battle that left at least 15 rebels dead. Air force
jets destroyed six rebel boats.
2008 Jul 21, In Sri Lanka 44
rebels and two government soldiers were killed in fighting.
2008 Jul 22, The Tamil Tiger
rebels announced they would observe a unilateral 10-day cease-fire
as a goodwill gesture during a regional summit to be held later this
month. An airstrike deep inside the rebels' de facto state killed 22
members of the Black Tigers, the group's suicide force.
2008 Jul 23, In Sri Lanka
government forces killed 25 rebels in battles in the Vavuniya,
Mannar, Jaffna and Welioya regions along the front lines.
2008 Jul 24, Sri Lankan forces
battled rebel gunmen deep inside the nation's northern jungles,
killing 25 guerrilla fighters and seizing new territory. Battles in
other parts of the war zone killed 13 rebels and three soldiers.
(AP, 7/24/08)(AP, 7/25/08)
2008 Jul 25, In Sri Lanka heavy
fighting between Sri Lankan government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels
along the front lines of their civil war killed 62 rebels and eight
2008 Jul 26, In northern Sri
Lanka 12 Tamil Tiger rebels were killed by security forces in fresh
clashes in the Wanni region.
2008 Jul 27, In Sri Lanka at
least 16 different battles broke out in the Welioya and Vavuniya
regions, some of them sparked by government attacks on the rebels'
bunker lines. The rebels also carried out at least five roadside
bombings against troops. The violence killed 18 rebels and four
2008 Jul 29, In Sri Lanka 21
Tamil Tigers and 4 soldiers were slain in clashes in the northern
2008 Jul 30, Sri Lankan war
planes bombed a suspected Tiger base in the north. The army launched
a wave of attacks against Tamil Tiger separatists in the north,
sparking battles that killed 24 rebels and one soldier.
(AFP, 7/30/08)(AP, 7/31/08)
2008 Jul 31, Sri Lanka’s army
troops crossed into Kilinochchi district, where the rebels' de facto
capital is located, in fighting for the first time in 11 years.
2008 Aug 1, In Sri Lanka new
fighting between government forces and the rebels across the
country's embattled northern region killed 38 rebels and 14
2008 Aug 2, In Sri Lanka a
two-day summit of leaders of the 15th South Asian Association for
Regional Cooperation (SAARC), opened amid extraordinary security.
Leaders of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, The Maldives,
Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka attended the summit. Government troops
captured rebel-held Vellankulam village in Mannar, the last rebel
stronghold in the area. Fresh fighting between Sri Lankan troops and
Tamil Tiger separatists killed 14 rebels and two soldiers across the
embattled northern region.
(AP, 8/2/08)(AP, 8/3/08)
2008 Aug 3, In Sri Lanka the
South Asian summit ended. Tensions between India and Pakistan
overshadowed the summit, but the two nuclear-armed rivals vowed to
work together and save a tenuous peace process. A draft summit
declaration called for collective action to combat "all forms of
terrorist violence" that was threatening their "peace, stability and
security." The leaders also agreed to implement a regional trade
pact, signed in 1995 but never fully implemented. Troops repulsed an
attempt by Tamil rebels to retake a recently captured guerrilla
stronghold in heavy fighting that killed 21 rebels and three
soldiers. Thirteen rebels and three soldiers were killed in other
clashes in the Mannar, Vavuniya and Welioya regions.
(AFP, 8/3/08)(AP, 8/4/08)
2008 Aug 7, In Sri Lanka army
troops attacked and captured a rebel bunker in Welioya, where
separate clashes killed 15 rebels and four soldiers. In nearby
Vavuniya district, fighting killed two rebels and wounded two
2008 Aug 8, In Sri Lanka
artillery shells fired by the army hit a hospital overnight killing
an 18-month-old baby and wounding 16 people. Infantry clashes in the
north killed 31 rebels and four soldiers.
(AP, 8/8/08)(AP, 8/9/08)
2008 Aug 9, In Sri Lanka air
force fighter jets pounded a Tamil Tiger supply base and an
intelligence operation center deep in rebel-held Mullaitivu
district. Separately, helicopter gunships overnight hit a radio
center operated by the Sea Tigers. Scattered battles in Vavuniya
killed 16 rebels and one soldier while three rebels died in
Mullaitivu. Separate clashes killed five insurgents in Welioya and
(AP, 8/9/08)(AP, 8/10/08)
2008 Aug 10, Sri Lankan
soldiers launched a pre-dawn attack on Tamil separatists in the
embattled north, killing 15 rebels, while other battles in the
region left 24 rebels and one soldier dead, said the military.
2008 Aug 13, In Sri Lanka a
wave of battles across the front lines in the 25-year-old civil war
killed 14 ethnic Tamil rebels and two government soldiers.
2008 Aug 14, In Sri Lanka
government jets hit a series of Tamil Tiger targets in the
Mullaittivu region in support of troops fighting on the ground.
Fighting between the two sides killed 27 rebels and two government
(AP, 8/14/08)(AP, 8/15/08)
2008 Aug 15, International aid
groups said tens of thousands of civilians have fled their homes in
northern Sri Lanka in recent weeks as the military ramped up its
offensive against the Tamil Tiger rebels' heartland.
2008 Aug 16, In Sri Lanka a
series of raging battles across the northern war zone killed 27
Tamil Tiger fighters and seven government troops. Soldiers took
control of a rebel training base in Andankulam in the Welioya region
after Tamil Tiger fighters fled the area.
2008 Aug 21, In Sri Lanka
helicopter gunships attacked a rebel fortification in the northern
district of Vavuniya. 21 rebels and two soldiers died in fighting.
(AP, 8/21/08)(AP, 8/22/08)
2008 Aug 22, Sri Lankan troops
captured two strategic towns from Tamil Tigers as they closed in on
the rebels' political capital. With the fall of Thunukkai and
Uyilankulam, the military was just 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) south
2008 Aug 23, Sri Lanka staged
local elections under tight security as troops pushed deeper into
Tamil Tiger territory, closing in on the rebel capital in the
war-ravaged north. The defense ministry said a total of 28 rebels
and two soldiers were killed in clashes over the last 24 hours
across the island's north.
2008 Aug 24, In Sri Lanka
soldiers reportedly killed 12 Tamil separatists in fighting along
the front lines dividing government territory from the rebels de
2008 Aug 25, In northern Sri
Lanka a series of gunbattles between government forces and the Tamil
Tigers killed 15 rebels and seven soldiers.
2008 Aug 26, In Sri Lanka
ground battles in the northern regions of Jaffna, Vavuniya,
Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi and Welioya killed 27 rebels and two
2008 Aug 29, In Sri Lanka
renewed fighting in the embattled north killed 18 rebels and 5
2008 Aug 30, A bomb blast
blamed on separatist Tamil Tigers wounded 45 people in Colombo. A
clash killed three soldiers and a rebel in Anuradhapura district.
Rebels said that a shell fired by government forces hit a shelter
for civilians displaced by fighting in Kilinochchi, killing five
people and wounding three others.
2008 Aug 31, Sri Lanka’s
defense ministry said troops killed 12 rebels in the north, while
three soldiers also died in combat.
2008 Aug, Inflation in Sri
Lanka reached an annual rate close to 30%. The 25-year average
annual inflation rate was 12%.
(Econ, 8/16/08, p.44)
2008 Sep 1, Sri Lanka’s defense
ministry said 33 rebels and four of its own troops were killed in
fighting across the north of the island. It said 49 guerrillas and
11 soldiers were also wounded in the fighting. Government troops
marched into Mallavi, a key LTTE bastion.
2008 Sep 2, Sri Lanka's
government said it had dealt a major blow to Tamil rebels by
capturing the key northern town and guerrilla bastion of Mallavi
after heavy fighting that left dozens dead. Government forces
pounded rebel defenses with airstrikes, helicopter attacks and
ground assaults as heavy fighting across northern Sri Lanka killed
47 Tamil Tiger fighters and left 13 soldiers dead or missing. A
rebel affiliated Web site claimed the Tamil Tigers had killed as
many as 75 government soldiers in the recent fighting.
(AP, 9/2/08)(AP, 9/3/08)
2008 Sep 3, In Sri Lanka
fighter jets bombed two rebel boats off the northeast coast in the
rebel stronghold of Mullaitivu, destroying one and causing heavy
damage to the other.
2008 Sep 5, In Sri Lankan
soldiers captured three Tamil Tiger rebel bunkers and killed 24
guerrillas in fighting across the island's restive north.
2008 Sep 6, In Sri Lanka air
force helicopters bombed rebel bunkers in the rebel-held Mullaittivu
district to support advancing ground troops.
2008 Sep 9, Tamil Tiger rebels
launched an air and ground assault on a military complex in northern
Sri Lanka. 5 women were among 10 suicide bombers that struck the
Vavuniya military complex, 260 kilometers (160 miles) north of
Colombo. At least 15 people were killed in the attack. The UN
announced it was withdrawing its aid workers from Sri Lanka's
embattled north ahead of a major military drive, as Colombo claimed
its first downing of a rebel aircraft.
(AP, 9/9/08)(AFP, 9/12/08)
2008 Sep 10, In Sri Lanka air
force jets attacked a rebel intelligence base in the north, stepping
up a punishing wave of airstrikes a day after Tamil Tiger fighters
launched a surprise attack on a military base. UN chief Ban Ki-moon
expressed international concern for tens of thousands civilians
trapped in Sri Lanka's north as government forces prepared for a
major showdown with Tamil separatists.
2008 Sep 11, Sri Lankan troops
killed 37 Tiger rebels during fresh fighting across the island's
2008 Sep 13, Sri Lanka's Tamil
Tigers accused the government of planning a genocidal campaign
against Tamils as UN agencies pulled out of rebel-held regions in
the island's north. Violence in the last 24 hours killed eight Tiger
rebels and two troops.
2008 Sep 18, Sri Lanka's
military said it was moving closer to the headquarters of the Tamil
Tigers. Naval forces fought a ferocious sea battle with Tamil Tiger
separatists off Sri Lanka's northwestern coast, sinking 10 boats.
Tamil Tiger separatists and government forces fought intense battles
across the embattled northern region, killing at least 62 rebels and
eight soldiers according to military officials. The Tamil Tigers,
meanwhile, said they repelled a government offensive in Kilinochchi,
killing 25 soldiers.
(AFP, 9/18/08)(AP, 9/18/08)(AP, 9/19/08)
2008 Sep 22, In Sri Lanka some
26 Tamil Tigers were killed in ground fighting across the across the
embattled regions of Weli Oya, Kilinochchi and Vavuniya, where
troops were trying to wrest control of the rebel capital of
2008 Sep 25, In Sri Lanka
fighting in Kilinochchi left at least 24 Tamil Tiger soldiers dead,
with two killed on the government side. Troops also killed nine
rebels in separate attacks along the northern front of Vavuniya and
2008 Sep 26, In Sri Lanka at
least 52 Tamil Tiger rebels were killed in heavy fighting between
troops and the guerrillas just outside the insurgents' northern
capital. Fighting along the northern region of Weli Oya and Jaffna
left eight rebels and two soldiers dead.
2008 Sep 27, Sri Lankan fighter
jets bombed a rebel base in Kilinochchi district. The government it
said was used to train suicide bombers. The pro-rebel Tamilnet
website said the bombs fell on a civilian town, killing one person
and injuring two, including a child. Clashes between government
soldiers and rebels left 17 dead in the country's war-ravaged north.
(AFP, 9/27/08)(AFP, 9/28/08)
2008 Sep 28, In Sri Lanka a
suicide attack in Vavuniya killed one civilian and left 8 wounded. A
soldier died form wounds the next day. Troops captured part of a
strategic road in Kilinochchi district after a seven-hour battle
that killed seven rebels and one soldier. Attacks on rebel bunkers
and other scattered fighting killed 11 rebels in the Welioya, Jaffna
and Vavuniya districts. Two other rebels were killed in a brief
clash in Ampara in the east, which the government ousted the rebels
from last year.
(AP, 9/28/08)(AP, 9/29/08)
2008 Sep 29, Suspected Tamil
separatists set off a bomb in a parking lot in Colombo, Sri Lanka's
capital, wounding three people.
