Sri Lanka Ethnic Conflict

  • Beginning of Tension

    Sinhalese Marxist uprising led by students and activists.
  • Man in charge antagionising Tamil

    Ceylon changes its name to Sri Lanka and Buddhism given primary place as country's religion, further antagonising Tamil minority.
  • LTTE Forms

    Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) formed as tensions increase in Tamil-dominated areas of north and east.
  • TULF Resistance

    Separatist Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) party wins all seats in Tamil areas. Anti-Tamil riots leave more than 100 Tamils dead.
  • Burning of Jaffna Library

    Sinhala policemen accused of burning the Jaffna Public Library, causing further resentment in Tamil community.
  • LTTE Kills 13

    13 soldiers killed in LTTE ambush, sparking anti-Tamil riots leading to the deaths of several hundred Tamils. Start of what Tigers call "First Eelam War".
  • Peace Talks Fail

    First attempt at peace talks between government and LTTE fails
  • Period: to

    Civil War

  • LTTE Pushed Back into Jaffna

    Government forces push LTTE back into northern city of Jaffna. Government signs accords creating new councils for Tamil areas in north and east and reaches agreement with India on deployment of Indian peace-keeping force.
  • Muslims Expelled

    Thousands of Muslims are expelled from northern areas by the LTTE.
  • LTTE Assassination

    LTTE implicated in assassination of Indian premier Rajiv Gandhi in southern India.
  • LTTE Kills again

    President Premadasa killed in LTTE bomb attack
  • Peace Talks

    President Kumaratunga comes to power pledging to end war. Peace talks opened with LTTE.
  • War

    "Third Eelam War" begins when rebels sink naval craft.
  • Cease Fire Treaty

    Government and Tamil Tiger rebels sign a Norwegian-mediated ceasefire.
  • Attacks Begin to start back up

  • Peace Talks Fail again

  • Tamil Tigers Defeated

    Government declares Tamil Tigers defeated after army forces overrun last patch of rebel-held territory in the northeast. Military says rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran was killed in the fighting. Tamil Tiger statement says the group will lay down its arms.