2008 Oct 2, Sri Lanka’s air
force bombed the offices of the rebel peace secretariat, the
headquarters for its negotiating team in long-defunct peace talks.
Scattered battles killed 42 rebel fighters and two soldiers.
2008 Oct 3, Sri Lankan air
force jets bombed the offices of the Tamil Tiger political chief
2008 Oct 4, In Sri Lanka heavy
fighting near the rebels' administrative capital of Kilinochchi left
20 guerrillas and 4 soldiers dead. Soldiers overran five rebel
bunkers in the Mullaitivu district, killing 5 rebels. 4 rebels and a
soldier were killed in clashes in the Vavuniya and Welioya regions.
2008 Oct 6, In northern Sri
Lanka a suspected rebel suicide bomber blew himself up inside a
crowded opposition party office, killing a former army general and
2008 Oct 9, A suspected Tamil
Tiger suicide bomber blew himself up near a convoy carrying a senior
Sri Lankan Cabinet minister, wounding his deputy and at least six
others. One bystander was killed and a wounded person died in the
(AP, 10/9/08)(SFC, 10/10/08, p.A17)
2008 Oct 11, In Sri Lanka
fighting around Kilinochchi killed 26 rebels and two soldiers in two
separate clashes. Other battles in Welioya and Vavuniya killed four
2008 Oct 12, Sri Lanka’s
soldiers destroyed three bunkers and captured four others after
battles that killed 15 rebels near their administrative capital of
Kilinochchi. Separate clashes in the same area killed four rebels
and one soldier. In the northern Jaffna peninsula, troops killed
four rebels along the front lines while a rebel mortar attack killed
two soldiers. Clashes in Mullaitivu killed four rebels and wounded
2008 Oct 13, In Sri Lanka
fighting in the Kilinochchi region killed 11 rebel fighters and two
soldiers. Fighting in Jaffna, Vavuniya and Mullaittivu killed nine
2008 Oct 13, Swiss authorities
said they have found high concentrations of melamine in biscuits
from Thailand and Sri Lanka and have called on other European
countries to withdraw the products.
2008 Oct 14, In Sri Lanka
government forces pounded rebel defenses with airstrikes and ground
assaults. Heavy fighting across the north killed 49 Tamil Tiger
fighters and 7 soldiers. TamilNet reported that 3 soldiers were
killed in the government–controlled east.
(AP, 10/15/08)(SFC, 10/15/08, p.A5)
2008 Oct 15, In Sri Lanka air
force jets bombed a group of rebels who were building an earthen
embankment as a defense against advancing government forces in
2008 Oct 16, Sri Lankan troops
captured the rebel-held town of Maniyakkulam, in the island's north
following heavy fighting that killed a large group of guerrillas.
2008 Oct 20, The Sri Lankan
government admitted that scores of its troops had been killed or
injured in fierce fighting with the Tamil Tigers, its biggest
reported battlefield loss in months. Battles since Oct 18 had left
33 soldiers dead, three missing in action and 48 injured. The bodies
of 11 rebels were recovered from the battlefield.
2008 Oct 22, In Sri Lanka the
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rammed explosives-laden
boats against the MV Ruhuna and MV Nimalawa which were supplying the
besieged Jaffna peninsula in a pre-dawn attack. Officials said at
least six members of the elite Black Sea Tiger suicide squad may
have perished in the attack.
2008 Oct 28, In Sri Lanka the
Tamil Tigers' rudimentary air force bombed a power station on the
outskirts of Colombo. The bombing damaged some turbines at the power
station. A worker hospitalized after the attack died the next day.
2008 Oct 29, Sri Lankan troops
captured a small village in northern Sri Lanka, pushing ahead with
their offensive against the Tamil Tigers hours after the rebel group
launched a brazen airstrike on the capital.
2008 Nov 1, Sri Lanka's defense
ministry said its warships sank at least four rebel boats and killed
at least 14 guerrillas while the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
(LTTE) said they destroyed a navy fast attack craft and a
hovercraft. Security forces took control of a two-kilometer
(1.25-mile) rebel bunker line north of Kilinochchi amidst heavy
2008 Nov 15, Sri Lanka's
president asked Tamil Tigers to surrender after troops claimed
re-taking Pooneryn, a strategically-important town from the
separatists, following months of heavy fighting. Army troops
destroyed 16 rebel bunkers in the Mullaitivu district and fought a
series of battles in the rebel stronghold of Kilinochchi, inflicting
"heavy casualties" on the guerrillas.
2008 Nov 16, Sri Lanka's air
force pounded the Tamil Tiger rebels' main northern defense line in
the Muhamalai area of Jaffna peninsula.
2008 Nov 17, Sri Lankan troops
captured the strategic towns of Mankulam, Pannikankulam, and
Kumalamunai from Tamil Tiger rebels following fierce fighting in the
north of the island.
2008 Nov 18, Sri Lankan naval
forces backed by helicopter gunships attacked a group of rebel
boats, sinking two and killing six Tamil Tiger sailors. Sri Lankan
air force jets bombed a rebel training camp in the north as ground
forces waged new battles with Tamil Tiger rebels across the front
(AP, 11/18/08)(AP, 11/19/08)
2008 Nov 20, Sri Lanka's
military said that it smashed a key Tamil Tiger defense line in the
island's far north and seized an airfield, putting new pressure on
the shrinking jungle mini-state.
2008 Nov 23, In Sri Lanka at
least 27 soldiers were killed and another 70 wounded in fresh
fighting just outside Kilinochchi, the political capital of the
Liberation Tigers (LTTE). Tamil Tiger rebels said they killed 43 Sri
Lankan soldiers in the island's north, halting the government's
march toward a strategic crossroads.
(AFP, 11/24/08)(AP, 11/24/08)
2008 Nov 25, In eastern Sri
Lanka 12 people, including three suspected Tiger rebels, were killed
in fresh violence. Heavy fighting raged on three fronts around the
northern town of Kilinochchi, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam's
(LTTE) political headquarters.
2008 Nov 29, Officials in Sri
Lanka said floods caused by days of heavy rains killed at least
seven people, left four soldiers missing and displaced tens of
thousands in insurgency-ravaged northern Sri Lanka.
2008 Nov 30, Sri Lankan
soldiers recaptured Kokavil, a key northern town near the
headquarters of Tamil Tiger rebels, 18 years after the area was
seized by the insurgents.
2008 Dec 6, Sri Lanka's
military captured a rebel-held village, bringing half of a main
highway leading to the rebels' de facto capital of Kilinochchi under
2008 Dec 10, In northern Sri
Lanka separatist Tamil rebels fought intense battles against
government forces trying to advance on the militants' de facto
capital, killing at least 89 soldiers. The military disputed the
death toll, saying pitched battles in the north over the past two
days had left 20 soldiers and 27 rebels dead.
2008 Dec 12, In Sri Lanka
clashes with troops left 10 rebels dead near their de facto northern
2008 Dec 13, Sri Lankan air
force jets bombed Tamil separatists in the island's embattled north.
2008 Dec 16, In northern Sri
Lanka intense fighting left at least 25 government troops and 120
Tamil Tigers dead in ongoing battles for the rebels' political
capital. The rebels said they forced the troops to retreat after a
day of bloody battles, killing 170 soldiers and wounding more than
(AP, 12/16/08)(AP, 12/17/08)
2008 Dec 17, Sri Lankan fighter
jets and attack helicopters pummeled rebel fortifications across the
north, as government forces pushed ahead with their offensive
against the Tamil Tigers' northern stronghold in the face of
punishing seasonal rains and stiff rebel resistance.
2008 Dec 19, Sri Lankan fighter
jets and attack helicopters bombed rebel bunkers and a flotilla of
boats in the northern war zone Friday as government troops breached
another section of the Tamil Tigers defense fortifications.
2008 Dec 21, Sri Lanka’s
government said its troops captured the strategic village of
Nedunkerni in the northeast. A pro-rebel report said Tamil Tiger
rebels killed 60 Sri Lankan troops advancing toward their de facto
capital. The government said 12 soldiers died.
2008 Dec 22, Sri Lankan troops
launched a major attack against Tamil rebel fortifications, sparking
clashes that killed 57 insurgents and 10 soldiers. The Tamil Tigers
said more than 100 soldiers were killed.
2008 Dec 28, In Sri Lanka a
suspected Tamil rebel suicide bomber killed at least seven troops
and one civilian in a blast at a guard post near the Sri Lankan
capital. Another 17 people, including four civilians, were wounded.
2008 Dec 30, Sri Lanka's Tamil
Tiger separatists said are open to restarting peace talks with the
government, despite the continuing military offensive aimed at
crushing the group.
2009 Jan 1, Sri Lanka said its
forces have captured a key crossroads from Tamil Tiger rebels in the
north and that it will seize the guerrillas' de facto capital within
two days. The fighting killed 50 rebels and four soldiers. A
roadside bomb blast blamed on the rebels killed two policemen on a
foot patrol in the eastern region.
2009 Jan 2, In northern Sri
Lanka government forces captured the Tamil Tigers' de facto capital,
dealing a devastating blow to the rebels' quarter-century fight for
an independent state. A suspected Tamil Tiger suicide attacker on a
motorcycle detonated a bomb near the air force headquarters in the
heart of Colombo during the afternoon rush hour, killing two airmen.
2009 Jan 3, Sri Lankan troops
advanced on the military headquarters of the Tamil Tigers and
engaged the rebels in fresh gun battles. At least three people were
wounded in a bomb blast in Colombo.
2009 Jan 4, Sri Lanka’s
rebel-affiliated TamilNet Web site reported that the insurgents
stalled a military advance on the road to Mullaittivu, killing 53
soldiers and wounding 80 others.
2009 Jan 5, Sri Lanka’s
government troops captured a strategic Tamil Tiger-held town and
moved closer to a key rebel base, as citizens raised flags and held
a moment of silence to honor the military as it battles to end the
country's 25-year-old civil war. The rebels, as well has hundreds of
thousands of civilians displaced by the fighting, were confined to a
jungle area slightly larger than the city of Los Angeles.
2009 Jan 6, Sri Lankan forces
overran the Tamil Tigers' northernmost defense line and took full
control of Muhamalai, forcing the rebels to fall back about 600
yards to another defense line. Armed men attacked a private Sri
Lankan television station, tossing hand grenades, shooting out TV
screens and starting a fire that caused heavy damage. Reporters
Without Borders said the attack follows accusations by state media
that the Maharaja Organization's television and radio stations were
not "patriotic" enough in their coverage of the government's recent
2009 Jan 7, Sri Lanka
officially outlawed the Tamil Tigers, ruling out for now the
possibility of peace talks to end a 25-year civil war.
(WSJ, 1/8/09, p.A1)
2009 Jan 8, Sri Lankan troops
captured an important Tamil Tiger base and pounded the rebels with
air attacks, forcing the insurgents to withdraw deeper into the
dwindling area that remains under their control. Gunmen on a
motorcycle shot and killed Lasantha Wickrematunge, the editor of a
Sri Lankan newspaper critical of the government, the second violent
attack on media this week. Three days after he was gunned down
execution-style, Wickrematunge's newspaper published a haunting,
self-written obituary in which he says he was targeted for his
writings and adds: "When finally I am killed, it will be the
government that kills me."
(AP, 1/8/09)(AP, 1/12/09)
2009 Jan 9, Sri Lankan troops
captured Elephant Pass, the Tamil Tigers' last stronghold on the
Jaffna peninsula, seizing control of a symbolic highway and
isolating the retreating rebels in a shrinking slice of northeastern
jungle. Government soldiers seized a rebel training camp near the
village of Mulliyaweli, in Mullaitivu.
(AP, 1/9/09)(AP, 1/11/09)
2009 Jan 10, In Sri Lanka
government soldiers captured a guerrilla camp in the village of
Aiyamperumal in Mullaittivu. A pro-rebel TamilNet Web site reported
that four civilians were killed in a government artillery assault on
a rebel-held village in Mullaitivu.
2009 Jan 12, In Sri Lanka heavy
fighting was reported around guerrilla-controlled Mullaittivu
district, with troops seizing a rebel administration base, a
training camp and a bunker line.
2009 Jan 14, Sri Lankan defense
officials said troops have established total control over the
northern peninsula of Jaffna after flushing out the last remaining
pockets of rebel resistance.
2009 Jan 17, Sri Lanka’s
Lieutenant General Sarath Fonseka said troops have almost completely
cornered the Tamil Tigers in their northeastern jungle base and that
the rebels' elusive supremo may already have fled the island.
2009 Jan 21, Sri Lanka's
military declared a "safety zone" to enable some 250,000 trapped
civilians to cross into government-controlled territory from the
diminishing area held by Tamil Tiger rebels in the war-torn north.
2009 Jan 22, The Sri Lankan
military shelled a village and a makeshift hospital inside a
government-declared "safe zone" for civilians in the north, killing
at least 30 people and injuring scores of others, according to local
2009 Jan 23, In Sri Lanka
assailants on motorbikes attacked and wounded a newspaper editor and
his wife as they drove to work, the latest in a string of assault on
2009 Jan 25, Sri Lankan troops
overran the last town controlled by Tamil rebels, striking a major
blow in Asia's longest-running ethnic conflict.
2009 Jan 26, A UN spokesman in
Colombo said dozens of civilians have been killed in Sri Lanka's
embattled north during ongoing heavy fighting between government
troops and Tamil rebels. At least 10 civilians were killed today
inside an area declared as a "safety zone." Over the weekend, dozens
of people were killed or wounded.
2009 Jan 27, In Sri Lanka a
health official alleged that at least 300 civilians were wounded and
scores feared killed by Sri Lankan army artillery shells fired into
a designated "safe zone" for ethnic Tamils trapped by fighting
between the military and Tamil rebels.
2009 Jan 28, Sri Lankan forces
fought their way into another village still held by Tamil Tiger
rebels, as neighboring India raised fears for civilians caught up in
2009 Jan 29, In Sri Lanka UN
workers evacuated hundreds of severely wounded civilians from behind
rebel lines as government troops fought to secure final victory over
the Tamil Tigers. Up to 250,000 civilians were trapped in the combat
zone in the northeast of the island.
2009 Jan 30, Sri Lanka rejected
growing international calls for a ceasefire amid fears for the
safety of 250,000 civilians trapped as the military pushed for
victory against Tamil rebels.
2009 Jan - 2009 May, A UN
report in 2011 found that tens of thousands were killed in Sri Lanka
during this period. They were mostly civilian casualties caused by
(Econ, 4/30/11, p.46)
2009 Feb 1, Sri Lanka's army
declared that rescuing civilians trapped by its offensive against
Tamil Tiger rebels is now one of its top priorities, and said it
captured two camps used by suicide squads. Shells hit a crowded
hospital in the northeast combat zone, killing at least nine people.
(AP, 2/1/09)(AFP, 2/2/09)
2009 Feb 2, In Sri Lanka rare
images of suffering civilians trapped in the war zone emerged: Dead
parents still cradling their children. A teenage boy with no arms
crying in despair. A severely crowded hospital with many patients
lying on mats under already full beds.
2009 Feb 3, In Sri Lanka
patients who could walk fled one of last functioning hospitals in
the northern war zone after it was hit by artillery shells, while
the Red Cross negotiated for the evacuation of those severely
wounded. The military said it captured the Tamil Tigers' seventh and
final airstrip, effectively grounding their tiny air force.
2009 Feb 4, Sri Lanka's
president said that the Tamil Tiger rebels are on the verge of
defeat, but dozens of civilians were reported killed as fierce
fighting continued in Asia's longest-running civil war. The last
hospital in Sri Lanka's shrinking war zone was evacuated as Red
Cross staff and wounded civilians fled attacks that apparently
included cluster munitions. At least 52 civilians were killed by
shelling in the war zone.
(AFP, 2/4/09)(AP, 2/4/09)(WSJ, 2/5/09, p.A1)
2009 Feb 5, Sri Lanka's prime
minister rejected calls for a cease-fire from donor countries
concerned by reports of growing civilian casualties in the South
Asian nation's civil war and instead demanded the Tamil Tiger
rebels' unconditional surrender.
2009 Feb 8, In Sri Lanka an
official said more than 15,000 civilians have fled the northern war
zone over the last three days, as government forces appeared poised
to crush the separatist Tamil Tigers.
2009 Feb 9, In Sri Lanka a
woman with a bomb strapped to her body hid in a crowd of civilians
at a refugee camp in Vishvamadu, blowing herself up and killing 29
people as security forces frisked people fleeing the northern war
(AP, 2/9/09)(SFC, 2/10/09, p.A6)(Econ, 2/14/09,
2009 Feb 9, In Sri Lanka 9
bodies were dumped on farmland in the northerly district of
Mullaitivu after they were killed in an army multi-barrel shell
attack. The grave was discovered in 2014. Another mass grave was
reported to be 200 meters away.
2009 Feb 10, Sri Lanka's
military spokesman Udaya Nanayakkara said Tamil Tiger guerrillas
shot dead 19 civilians and wounded 75 others fleeing territory still
under rebel control. The Red Cross loaded some 240 sick and wounded
onto a boat to evacuate them from the war zone. The Red Cross said
at least 16 patients at a makeshift hospital were killed by
(AFP, 2/10/09)(AP, 2/10/09)(SFC, 2/11/09, p.A2)
2009 Feb 12, Sri Lanka's army
disbanded the mostly ineffective "safe zone" it had established in
the war-wracked north and set up a new refuge for the tens of
thousands of civilians still trapped. A Sri Lankan (26) set himself
on fire outside the UN complex in Geneva in apparent protest against
the military campaign. A five-page letter found near his body
identified the man as a Tamil who had been living in Britain.
(AP, 2/12/09)(AP, 2/14/09)
2009 Feb 13, In Sri Lanka the
top health official said artillery shelling and gunbattles between
government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels were killing about 40
civilians every day and wounding more than 100 others inside Sri
Lanka's war zone.
2009 Feb 13, In the southern
Philippines 9 gunmen snatched a Sri Lankan peace activist from his
home, the latest in a wave of kidnappings blamed on al-Qaida-linked
2009 Feb 14, In Sri Lanka a
suspected Tamil Tiger rebel hurled a hand grenade at a bus full of
war-displaced refugees, killing a woman and wounding 13 others.
2009 Feb 16, The UN said Tamil
Tiger guerrillas have prevented tens of thousands of civilians from
leaving Sri Lanka's war zone and those trying to escape have been
"shot and sometimes killed."
2009 Feb 17, The UN agency for
children said Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers have stepped up conscription
of child soldiers, as the rebels prepare to face a final onslaught
by the military. Tamil politicians accused the Sri Lankan government
of ignoring the safety of tens of thousands of civilians in its
campaign to wipe out the Tamil Tiger rebels, saying more than 2,000
noncombatants have been killed in the recent fighting.
(AFP, 2/17/09)(AP, 2/17/09)
2009 Feb 18, In Sri Lanka
government artillery attacks and air raids inside the northern war
zone killed at least 38 civilians and wounded 140 others.
2009 Feb 19, In southern India
lawyers sympathetic to Sri Lankan rebels set fire to a police
station in Chennai and clashed with police leaving 20 polcie
(WSJ, 2/20/09, p.A12)
2009 Feb 20, Tamil Tiger rebel
pilots on a kamikaze mission crashed their planes in the Sri Lankan
capital, killing two people.
2009 Feb 21, In eastern Sri
Lanka a group of Tamil rebels stormed a village, killing two ethnic
Sinhalese farmers and wounding 15 others.
2009 Feb 21, In India
Sivaprakasam (60), a former civil servant, burned himself to death
in Tamil Nadu to protest Sri Lanka’s campaign against the Tamil
Tiger rebels. His was the 5th Tamil Nadu suicide by fire this year.
(Econ, 2/28/09, p.46)
2009 Feb 23, Sri Lanka's Tamil
rebels, facing likely defeat on the battlefield, appealed for a
cease-fire, a call immediately rejected by the government. Rebels
said more than 30 civilians were killed and many more injured as the
government advanced on Puthukkudirirppu.
(AP, 2/23/09)(AP, 2/24/09)
2009 Feb 24, Sri Lanka’s
government troops advanced on the last urban area in the north still
in the hands of Tamil Tiger rebels. The defense ministry said 13
bodies of rebel fighters were recovered. The LTTE said 10
civilians were killed and 25 injured when troops fired artillery
guns at the densely populated Puttumattalan.
2009 Feb 25, In Sri Lanka
troops fought on the outskirts of the last town under rebel control.
Aid groups estimated that more than 200,000 people were trapped in a
small strip of rebel-held territory.
2009 Feb 27, In Sri Lanka
government forces drove deeper into the Tamil Tigers' dwindling
stronghold, confining the rebel group that once controlled a vast
swath of northern Sri Lanka to an area smaller than Manhattan.
2009 Mar 3, In Pakistan at
least a dozen men ambushed Sri Lanka's cricket team with rifles,
grenades and rocket launchers as they drove to the stadium ahead of
a match in Lahore, killing 6 policemen and a driver. The attackers
melted away into the city. None were killed or captured.
2009 Mar 4, The UN described
the war zone in northern Sri Lanka as an "unfolding humanitarian
catastrophe," where civilians were trapped and dying because they
lacked food and medicine.
2009 Mar 5, Sri Lanka offered a
new safe passage for thousands of civilians trapped in the island's
war zone as a local Red Cross employee was killed while helping
non-combatants leave the area.
2009 Mar 6, The Sri Lankan
government appealed for tens of thousands of civilians to flee the
northern war zone and said it would open two safe passages for the
exodus. Sri Lankan soldiers assailed the last slice of land still
controlled by ethnic Tamil separatists, killing at least 32 rebels
(AP, 3/6/09)(AP, 3/7/09)
2009 Mar 7, In Sri Lanka more
than 100 Tamil Tiger rebels were killed in two days of fighting as
they tried to break a military stranglehold.
2009 Mar 9, The Sri Lankan
military said its troops had killed at least 250 Tamil Tigers during
a weekend of fierce fighting around the rebels' shrinking fiefdom in
the northeast of the island.
2009 Mar 10, In southern Sri
Lanka a rebel suicide bomber attacked a procession of Muslims
celebrating a religious holiday, killing 15 people and critically
wounding Postal Services Minister Mahinda Wijesekera (66).
(AP, 3/10/09)(AFP, 3/11/09)
2009 Mar 11, Sri Lanka’s
military killed Sabaratnam Selvathurai, a senior rebel leader, in
fighting in Puthukkudiyiruppu, the last town held by the rebels.
2009 Mar 12, The Sri Lankan
army seized the last remaining medical facility held by separatist
Tamil Tiger rebels in the north of the island. The army estimated
that fewer than 500 Tigers were still fighting, although they had
also forced some civilians to fight as well.
2009 Mar 15, Sri Lanka’s
government forces overran a former Tamil Tiger police post, killing
at least nine rebels and raising to 41 the number killed in weekend
2009 Mar 21, In Sri Lanka more
than 1,100 civilians fled the war zone as government troops fought
to wipe out separatist Tamil Tiger rebels.
2009 Mar 22, In Sri Lanka the
military said it had killed two rebel leaders during fighting in the
northeast of the island, where the LTTE guerrillas are cornered.
2009 Mar 24, Sri Lanka's
military accused "a vicious coalition" of international aid groups
of harboring terrorists and seeking to prolong the island's civil
war for economic gain.
2009 Mar 25, Sri Lanka's
military repulsed a Tamil Tiger counterattack in the north of the
island and killed at least 30 of the rebels.
2009 Mar 26, In Sri Lanka more
than 2,100 civilians fled in one day from the northern war zone
where the military is squeezing the Tamil Tiger rebels into a
smaller area as it pushes to end 25 years of civil war. in New York,
John Holmes, the UN's top humanitarian official, said the
international organization estimated 150,000 to 190,000 civilians
were trapped by the fighting and unable to escape, resulting in
dozens of deaths each day.
2009 Mar 27, Sri Lanka’s
military said it had killed 29 rebels. 13 were reported killed in a
battle near Puthkkudiyirippu, while army snipers killed another 16.
2009 Mar 29, In Sri Lanka heavy
ground battles between the army troops and the guerrillas left 29
2009 Mar 30, In Sri Lanka 26
rebels were killed in a sea battle off Chalai. Four boats belonging
to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam were sunk in the battle,
which lasted about four hours before dawn. A leader of the Sea
Tigers, the rebels' naval wing, was among the dead while one
government sailor died and three were wounded.
2009 Mar 31, Sri Lanka's Tamil
Tiger rebels appealed again for a halt to fighting in their war
against the government, though they denied they were on the brink of
defeat despite being backed into an ever-shrinking pocket of land.
2009 Apr 1, Sri Lanka’s
government said more than 23,000 civilians escaped last month from
the northern war zone, where the military appeared close to crushing
the separatist rebels.
2009 Apr 3, Sri Lankan troops
captured Anandapuram, a key village from the Tamil Tigers, after
heavy fighting that left at least 44 guerrillas dead. Police
commandos killed 13 Tiger rebels in the eastern district of Ampara.
2009 Apr 5, Sri Lanka’s
military said 3 days of intense fighting in the northeast has left
525 Tamil Tiger rebels dead and pushed the remaining guerrillas into
a small "no-fire" zone crowded with tens of thousands of civilians.
Woman rebel commanders Vidusha and Durga were reported to be among
(AP, 4/5/09)(Econ, 4/11/09, p.38)
2009 Apr 7, UNESCO awarded the
World Press Freedom Prize to Lasantha Wickrematunge, a murdered Sri
Lankan journalist, whose self-written obituary accused the
government of silencing him. His self-written obituary was published
three days after his murder in early January, in which no arrests
have been made.
2009 Apr 9, Sri Lanka’s defense
ministry said at least 10 Tiger rebels were killed in overnight
fighting in Mullaittivu district, and accused the rebels of
positioning their heavy weapons near civilian shelters. The
pro-Tamil Tiger website Tamilnet.com said heavy shelling by the Sri
Lankan army of a designated safe area had left 129 civilians dead
and 282 wounded.
2009 Apr 12, Sri Lanka's
president ordered government troops to halt their offensive against
cornered Tamil rebels for two days to give tens of thousands of
civilians a chance to escape the fighting.
2009 Apr 15, Sri Lankan forces
attacked Tamil guerrillas with mortar fire, artillery and heavy
machine guns following a two-day cease-fire aimed at letting
civilians flee the war zone, a pro-rebel Web site reported. The
government denied launching a new attack.
2009 Apr 16, Sri Lankan troops
backed by helicopter gunships attacked Tamil Tiger defenses in the
northeast, a rebel-allied Web site reported, as international
pressure grew for a new cease-fire to allow civilians to escape the
2009 Apr 18, In Sri Lanka 17
rebels were killed and 22 wounded in offensives aimed at clearing
new escape routes for the civilians and a road link for the military
to enter the zone. According to the military more than 2,800
civilians were able to flee the war zone.
2009 Apr 20, Sri Lanka’s
military said some 35,000 civilians fled the last corner of
territory held by the Tamil Tigers, as the government warned the
rebels it would launch a final assault in 24 hours. According to
Tamil rebels 1,000 civilians died in a government raid on their
territory. The military denied the accusation saying only 17
civilians were killed and that they died in rebel suicide bombings.
Over the next 9 days some 114,520 civilians fled the area.
(AP, 4/20/09)(AP, 4/21/09)(Econ, 5/2/09, p.44)
2009 Apr 20, Thousands of
Tamils blocked some of London's busiest roads, demonstrating outside
the Houses of Parliament for an immediate ceasefire in the war
between Tamil rebels and Sri Lanka's government.
2009 Apr 21, Sri Lanka’s
military said 52,000 had escaped the war zone.
2009 Apr 22, Two Tamil Tiger
officials surrendered to the Sri Lankan army, and refugees joined a
stream of more than 80,000 people the government says have fled a
war zone that appeared to shrink by the hour.
2009 Apr 23, Sri Lanka pleaded
for international help after Doctors Without Borders warned that
civilian casualties are rising rapidly in the country's war zone
despite the exodus of more than 100,000 people. 15 people were
killed when shells hit a Roman Catholic church, wounding a priest
whose leg was amputated.
2009 Apr 25, In Sri Lanka the
Tamil Tiger rebels warned that tens of thousands of civilians
trapped in the northern war zone are facing starvation, as the UN
sent its top humanitarian official to assess the crisis.
2009 Apr 26, Facing imminent
battlefield defeat, Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels declared a
unilateral cease-fire and called on the government to halt its
offensive to spare the tens of thousands of civilians trapped by the
2009 Apr 27, The Sri Lankan
government, under intense pressure to prevent civilian deaths, said
it would immediately stop airstrikes and artillery attacks but
rejected calls for a cease-fire in its war against the Tamil Tiger
2009 Apr 28, A Sri Lanka
rebel-linked Web site and a doctor in the region said government
forces pounded rebel territory with a fierce artillery barrage, a
day after the government pledged to stop using heavy weapons to
prevent civilian casualties.
2009 Apr 29, In Sri Lanka the
visiting French and British foreign ministers urged Sri Lanka to
accept a cease-fire in its war with ethnic Tamil rebels, saying it
needed to act quickly to save the lives of civilians in the war
2009 Apr 30, Sri Lanka's
president rejected international appeals for a cease-fire in his
nation's bloody civil war, as the Tamil Tiger rebels vowed never to
surrender to the advancing government forces.
2009 May 1, Sri Lanka's
government dropped leaflets across the northern war zone urging
civilians to flee the fighting amid accusations the military pounded
the area with artillery shells that killed at least 10 civilians.
2009 May 2, In Sri Lanka a
government doctor and a rebel-linked Web site said artillery shells
hit a makeshift hospital in Sri Lanka's northern war zone, killing
at least 64 civilians.
2009 May 4, Sri Lankan forces
battled Tamil Tiger insurgents, pushing deeper into rebel-held
territory amid a report that navy gunboats heavily shelled an area
packed with civilians.
2009 May 6, Sri Lanka’s Tamil
Tiger rebels said intense fighting in the war zone was killing and
wounding hundreds of civilians a day and asked for the UN to push
for urgent food shipments to avert a hunger crisis.
2009 May 9, Human Rights Watch
accused Sri Lankan forces of repeatedly striking hospitals in the
northern war zone with indiscriminate artillery and aerial attacks
that have killed scores of people, a charge the military denied. Sri
Lankan police arrested three journalists for London-based Channel 4
television news on charges of tarnishing the image of government
2009 May 10, In Sri Lanka a
government doctor said an all-night artillery barrage in the war
zone killed at least 378 civilians and forced thousands to flee to
makeshift shelters. Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels accused the
government of killing more than 2,000 civilians in 24 hours of
artillery attacks, but the military vehemently denied the
(AP, 5/10/09)(AFP, 5/10/09)
2009 May 11, The UN condemned a
"bloodbath" in Sri Lanka's northern war zone after two days of
shelling that a government doctor said killed as many as 1,000
ethnic Tamil civilians, including 106 children.
2009 May 12, Sri Lanka's Tamil
Tiger rebels accused government forces of killing at least 47 people
in an artillery and mortar attack on a hospital. The island's
military denied the charges. The defense ministry said its troops
had captured more ground in the latest fighting and had recovered 35
2009 May 13, In Sri Lanka
shells hit the only hospital in the northern war zone, killing at
least 50 people in the second such attack in two days. Medics at the
makeshift facility said they were using brief lulls between
explosions to tend to patients but had little to offer beyond gauze
2009 May 14, In Sri Lanka
doctors and aides abandoned the only hospital in the war zone amid
unrelenting shell attacks. The military said thousands of civilians
braved rebel gunfire and fled across the front lines.
2009 May 16, Sri Lankan forces
seized control of the island's entire coastline for the first time
in decades, sealing the Tamil Tigers in a tiny pocket of territory
and cutting off the possibility of a sea escape by the rebels' top
2009 May 17, The Tamil Tiger
rebels admitted defeat in their 25-year-old war with the Sri Lankan
government, offering to lay down their guns as government forces
swept across their last strongholds in the northeast. The government
rejected the last-ditch call for a cease-fire, saying the thousands
of civilians trapped in the war zone all have escaped to safety and
there was no longer any reason to stop the battle. Troops killed at
least 70 rebels trying to escape the one-square km patch of land
that government troops have surrounded.
2009 May 18, Sri Lanka declared
it had crushed the Tamil Tiger rebels, killing their chief,
Velupillai Prabhakaran, along with top deputies, Soosai and Pottu
Amman, and ending their three-decade quest for an independent
homeland for minority Tamils. Diplomats in Brussels said the EU will
endorse a call for an independent war crimes investigation into the
killing of civilians in Sri Lanka. LTTE leaders Balasingham Nadesan
and S. Puleedevan and their families were reportedly machine-gunned
while advancing under a white flag. Defense Sec. Gotabhaya
Rajapaksa, brother of the president, later said 6,261 soldiers had
been killed in 3 years of fighting and that a total of 23,000 troops
had died since October, 1981, when the insurgency began.
(AP, 5/18/09)(Econ, 5/30/09, p.44)(Econ, 6/6/09,
2009 May 19, In London,
England, a protest outside parliament turned violent early as relief
agencies and governments called for urgent humanitarian aid after
Sri Lanka announced defeat for Tamil Tiger rebels.
2009 May 20, Sri Lanka
celebrated victory over the Tamil Tigers with a national holiday as
the army hunted fugitive rebels, shooting dead 8 thought to have
escaped from the final battle.
2009 May 21, Sri Lanka said it
planned to return most of the nearly 300,000 civilians displaced by
civil war to their homes this year as the president called on the
country to be magnanimous in victory.
2009 May 27, In Sri Lanka
government troops killed 11 suspected guerrillas in the eastern
jungles, where rebel holdouts were said to be entrenched.
(SFC, 5/28/09, p.A2)
2009 May, Film evidence
released in 2010 demonstrated graphically that the Sri Lankan army
engaged in summary executions of prisoners during the final days of
fighting. A five-minute video clip was aired by Britain's Channel 4
television in Nov 2010. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International
said the evidence warrants a UN investigation.
2009 Jun 4, Sri Lanka's navy
seized a foreign-owned ship loaded with medical, food and other
supplies for war-hit civilians, saying the vessel had entered its
territorial waters illegally.
2009 Jul 21, Sri Lanka welcomed
a tentative agreement with the IMF for a 2.5-billion-dollar bailout
as the country emerged from a near four-decade-long separatist war.
2009 Jul 24, The IMF approved a
$2.6 billion loan to Sri Lanka.
(Econ, 8/8/09, p.35)
2009 Aug 7, Sri Lankan
authorities questioned Selvarasa Pathmanathan, former chief arms
smuggler the new leader of the Tamil Tiger rebels, after he was
arrested 2 days earlier in Southeast Asia and flown to Sri Lanka.
Rebels said he was arrested in Kuala Lumpur.
2009 Aug 8, Sri Lanka held
local elections near an area once dominated by the Tamil Tiger
rebels, but voters largely stayed away from the polls in the
violence-scarred region. Voter turnout was 22% in Jaffna and 52% in
Vavuniya, according to election monitors. The pro-Tiger Tamil
National Alliance (TNA) scored unexpected success.
(AP, 8/8/09)(Econ, 8/15/09, p.35)
2009 Aug 15, Sri Lanka's Roman
Catholic leaders called for the release of ethnic Tamils held in
military-run displacement camps, saying they are confined like
prisoners behind barbed wire.
2009 Aug 31, In Sri Lanka
reporter J.S. Tissainayagam, singled out by President Barack Obama
as an example of persecuted journalists around the globe, was
sentenced to 20 years in prison on charges of violating the
country's harsh anti-terror law. He was arrested in March, 2008, and
indicted five months later under the anti-terror law.
2009 Sep 7, The UN’s Children's
Fund reacted furiously to Sri Lanka's decision to expel its
spokesman over his allegedly pro-rebel stance in the final stages of
the island's ethnic war. James Elder, communications chief for
UNICEF in Sri Lanka, was accused by the government of issuing
"propaganda" in support of the Tamil Tiger separatists before their
defeat at the hands of government forces in May.
2009 Sep 11, Sri Lankan
authorities sent home nearly 10,000 war refugees amid growing
international concern for the nearly 300,000 Tamil civilians still
detained in government-run camps.
2009 Sep 26, In Sri Lanka
soldiers fired on a group of war refugees trying to flee a camp in
the north of the island, wounding two.
2009 Oct 2, In Sri Lanka a
schoolgirl (12) was killed by a car bomb in northwestern Sri Lanka
that also wounded 12 others, mostly students who were about to
travel in the vehicle.
2009 Oct 16, Canada detained
the rusting merchant vessel named Ocean Lady, believed to be trying
to smuggle 76 migrants from Sri Lanka onto its Pacific coast at
2009 Oct 19, Sri Lankan shares
tumbled after the US slapped fraud charges on Raj Rajaratnam (52), a
billionaire Sri Lankan-born hedge fund manager, whose investments in
the island came under a fresh "review." Rajaratnam had admitted
funding the Tamils Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) soon after the
December 2004 tsunami. The TRO was outlawed as a front of the
separatist Tamil Tigers in both Sri Lanka and the United States in
2009 Oct 22, In Sri Lanka more
than 4,000 ethnic Tamils displaced by civil war left government-run
camps, the latest to be released amid international criticism that
Sri Lanka is moving too slowly to let thousands of others go.
2009 Nov 21, Sri Lanka said it
would grant free movement to the remaining war-displaced civilians
held in internment camps, meeting a key demand of the international
community. The government reiterated it would complete the
resettlement of civilians by the end of January.
2009 Dec 1, Sri Lanka gave
permission to nearly 127,000 Tamil refugees to leave squalid and
overrun government camps where they have been detained since the
country's civil war ended six months ago.
2009 Dec 12, In Thailand 4
Kazakhs and a Belarusian were detained and their New Zealand
registered aircraft impounded after it landed in the Thai capital
with tons of war weaponry on board that originated in North Korea.
The Ilyushin 76 transport from Kazakhstan was allegedly traveling
from North Korea to Sri Lanka when it asked to land in Bangkok to
refuel. According to a flight plan seen by arms trafficking
researchers, the aircraft was chartered by Hong Kong-based Union Top
Management Ltd. to fly oil industry spare parts from Pyongyang to
Tehran, Iran, with several other stops, including Bangkok, Colombo
in Sri Lanka, Azerbaijan and Ukraine. A New Zealand shell company,
SP Trading Ltd., had leased the airplane.
(AP, 12/12/09)(AP, 12/23/09)(AP, 1/22/10)
2009 Dec 26, Berlin-based
Transparency International said nearly half a billion dollars in
tsunami aid for Sri Lanka is unaccounted for and over 600 million
dollars has been spent on projects unrelated to the Dec 26, 2004,
2010 Jan 7, A top UN human
rights investigator said video footage purportedly showing troops
shooting blindfolded, naked Tamils in the final months of Sri
Lanka's civil war, appeared to be authentic. The video, reportedly
shot by a soldier with a mobile phone, revived calls for a war
crimes investigation and cast a shadow over the upcoming
2010 Jan 9, In Sri Lanka more
than 700 former Tamil Tiger rebels were reunited with family members
after months in rehabilitation camps since the country's
decades-long civil war ended last year.
2010 Jan 12, In Sri Lanka
Gunmen opened fire on a bus carrying supporters of the main
opposition presidential candidate, killing one political activist.
2010 Jan 22, In Sri Lanka a key
opposition activist was targeted at home by a bomb attack blamed on
the ruling party as violence escalated ahead of next week's
2010 Jan 25, In New York 2
Canadian men who pleaded guilty to conspiring to buy anti-aircraft
missiles and other equipment for the Tamil Tigers rebel group in Sri
Lanka were sentenced to 25 years in a US prison. Thiruthanikan
Thanigasalam (41) and Sahilal Sabaratnam (30) were among four men
arrested in Long Island, New York, in 2006 in an FBI sting operation
as they tried to buy surface-to-air missiles, missile launchers and
hundreds of AK-47 assault rifles to be used against Sri Lankan
2010 Jan 26, Sri Lankans voted
between two Sinhalese war heroes, the president and his former army
chief, in an election that could be decided by minority Tamils, who
suffered most from the government offensive to end the civil
conflict. President Mahinda Rajapaksa won a resounding re-election
(AP, 1/26/10)(AP, 1/27/10)
2010 Jan 27, In Sri Lanka the
election commission declared Pres. Rajapaksa the winner with 57.8%
of the vote to Sarath Fonseka's 40%. Rajapaksa beat back a challenge
from his former army chief, who rejected the official results and
said he feared arrest as troops surrounded his hotel. Dayanada
Dissanayake, the distraught election commissioner, said the state
media violated guidelines he had crafted, government institutions
behaved in a way that embarrassed him, and he pleaded to be allowed
to resign his post.
2010 Jan 29, In Sri Lanka
police raided the office of defeated presidential candidate Sarath
Fonseka and arrested 15 of its workers as monitors and rights groups
criticized the Sri Lankan election that returned President Mahinda
Rajapakse to power.
2010 Jan 30, In Sri Lanka
police shut down the offices of an opposition newspaper, as
international rights groups accused the authorities of a vendetta
against critical media. The chief editor was arrested. A court
lifted a ban on the paper on Feb 1. On Feb 16 the chief editor of
the pro-opposition Lanka newspaper, Chandana Sirimalwatte, was
ordered to be released from police custody because there was no
evidence against him.
(AFP, 1/30/10)(AFP, 2/16/10)
2010 Feb 3, In Sri Lanka
thousands of opposition supporters took to the streets of the
capital to protest the results of the recent presidential election,
which they say was marred by fraud.
2010 Feb 8, In Sri Lanka
opposition politician Rauff Hakeem said former army chief and
defeated presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka has been detained on
2010 Feb 9, Sri Lanka's
president dissolved the parliament, setting the stage for new
elections a day after authorities arrested the leader of the
opposition, a move analysts said was meant to prevent him from
contesting the vote. The opposition called for countrywide protests
after its defeated presidential candidate was arrested for allegedly
plotting to overthrow the government while serving as army
2010 Feb 10, In Sri Lanka
opposition supporters protesting the arrest of their defeated
presidential candidate scuffled with government-backers on the
streets of Colombo before police fired tear gas and broke up the
2010 Feb 11, Sri Lankan police
swinging batons dispersed a crowd protesting the detention of the
defeated opposition presidential candidate, former army chief Sarath
Fonseka, who appealed to his supporters for calm.
2010 Feb 17, A court in Sri
Lanka freed 14 men held on suspicion of plotting a coup with
opposition leader and ex-army chief Sarath Fonseka.
2010 Mar 12, Sri Lanka's main
ethnic Tamil party dropped its demand for an independent state and
said it is ready to accept regional self-rule, following the defeat
of separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in a 25-year civil war.
2010 Apr 8, Sri Lankans voted
in parliamentary elections. President Mahinda Rajapaksa's ruling
coalition won the first postwar parliamentary elections further
consolidating his political dominance after the battlefield defeat
of the Tamil Tigers last year.
(AP, 4/8/10)(AP, 4/9/10)
2010 Apr 9, Australia suspended
refugee applications from Afghans and Sri Lankans, citing improved
conditions in those countries. Human rights advocates expressed
concern about the move and an immigrant group condemned it.
2010 Apr 21, In Sri Lanka
veteran politician Dissanayake Mudiyansalage Jayaratne took the oath
of office as the country’s 20th prime minister.
2010 Apr 22, Sri Lanka's
detained former army chief, Sarath Fonseka, briefly emerged from
custody for the opening of parliament and accused the government of
planning to silence his "fight for democracy." He was briefly
allowed out of custody to attend parliament, in which he won a seat
in parliamentary elections two weeks ago.
2010 May 3, Sri Lanka's court
of appeal suspended a court martial probing ex-army chief and
defeated presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka who is charged with
engaging in politics while in uniform.
2010 May 5, Sri Lanka's
parliament voted to scale back tough state of emergency laws that
were first introduced 27 years ago to deal with separatist Tamil
2010 Jun 9, Sri Lanka's
President Mahinda Rajapakse began his first foreign trip to
influential neighbor India since being re-elected, in a visit that
drew protests from Indian Tamils.
2010 Jun 17, The United Nations
said it will set up a panel to probe war crimes in Sri Lanka despite
repeated protests from the island's hawkish government.
2010 Jul 30, UNESCO added a
region of mountainous forests in Sri Lanka and the Papahanaumokuakea
archipelago off Hawaii to the World Heritage list. Florida's
Everglades and Madagascar's tropical forest were added to the roll
of endangered sites, which is meant to ring alarm bells and
encourage protective measures.
2010 Aug 11, Canada said a
cargo ship that may be carrying as many 500 migrants from Sri Lanka
was nearing its Pacific coast. The M.V. Sun Sea entered an economic
zone within 200 miles of Vancouver Island and was being tracked by a
Canadian navy warship.
2010 Aug 13, In Sri Lanka a
military court convicted former Sri Lankan army chief and
presidential candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka of involvement in
politics while in service and stripped him of his rank and military
2010 Aug 13, In western Canada
some 490 Sri Lankan asylum seekers, on board the MV Sun Sea cargo
ship, arrived at a naval base escorted by a naval frigate and police
2010 Aug 19, Sri Lanka's
ex-army chief called the government a "total dictatorship" and said
that he will appeal his recent conviction by a military court, which
he described as a political vendetta.
2010 Aug 26, A Sri Lankan
housemaid, L. T. Ariyawathi (49), was admitted to a hospital and
planned to undergo surgery to remove 24 nails embedded in her body.
Ariyawathi said her employer in Saudi Arabia had inflicted the
injuries on her as a punishment. The woman traveled to Saudi Arabia
in March and returned home last week, complaining of abuse by her
2010 Sep 8, Sri Lanka's
Parliament voted to eliminate term limits for the president, a move
critics say could lead to dictatorship. Sri Lanka’s 1978
Constitution was amended for the 18th time giving the president more
power and removing the bar on his serving more that two 6-years
(AP, 9/8/10)(Econ, 9/11/10, p.20)
2010 Sep 17, A Sri Lankan
military court convicted Sarath Fonseka, the former army chief who
ran for president on the opposition ticket, of fraud. He could be
sentenced to jail time. Three containers filled with explosives
meant for road construction detonated outside a police station in
eastern Sri Lanka, killing 25 people, most of them police officers.
Police the next day said Improperly stored detonators likely
triggered the dynamite explosion.
(AP, 9/17/10)(AP, 9/18/10)
2010 Oct 23, New Delhi
Commonwealth Games organizers informed Sri Lanka that boxer Manju
Wanniarachchi (30), Sri Lanka's only gold medalist at this month's
games, had tested positive for the performance-enhancing steroid
2010 Nov 7, In Sri Lanka
inmates resisting a search for prohibited items at a prison in
Colombo wounded 46 police and five prison officials.
2010 Nov 14, Sri Lanka
officials said they are probing allegations that one of its
nationals, a housemaid identified as D.M. Chandima employed in
Jordan, was forced to swallow nails, in the third case involving
alleged torture in three months.
2010 Dec 14, A Sri Lanka
official said security forces have stepped up a campaign to arrest
some 50,000 military deserters, after reports that absent soldiers
were increasingly involved in crime.
2010 Dec 18, A Sri Lanka
Cabinet minister backtracked saying the government will now allow a
UN team to visit the country and share evidence gathered during an
investigation into whether war crimes were committed during the
final phase of the island's bloody civil war.
2011 Jan 9, Sri Lanka's
government said that at least nine people have been killed in floods
and mudslides caused by heavy rain across the country. One person
was reported missing and more than 55,000 people have become
homeless and were housed in camps.
2011 Jan 12, Sri Lanka's
government says five more people have died in widespread floods and
mudslides, pushing the death toll to 18 from days of heavy rains.
2011 Jan 14, Sri Lanka’s
Disaster Management Center said 27 people have died in the floods
and mudslides, including four whose deaths were reported today. 12
more were missing. The UN said it will appeal for emergency flood
aid for Sri Lanka.
(AP, 1/14/11)(AP, 1/15/11)
2011 Jan 15, Sri Lanka’s
Disaster Management Center said 11 more people were reported dead,
raising the death toll to 38 with four others missing and 51
2011 Jan 19, UN Assistant
Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Catherine Bragg launched
a $51 million appeal to help Sri Lankans recover from deadly floods
as she began a 3-day visit to the island.
2011 Jan 31, In Sri Lanka a
group of men broke into the offices of a website critical of the
government and set fire to it. A journalist from the publication
said that he suspected a government role in the attack.
2011 Feb 4, In Sri Lanka a mob
armed with clubs attacked opposition protesters who were marching
toward a prison in Colombo to demand the release of former army
commander Sarath Fonseka, the defeated presidential candidate from
2011 Feb 18, A senior UN
official said 5,000 suspected ex-combatants remain in Sri Lankan
camps 21 months after a quarter-century civil war ended.
2011 Mar 10, Sri Lanka’s PM
D.M. Jayaratne said remnants of the island’s defeated Tamil rebels
are undergoing military training in India in a bid to revive their
separatist campaign at home. The Indian government immediately
rejected the claims.
2011 Apr 21, Sri Lankan
authorities repudiated a UN report that said as many as 40,000
civilians were killed in the 2008-2009 military offensive against
the Tamil Tigers, and that most of them were killed by
(SFC, 4/22/11, p.A2)
2011 May 1, In Sri Lanka
floods, mudslides and lightning killed seven people in the southern
part of the country.
2011 May 17, India broke with
past practice and called on Sri Lanka to investigate allegations of
human rights abuses during the island's civil war, upping pressure
on President Mahinda Rajapakse.
2011 May 30, In Sri Lanka
police attacked workers protesting over proposed pension reforms in
Katunayake, near the capital Colombo. The government had proposed
taking over the provident fund savings of workers in the private
sector and then paying them a smaller state pension in retirement. A
man (22) was critically wounded at the protest and died on June 1.
2011 May 30, A UN human rights
expert said gruesome new footage from the final days of Sri Lanka's
civil war is authentic and proves war crimes took place there,
challenging the government's claim that videos showing the army
executing captured rebels in May 2009 are faked.
2011 May 31, In Sri Lanka a
3-day seminar opened in Colombo with the aim of teaching the world
how to defeat terrorism. Despite calls for a boycott 42 countries
(Econ, 6/4/11, p.52)
2011 Jun 1, Sri Lanka's police
chief quit, taking responsibility for officers firing live bullets
that killed one man and wounded more than 150 protesters near the
capital this week.
2011 Jun 30, In Sri Lanka
hundreds of people protested demanding to know the whereabouts of
their family members abducted by "white van squads" allegedly
operated by the government during the height of the country's civil
2011 Jul 8, In Sri Lanka a
magistrate agreed to a police request to detain a British citizen of
Sri Lankan origin accused of causing "disrepute to the country and
the army by providing alleged videos to Britain's Channel 4
television" for its documentary "Sri Lanka's Killing Fields."
2011 Jul 23, Voters in Sri
Lanka's northern Tamil heartland trickled to polling stations to
elect local councils following the country's long civil war.
Election monitoring group Campaign for Free and Fair Elections said
in a statement that uniformed men suspected to be members of the
military were forcibly collecting voting cards apparently to rig the
elections. It reported such incidents took place in 20 villages.
2011 Jul 28, In Sri Lanka
Pattani Razeek, managing trustee of non-governmental organization
the Community Trust Fund, was exhumed by police after a tip-off from
two suspects arrested in relation to the case. The prominent human
rights activist has been missing since Feb 2010.
2011 Jul 29, In Sri Lanka about
1,000 deaf people took to the streets of capital Colombo to demand
equal rights, social recognition and more sign language translators,
with an official saying only about four are currently qualified.
2011 Aug 1, Sri Lanka
acknowledged for the first time that civilian casualties occurred in
the final phase of its 26-year civil war against Tamil Tiger rebels,
but called the deaths unavoidable.
2011 Aug 9, In Sri Lanka
wildlife groups announced they were withdrawing their support for an
elephant count after Wildlife Minister S.M. Chandransena was quoted
as saying 300 young elephants will be captured and handed over to
Buddhist temples after the census. The groups had agreed to deploy
about 200 volunteers to help the Wildlife Department count the
2011 Aug 11, Sri Lanka closed
all its national parks to tourists for a 3-day census of elephants.
Officials believed the Sri Lanka elephant population to be 5,000 to
6,000, down from an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 in the early 1900s.
2011 Aug 23, Sri Lanka police
carried out mass arrests in the northern Jaffna region after
residents clashed with troops alleged to have protected so-called
"grease devil" sex offenders.
2011 Aug 25, Sri Lanka's Pres.
Mahinda Rajapaksa announced plans to lift wartime emergency laws
that have curbed civil and political liberties for most of the past
2011 Sep 1, Sri Lanka said it
will still detain hundreds of terror suspects and outlaw the
defeated rebel Tamil Tiger group despite lifting wartime emergency
2011 Sep 13, A Sri Lankan
minister led a protest march that forced organizers to abandon an
annual Hindu sacrifice ritual in which hundreds of goats were due to
slaughtered. The grisly ritual, in which goats are decapitated in
public using a large hatchet, was first banned in the 1980s but was
revived as locals believe the animals' blood grants favors from the
2011 Sep 24, Sri Lanka’s UN
diplomat, Major General Shavendra Silva, was served with a summons
at his New York residence. A civil case has been filed against Silva
on behalf of two people whose relatives were killed in the final
days of the conflict, which ended in a military onslaught against
Tamil separatists in 2009. The Sri Lankan foreign ministry said
Silva is protected by relevant international treaties on diplomatic
2011 Sep 30, Sri Lanka's
government released nearly 1,800 former Tamil Tiger rebels who had
been held since the island nation's civil war ended more than two
2011 Oct 8, Sri Lanka
presidential aide Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra and his bodyguard
were shot dead in a gunbattle involving opposing factions of the
ruling party during local council elections in the capital. Police
said they were slain by a group led by ruling party legislator
Duminda Silva, who was also critically wounded in the gunbattle.
2011 Oct 27, In Sri Lanka
Mohamed Niyas, a Muslim astrologer, was taken away in a white van by
a group of gun-toting men. His brutalized body was found 3 weeks
2011 Nov 5, Sri Lanka warned
websites to register with the authorities after the United States
expressed deep concern over Colombo's blocking of a popular
Internet-based dissident publication.
2011 Nov 7, Sri Lanka officials
said five news websites have been blocked because they committed
character assassination and insulted people including key political
2011 Nov 11, Sri Lanka’s new
law to nationalize "under utilized" private firms came into effect.
Opposition and press said it could shatter investor confidence and
push the country into authoritarian rule.
2011 Nov 18, In Sri Lanka
former army chief Sarath Fonseka was sentenced to 3 more years in
prison after he finishes his first sentence of 30 months ending Feb
2013, for reportedly implicating the defense secretary in war crimes
at the end of the coutry’s civil war.
(SFC, 11/19/11, p.A2)
2011 Nov 20, Reports said a Sri
Lankan government probe into the civil war against Tamil rebels has
called for further investigations of alleged war crimes committed in
the final stages of fighting in 2009. The Lessons Learnt and
Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), which has been widely criticized
as biased by international rights groups, concluded that some
evidence warranted a new inquiry.
2011 Nov 21, Sri Lanka
announced a surprise three percent depreciation of the rupee against
a basket of currencies in a move to boost exports, as it released a
2012 budget that boosts defense spending. Lawmakers from the ruling
party attacked opposition members who were protesting inside
Parliament as Pres. Mahinda Rajapaksa presented next year's budget.
(AFP, 11/21/11)(AP, 11/21/11)
2011 Nov 23, Sri Lanka's
Parliament approved the creation of a multiparty committee to
recommend constitutional changes for ethnic reconciliation two years
after a devastating civil war. However, a lawmaker from the largest
party representing ethnic minority Tamils said it would not
participate in the committee at this time because the
recommendations of a previous committee had never been implemented.
2011 Nov 25, In Sri Lanka a
storm, high winds and floods left at least 19 people dead along the
southern coast. 43 fishermen were missing.
(AP, 11/25/11)(SFC, 11/26/11, p.A2)(AFP,
2011 Nov 27, Sri Lanka's
President Rajapakse unveiled the island's first expressway, linking
the capital and the southern city of Galle, asserting that better
road connectivity would remedy old separatist tendencies.
2011 Dec 3, The head of Sri
Lanka's Roman Catholic church declared he will boycott state
functions to protest against police allegations of child trafficking
involving the Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity.
2011 Dec 9, In Sri Lanka
political activists Lalith Kumar Weeraraj and Kugan Murugananthan
went missing after they were intercepted by men on motorcycles in
(Econ, 1/14/12, p.41)
2011 Dec 14, In Sri Lanka
thousands of produce traders protested for a third day, halting
business at the capital's central market over a new rule demanding
that fruit and vegetables be transported in plastic baskets rather
2011 Dec 15, Sri Lankan
authorities agreed to restore access to a news website that had been
blocked with four others for more than a month over alleged insults
and character assassination.
2011 Dec 25, In Sri Lanka
British tourist and Red Cross aid worker Khuram Shaikh (32) was
murdered and his Russian girlfriend raped at the southern tourist
resort of Tangalle. In 2014 Sampath Vidanapathirana, a ruling party
politician, and three others were convicted and sentenced to 20
years in prison.
(SFC, 7/19/14, p.A2)
2011 Dec, Sri Lanka made public
a report by Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), a
panel which probed why a 2002 truce collapsed. The 40-page report
said civilians had died as a result of military action.
2011 Sri Lanka’s population was
about 20 million.
2012 Jan 3, In Sri Lanka Dinesh
Buddhika Charitananda (25), an ethnic Sinhalese, was abducted. His
body was found the following morning near a river in a Colombo
(Econ, 1/14/12, p.42)
2012 Jan 7, Sri Lanka media
said a moratorium on killing stray dogs has been lifted as the
government attempts to cut down on the 2,000 people that are
hospitalized every day after being bitten.
2012 Jan 13, Sri Lanka reacted
furiously to a spate of "personalized" foreign postage stamps
bearing the image of slain Tamil Tiger rebel supremo Velupillai
2012 Feb 2, Togo official Lt.
Col. Yark Damehane said authorities are holding more than 150 Sri
Lankan refugees who entered the West African nation en route to
Canada. Damehane said most of the group arrived in Togo in 2011 and
overstayed their one-week tourist visas.
2012 Feb 3, The Central Bank of
Sri Lanka hiked its benchmark lending rate by 50 basis points to
9.0%, the first rise since February 2007 when the rate was upped to
12.0% from 11.50%. It also asked commercial banks to reduce lending
in the face of a trade deficit.
2012 Feb 11, Sri Lanka’s
government increased fuel prices. The last night action led to
protests across the country.
2012 Feb 15, Sri Lanka's army
agreed for the first time to probe war crime charges against its
troops and investigate allegations of prisoner executions made in a
British TV documentary.
2012 Feb 15, Sri Lankan police
fired on fishermen protesting fuel price increases near Chilaw,
killing one person and wounding three. Police used tear gas and
water cannons to stop hundreds of opposition Marxist party activists
who tried to march to the center of Colombo to protest fuel prices.
2012 Feb 17, Sri Lanka police
fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse thousands of protesters
in the center of the capital protesting higher fuel prices.
2012 Feb 27, In Sri Lanka
thousands of people joined government-backed protests across the
country against a proposed UN Human Rights Council resolution on
alleged rights abuses during the country's civil war.
2012 Feb 29, A US judge in
Washington, DC, dismissed a lawsuit against Sri Lankan President
Mahinda Rajapakse alleging he was responsible for torture by the
armed forces, ruling that he has immunity as a head of state.
District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ruled that while the
plaintiffs have "shocking allegations" of abuse, the case cannot go
forward under the US Torture Victim Protection Act of 1991.
2012 Mar 9, Sri Lanka issued a
directive imposing censorship on security-related mobile phone
messages despite the withdrawal last year of tough emergency laws
following the end of its separatist war with Tamil rebels.
2012 Mar 9, Sri Lanka’s army
said 3 soldiers were found shot dead after an argument between them
in the Tamil-majority Jaffna peninsula.
2012 Mar 22, The UN Human
Rights Council passed a resolution urging Sri Lanka to conduct a
credible investigation into alleged war crimes committed during its
battle against Tamil Tiger separatists in 2009.
2012 Mar 26, Sri Lanka said it
will not implement all proposals from its civil war commission
because the panel went beyond its mandate. A UN rights council has
called for the report's implementation.
2012 Apr 24, A UN mine removal
expert said unexploded cluster munitions have been found in northern
Sri Lanka, appearing to confirm, for the first time, that the
weapons were used in that country's long civil war.
2012 May 13, Sri Lankan
authorities released information for the first time about thousands
of people held under draconian anti-terror laws despite it being
three years since Tamil rebels were crushed.
2012 May 17, In Sri Lanka
former international rugby player Wasim Thajudeen (28) was found
dead inside a burning car that appeared to have crashed into a wall.
In February 2015, following a change in government, the police
announced that Thajudeen's death was not accidental and that the
investigation had been handed over to the Criminal Investigation
Department (CID). According to the CID Thajudeen's body showed signs
of torture. Ex-President Mahinda Rajapaksa's son was believed to be
2012 May 18, Sri Lanka's
president signed papers for the release of his jailed electoral foe,
ex-army chief Sarath Fonseka (61), bowing to US-led pressure three
years after the end of the island's long ethnic war. Fonseka was
released on May 21.
(AFP, 5/20/12)(AP, 5/21/12)
2012 May 22, Sri Lankan
authorities seized 1.5 tons of African ivory marked as plastic waste
and addressed to a buyer in Dubai. They informed the authorities in
the United Arab Emirates and Kenya to take action against the
shipper and the consignee.
2012 Jun 14, Sri Lanka's former
army chief Sarath Fonseka, who was released from jail last month,
renewed his fight with President Mahinda Rajapakse with a call to
defeat his "corrupt" government.
2012 Jun 15, In Sri Lanka
gunmen on motorcycles stormed a public meeting organized by the
Marxist JVP, or People's Liberation Front, at the village of
Katuwana and escaped after killing a woman and a 17-year-old boy and
wounding many others.
2012 Jun 15, A top IMF official
said Sri Lanka is seeking fresh help from the International Monetary
Fund after drawing down a previous $2.6-billion bailout.
2012 Jun 21, Indonesian and
Australian navies launched efforts to rescue survivors after a Sri
Lanka refugee boat carrying about 200 people, mostly men from
Afghanistan, capsized on its way to Christmas Island. Scores were
feared drowned in an apparent attempt to seek asylum. 110 people
were rescued and about 90 remained missing. On Jan 28 an Indonesian
court sentenced Javaid Mahmood (55), a Pakistani man, for attempting
to smuggle the asylum seekers. He was the 2nd man found guilty in
(AFP, 6/21/12)(AFP, 6/22/12)(SFC, 1/29/14, p.A2)
2012 Jun 29, Sri Lankan police
arrested 9 journalists and seized computers and documents from the
office of an independent news website.
2012 Jul 14, Sri Lankan
authorities arrested another 131 would-be asylum seekers heading to
Australia and seized a fishing trawler used for the people-smuggling
operation. The number of Sri Lankans detained on charges of
illegally trying to leave the country has reached more than 250 over
the last week.
2012 Jul 20, Sri Lanka
completed a $2.6 billion IMF bailout, but sought fresh loans to
support an economy emerging from decades of ethnic war. The original
July 2009 IMF bailout was secured when the island's foreign reserves
had dropped to a dangerously low level of $1 billion.
2012 Jul 28, Australian media
reported that Sri Lankan navy officials have urged Australia to
deport the growing number of boatpeople arriving from their country,
saying it was the "best way" to deter people smugglers.
2012 Aug 20, Sri Lanka's navy
stopped two Australia-bound trawlers carrying 83 would-be asylum
seekers in the first detection since Canberra tightened restrictions
on boat people.
2012 Aug 23, Sri Lanka’s
education minister shut down indefinitely the country’s state
universities and institutes following recent strikes. Academics were
angry that the country spent only 1.9% of GDP on schools and
(Economist, 9/1/12, p.43)
2012 Aug 23, In Sri Lanka the
rusting 15,000-ton Thmothrmopolyseara, a Cyprus-flagged carrier,
went down after remaining anchored outside a Colombo harbor since
2009 following a dispute over its cargo of steel. An oil slick from
the vessel reached the coast of Colombo on Aug 25 and threatened a
beach resort popular with foreign tourists.
2012 Aug 25, Sri Lanka's navy
detained 98 would-be asylum-seekers making for Australia, the
largest group since Canberra tightened restrictions on boatpeople
headed to its shores.
2012 Aug 30, Indonesian
fishermen found 50 Sri Lankan asylum seekers, who were trying to
reach Australia, on a boat with a broken engine and brought them
2012 Aug 31, Indonesian
fishermen rescued 43 starving, dehydrated Sri Lankans who had been
adrift in a boat for nine days after their engine broke down while
trying to reach Australia to seek asylum.
2012 Oct 7, In Sri Lanka 4
unidentified men assaulted Manjula Tillekeratne, the secretary of
the Judicial Service Commission. In September she had alleged the
efforts were being made to destroy the independence of the
(Economist, 10/13/12, p.50)
2012 Oct 17, In Sri Lanka
Selvarasa Pathmanathan (57), a key suspect wanted over the
assassination of Gandhi in May 1991, was released from detention. He
had been arrested in 2009 in Malaysia for procuring weapons for the
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.
(SFC, 10/18/12, p.A4)
2012 Oct 27, Sri Lanka
authorities arrested 14 people accused of hijacking a fishing boat
and throwing its crew into the sea. Two fishermen were rescued
by other ships. 3 other crew members have not been found.
(SSFC, 10/28/12, p.A3)
2012 Oct 31, A tropical storm
slammed into southern India, bringing heavy rain and a storm surge
and displacing 150,000 people. Six deaths were reported in India and
2012 Nov 6, Sri Lanka made
public charges against Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake involving
misuse of her position and failing to adequately declare assets.
Critics said it was an effort by Pres. Mahinda Rajapaksa to curb the
independence of the judiciary. Parliament tabled her impeachment
leaving the speaker, the president’s eldest brother, to appoint a
committee to investigate allegations against her.
(SFC, 11/9/12, p.A5)(Econ, 11/10/12, p.42)
2012 Nov 9, In Sri Lanka a
shootout between rioting prisoners and security forces at the
Welikada prison in Colombo killed at least 27 inmates. Police
arrested five prisoners who had managed to escape and were searching
for others. The opposition described the deaths as a cold-blooded
(AP, 11/10/12)(SFC, 11/12/12, p.A2)
2013 Jan 9, Saudi authorities
beheaded a Sri Lankan domestic worker for killing a Saudi baby in
her care in 2005. Rizana Nafeek, 17 at the time of the killing, had
denied strangling the 4-month-old boy.
(AP, 1/9/13)(SFC, 1/10/13, p.A2)
2013 Jan 11, Sri Lanka's
Parliament voted 155-49 to impeach Chief Justice Shirani
Bandaranayake, deepening a standoff between the judiciary and the
government, which is controlled by the country's most powerful
family. Last month a parliamentary committee ruled that she had
unexplained wealth and had misused her power.
2013 Feb 26, Human Rights Watch
said Sri Lankan security forces continue to use torture, rape and
other forms of sexual violence against suspected members of the
Tamil Tiger rebels and their supporters, nearly four years after the
end of the country's civil war. The military denied the allegations.
2013 Mar 21, For the second
time in as many years, the UN's top human rights body approved a
US-backed resolution calling on Sri Lanka to more thoroughly
investigate alleged war crimes committed by both sides during the
country's quarter-century civil war with the Tamil Tiger rebels.
2013 Mar 27, A Sri Lanka judge
announced that more than 150 human skulls and bones recovered from a
mass grave Lanka were buried there about 25 years ago, strengthening
suspicion that they belonged to suspected Marxist rebels killed at
the time. The skeletal remains were found inside the premises of a
government hospital dated to between 1987 and 1990.
2013 Mar 29, In Sri Lanka
Buddhists attacked a warehouse of the Fashion Bug chain near the
Colombo as police stood by. The attack was filmed by a local
television station whose cameraman was attacked by the mob in the
most recent public outburst in a growing anti-Muslim campaign by
Buddhist nationalist groups in the island nation.
2013 Apr 2, In India the film
actors of Tamil Nadu held an anti-Sri Lanka hunger strike. Most of
the state’s 72 million people are ethnic Tamils.
(Econ, 4/6/13, p.51)
2013 May 24, In Sri Lanka
Bowatte Indraratana (30) set himself on fire near the famed Temple
of Buddha's Tooth Relic in the central town of Kandy. He soon died
of severe burns after suffering injuries to over 95% of his body.
Indraratana was the first monk to self-immolate in Sri Lanka. He
allegedly killed himself because the authorities ignored his
requests to ban the slaughter of cattle.
2013 May 29, In China Sri
Lanka’s Pres. Mahinda Rajapaksa met with Premier Li Keqiang in
Beijing. Loans and declarations of profound friendship were secured.
(Econ, 6/8/13, p.63)
2013 Jun 9, In Sri Lanka
coastal areas the death toll from winds and monsoon rains rose to
27. The navy searched for 29 missing fisherman following the rains
and winds that hit a day earlier.
(SFC, 6/10/13, p.A2)
2013 Aug 10, In Sri Lanka a
Buddhist mob attacked a mosque in Colombo and at least 12 people
were injured, the latest in a series of attacks on the minority
Muslim community by members of the Buddhist majority.
2013 Aug, Sri Lanka’s Pres.
Mahinda Rajapaksa ordered a new inquiry into missing people from the
civil war. The Red Cross had counted 156,000 missing since 1990.
(Econ, 3/8/14, p.44)
2013 Sep 21, Voters in Sri
Lanka thronged polling stations in an election that threatened to
rekindle animosity between the government and ethnic minority
Tamils, four years after the military crushed separatists and ended
a 26-year war. The main Tamil party won a whopping landslide in the
first semi-autonomous council elections in the island's north after
decades of ethnic war. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) swept all
five districts in the Northern Provincial Council
(Reuters, 9/21/13)(AFP, 9/22/13)
2013 Nov 2, Jacqui Park, an
Australian media rights activist, accused Sri Lankan officials of a
"witch-hunt" against local journalists as she arrived back in Sydney
after being detained in Colombo for two days.
2013 Nov 13, In Sri Lanka
British television journalists, who have reported on war crimes
allegations in Sri Lanka, were stopped from reaching the north of
the country by some 100 pro-government demonstrators who blocked
2013 Nov 14, A Sri Lanka court
banned protests in Colombo until the end of the Commonwealth summit,
explaining that the move was intended to prevent traffic jams. Pres.
Mahinda Rajapaks lashed out at reporters and critics who questioned
his nation's human rights record.
2013 Nov 15, In Sri Lanka
Britain's Prince Charles formally opened a Commonwealth summit in
Colombo. Its build-up has been dogged by a dispute over rights
abuses at the end of Sri Lanka's ethnic war. Britain's PM David
Cameron landed in the war-torn Jaffna region to meet victims of Sri
Lanka's ethnic conflict after leaving the Commonwealth summit.
2013 Nov 16, Britain's PM David
Cameron threatened to push for an independent international inquiry
into allegations of war crimes at the climax of Sri Lanka's 26-year
civil war if the island nation does not conduct its own probe by
2013 Nov 17, Commonwealth
leaders meeting in Sri Lanka agreed on steps to tackle high debt and
poverty as they staged a show of unity after a summit dominated by a
bitter dispute over war crimes.
2013 In Sri Lanka a report
published by the World Health Organization found kidney disease in
15 percent of adults across three affected districts. By 2015 the
disease killed up to 20,000 people over the past 20 years and
sickened another 70,000 to 400,000. Research has failed to determine
2014 Jan 2, Canadian
lawmaker Rathika Sitsabaiesan said she was intimidated and
warned she could be deported during an ongoing visit to her
birthplace of Jaffna, the war-battered Tamil heartland of Sri Lanka.
2014 Jan 17, In northern Sri
Lanka the discovery of a mass grave containing more than 30 skulls
fuelled speculation that there may be many more like it containing
the remains of thousands who went missing during the island nation's
nearly three-decade war. Residents of Mannar said that the area was
controlled mainly by the army from 1990.
2014 Jan 28, In Sri Lanka
thousands of protesters from opposition parties, human rights
groups, trade unions and media groups marched in Colombo in a rare
show of dissent against the government.
2014 Feb 19, Sri Lanka's
government said that it was considering a process similar to South
Africa's post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission to heal
the wounds of the island nation's decades-long civil war.
2014 Mar 4, Sri Lanka's navy
said it has detained 32 Indian fishermen who were fishing illegally
in Sri Lankan territorial waters less than two months after the two
countries agreed to work together to combat poaching.
2014 Mar 8, Sri Lankan
authorities said they have halted excavations after recovering 81
skeletal remains from an unmarked mass grave atop an old burial
ground in the island's former war zone.
2014 Mar 13, Sri Lanka's police
arrested Balendran Jeyakumari and referred her daughter Vithushaini
(13) to child care officials. Jeyakumari had been vocal in calling
for the release of her 15-year-old son, a child recruit of the Tamil
Tiger rebels, whom she had handed to the military as fighting ended
(AP, 3/14/14)(SFC, 3/15/14, p.A2)
2014 Mar 17, Sri Lanka’s
military said Ruki Fernando, a human rights adviser, and Praveen
Mahesahn, a pastor and director of a rights group, have been
arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), anti-terrorism
legislation that was used to crush Tamil Tiger rebels during the
final phase of a 26-year war. Both were released on March 18.
(Reuters, 3/17/14)(AP, 3/19/14)
2014 Mar 27, The UN's top human
rights body agreed to launch an international criminal investigation
into alleged abuses from Sri Lanka's ended civil war, approving a
US-led resolution over the strong protests of Sri Lanka's
2014 Mar 29, Sri Lanka held
local elections. The ruling party won local elections, but with
smaller than expected margins in a crucial mid-term test for
President Mahinda Rajapakse.
2014 Apr 7, Sri Lanka's foreign
minister says that his country will not cooperate with the United
Nations human rights chief when she begins an investigation into
alleged war crimes from the island nation's civil war.
2014 Apr 11, Sri Lanka's
military killed 3 ethnic Tamil separatist militants, the first
combat since government troops crushed the rebels in a 2009
2014 Apr 21, In Sri Lanka Naomi
Coleman, a British tourist, was detained at Colombo's airport after
she arrived from India when authorities spotted the tattoo of Buddha
seated on a lotus flower. She was sent before a magistrate, who
ordered her deportation.
2014 May 21, Transparency
International said South Asia is the most corrupt region of the
world and governments must strengthen their anti-graft agencies to
prevent political interference and protect whistleblowers. The
watchdog group found serious problems with anti-corruption efforts
in Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
2014 Jun 3, In Sri Lanka at
least 22 people were reported killed from two days of floods and
mudslides triggered by unusually heavy monsoon rains.
2014 Jun 15, In southwestern
Sri Lanka hard-line Buddhists hurled gasoline bombs and looted homes
and businesses in attacks in several Muslim towns, killing 3 Muslims
and seriously wounding more than 50 people. The attacks were led by
a mob from Bodu Bala Sena, or Buddhist Power Force, which rails
against the country's Muslim minority.
2014 Jun 29, Australia seized
157 Sri Lankan Tamil asylum seekers near Christmas Island, an
Australian territory in the Indian Ocean.
(Econ, 7/26/14, p.36)
2014 Jul 1, A Sri Lanka Defense
Ministry circular banned activist groups and NGOs from holding press
conferences and issuing press releases.
2014 Jul 4, Malaysian police
said they have arrested four foreign nationals suspected of having
links to Sri Lanka's defeated separatist Tamil Tigers, the second
such detention aimed at the group's militants in the southeast Asian
2014 Jul 7, Australia's
government confirmed that it had handed over a boatload of asylum
seekers to Sri Lankan authorities in a transfer at sea, drawing
outrage from human rights groups who fear those on board could be
persecuted in their home country.
2014 Jul 17, Sri Lanka's
government said Pres. Mahinda Rajapaksa has extended the terms of a
commission investigating missing people and possible war crimes in
the country's 26-year civil war, bringing in foreign experts for the
first time to advise on the inquiry.
2014 Aug 2, Australia officials
said some 157 asylum-seekers, thought to be mostly ethnic Tamils
from Sri Lanka and detained at sea for weeks, have been sent to the
island of Nauru after rejecting a return to India.
2014 Aug 2, The UN refugee
agency UNHCR said Sri Lanka must stop deporting Pakistani asylum
seekers, a practice banned under international law. Sri Lanka began
arresting asylum seekers and refugees on June 9 and has since
detained 214 Pakistanis and Afghans in two asylum centers.
2014 Sep 7, Sri Lanka President
Mahinda Rajapakse held talks with Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe. The two
leaders agreed to forge stronger maritime links between their
countries in a move seen as countering China's influence in the
2014 Sep 17, Pope Francis
signed on Sri Lanka's first saint, bending the Vatican's rules once
again to bypass the usual requirement that a second miracle be
confirmed. Francis is expected to canonize the Rev. Giuseppe Baz, a
17th-century missionary, during his January visit to Sri Lanka.
2014 Sep 29, The Professional
Web Journalists Association, a media rights group, said Sri Lanka's
government sabotaged a weekend training program for online
journalists for the fourth time in three months, and accused the
authorities of continued intimidation and suppression of the media.
2014 Sep 30, In Sri Lanka Ashin
Wirathu, a Myanmar Buddhist monk, and a Sri Lankan ultranationalist
both known for campaigning against Muslims formally signed an
agreement to work together to protect Buddhism, which they say is
2014 Oct 13, Sri Lanka opened
the rail link between the capital Colombo and the northern city of
Jaffna, more than two decades after its destruction in a civil
war, amid hopes that it will give a boost to reconciliation
2014 Oct 15, Sri Lanka banned
foreigners from visiting the island nation's former war zone without
permission to prevent "negative interventions."
2014 Oct 16, EU judges struck
down anti-terrorism sanctions against the Tamil Tigers that were
imposed by the EU inm 2006 but said that the assets of the Sri
Lankan group should remain frozen for the time being.
2014 Oct 21, Sri Lankan trade
unions, opposition politicians and activists protested, demanding
the government include substantial pay increases in the annual
budget presented this week.
2014 Oct 29, In south-central
Sri Lanka a landslide following heavy monsoon rain reportedly killed
more than 100 people as it buried scores of houses. At least 300
people were missing and 150 houses buried in the village of
Haldummulla. Later data from the Disaster Management Center showed
that 183 people had survived out of a total of 330 who lived in the
area. On Nov 4 the death toll was reduced to at least 10 with 28
missing at the Koslanda plantation in Badulla district.
(Reuters, 10/29/14)(Reuters, 10/31/14)(AP,
2014 Nov 18, Sri Lanka's main
party of Buddhist monks announced it was quitting President Mahinda
Rajapakse's government in protest at his failure to loosen his grip
on power before a re-election bid.
2014 Nov 19, Sri Lankan
President Mahinda Rajapaksa pardoned five Indian fishermen who were
sentenced to death last month for smuggling narcotics. The fishermen
denied the charges.
2014 Nov 20, Sri Lankan
President Mahinda Rajapaksa called an early election to seek a third
term in office amid growing criticism of his wide-ranging powers.
2014 Nov 21, Sri Lanka's health
minister Maithripala Sirisena quit Pres. Mahinda Rajapaksa's
government to challenge him in the upcoming elections, accusing the
leader of taking the country toward an autocracy.
2014 Dec 1, In Sri Lanka
Maithripala Sirisena, a former health minister, signed an agreement
with opposition parties, trade unions and professional groups to
scrap the country's powerful presidential system and carry out other
democratic reforms if he beats incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa and wins
January's presidential election.
2014 Dec 12, A Sri Lankan air
force plane crashed outside the island's capital, killing four and
2014 Dec 26, In central Sri
Lanka at least 9 people were killed and 10 others were missing in
mudslides triggered by heavy rains.
2014 Dec 28, Sri Lanka
officials said 24 people have been killed and eight others left
missing due to floods and mudslides caused by incessant rain around
over the past week.
2015 Jan 1, Sri Lanka said
flash floods and mudslides have killed at least 39 people and more
than 1 million have had to flee their homes in the past two weeks.
2015 Jan 8, Sri Lanka held
presidential elections. Mahinda Rajapakse, South Asia's
longest-serving leader, was beaten by Maithripala Sirisena, who won
51.3% of the votes on a record turnout of 81.5%.
(AFP, 1/11/15)(Econ, 1/17/15, p.37)
2015 Jan 13, Pope Francis
arrived in Sri Lanka, whre Christians made up only 7.4% of the
(Econ, 1/17/15, p.38)
2015 Jan 14, In Sri Lanka a
million worshippers packed the Colombo seafront to greet Pope
Francis as he canonized Sri Lanka's first saint, Joseph Vaz, a 17th
century missionary. Sri Lanka released nearly 600 prisoners and
reduced jail terms for others to mark Pope Francis' visit.
(AFP, 1/14/15)(Reuters, 1/14/15)
2015 Jan 21, Sri Lanka's new
President Maithripala Sirisena pardoned and reinstated the rank of
ex-army commander Sarath Fonseka, who was imprisoned four years ago
after challenging President Mahinda Rajapaksa in an election.
2015 Jan 26, The European Union
blacklisted Sri Lanka for failing to combat illegal fishing,
officially banning imports of fisheries products from Sri
Lanka-flagged vessels into the EU.
2015 Jan 28, Sri Lanka's new
President Maithripala Sirisena reinstated Shirani Bandaranayake, the
country's chief justice, who was impeached two years ago after she
refused to back a law granting wider powers to the former
president's brother. Bandaranayake reassumed her duties but would
retire after attending a farewell ceremony on Jan 29. That would
allow the government to appoint a new chief justice.
2015 Mar 14, Indian PM Narendra
Modi visited the former war zone of northern Sri Lanka in a show of
solidarity with ethnic Tamils.
2015 Mar 28, In Sri Lanka
Priyantha Sirisena (42) the youngest brother of President
Maithripala Sirisena, died two days after he was attacked with an ax
in what authorities said was a personal dispute.
2015 Apr 4, Sri Lanka PM Ranil
Wickremesinghe's office said an inquiry, led by an anti-corruption
lawyer, had found "shocking details of corruption running into
billions of dollars" at Sri Lankan Airlines, as well as
"irregularities" in its $2.3 billion 2013 deal to buy 10 Airbus
2015 Apr 22, Sri Lanka police
arrested Basil Rajapaksa, the brother and former Economic Affairs
Minister of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, over alleged
misappropriation of state funds.
2015 Jun 26, Sri Lanka's
President Maithripala Sirisena dissolved the Parliament loyal to his
predecessor at midnight and called fresh elections in August in an
attempt to consolidate power and carry out his promise of reforms.
2015 Jul 31, In Sri Lanka four
gunmen opened fire at campaign workers in Colombo, killing one woman
and wounding 12 people. The workers were campaigning for Finance
Minister Ravi Karunanayake of the United National Party.
(AP, 7/31/15)(AFP, 8/1/15)
2015 Aug 17, Sri Lankans voted
in parliamentary elections that will decide the political future of
Mahinda Rajapakse, a former strongman leader seeking a comeback,
eight months after being unseated in a shocking election loss. PM
Ranil Wickremesinghe’s United National Party won 106 out of 225
seats, while Rajapaksa's United People's Freedom Alliance secured
(AP, 8/17/15)(AP, 8/18/15)