IN A NUTSHELL
history, negotiations, abrogation of pacts, military operations, etc)
Severe Aerial bombing,
artillery shelling by various governments in the island of Sri Lanka have caused
massive human disaster and property damage in the Tamil homeland)
arrived in Ceylon during the existence of three sovereign kingdoms, one Tamil
Kingdom in Jaffna, and two Sinhala Kingdoms in Kotte and Kandy.
island was divided into three kingdoms, a Tamil kingdom in the North East, the
Kandy kingdom of the highlands and the Kotte kingdom situated in the South.
sovereignty ended in June when the Portuguese defeated the Tamil King,
and the Jaffna Kingdom became a Colony of the Portuguese.
arrived in Ceylon and the Jaffna Kingdom became a Dutch Colony.
1795 The British arrived in Ceylon and the Jaffna Kingdom became a British Colony.
Ceylon became a British Crown Colony.
the first time in over 2,500 years of its recorded history, the entire island
of Ceylon was brought under a single administration based on the
recommendations of the Colebrook-Cameron Report.
from Southern India were brought as labourers to work in the tea plantations in
the hill country by the British. During the same period Tamil labourers from
South India were taken to work in the sugar cane plantations in South Africa,
Mauritius and in many other British colonies.
Ponnambalam Ramanathan Tamil leader called for increased representation in
Legislative council for Tamils.
In June, Sinhala Buddhist-Muslim riots in Ceylon. Riots spread
from the central province to the western and northwestern provinces.
were heavy casualties amongst the Muslims. According to available records, 36
Muslims were killed and 205 Muslims were injured and raped. Nearly 85 mosques
were damaged and more than 4,075 Muslim-owned shops were looted by the Sinhala
Ceylon National Congress (CNC), the first full-fledged "Nationalist"
political party was formed by a celebrated Tamil, Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam.
Ponnambalam Arunachalam quitted the CNC, denouncing it as a party
representing mainly a section of the Sinhalese.
1927-1931 Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan and Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam had
talks with Sinhala leaders when the Donoughmore Commission
announced its recommendations in 1927. The talks ended in a failure as
the Sinhala leaders ignored the aspirations of the Tamils.
first Tamil political party, “All Ceylon Tamil Congress-ACTC”
was founded by G. G. Ponnambalam to champion the cause of the
Tamils against Sinhala Buddhist domination.
United National Party (UNP) was formed.
The first constitution of Ceylon was adopted by an Order in Council
rather than by a Constituent Assembly. It was known as the (Lord) “Soulbury
Constitution” which remained in force until 1972.
British left Ceylon independence was granted to “Ceylon” and the power
to govern Ceylon was handed over to
the Sinhalese who were numerically superior.
the stringent 15 November 1948 Citizenship Act and the laws of
disenfranchisement were enacted and adopted, the Tamils of Indian origin Tamils
in the hill country (plantation Tamils) were deprived of selecting their
representatives to the Parliament. More than a million plantation Tamil
workers were rendered stateless.
1948-1950 The Government launched massive Sinhala
colonisation schemes in the Eastern province. Gal oya in Batticaloa, Allai
and Kathalai in Trincomalee were colonised under pretexts of development.
with the “Tamil Congress” party led to the formation of the “Tamil
Federal Party” (FP) under the leadership of S. J. V. Chelvanayagam.
first convention of the Federal Party was held and it was unanimously decided to
campaign for a federal structure of governance with regional autonomy for Tamils
living in North and East.
S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike broke away from UNP and forms the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP).
United National Party-UNP was ousted from power in the general elections by the
Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), which swept the island with a wave of Sinhalese-Buddhist
nationalism with strong anti-Tamil overtones.
On 14 June S. W. R. D. Bandaranayake father of President Chandrika Kumaratunga proclaimed the “Sinhala Only Act” which made the Sinhala language the only official language of Ceylon.
peaceful Satyagraha campaign staged by the Tamils to protest against the
“Sinhala Only Act” at the Galle Face Green, in front of the Parliament in
Colombo was brutally savaged by Sinhalese thugs with the connivance of
government. The outbreak of first anti-Tamil riots
in the island. More
than 150 Tamils were burnt or hacked to death and million rupees worth of
properties belonging to Tamils were looted and destroyed.
after the “Sinhala Only Act” was passed in Parliament, talks were
initiated between the Prime Minister S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike and the Federal Party
leader S. J. V. Chelvanayagam.
26 July an agreement known as “Banda Chelva” pact was signed
between Bandaranayake and Chevanayagam. This agreement was based on a quasi
federal system devolving certain powers to the Tamils in the North East provinces.
Within a week of signing the “Banda-Chelva” pact, it was unilaterally abrogated by the Prime Minister Bandaranaike due to vehement protests staged by the UNP, Buddhist clergy and SLFP. J R Jeyawardena of United National Party-UNP undertook a march to Kandy in protest against this pact.
broke out in the island. Many Tamils were massacred and million of rupees worth
of properties belonging to the
Tamils were looted and destroyed.
25 May, in the government sugar-cane plantation at Polonnaruwa and Hingurakgoda,
the Sinhala thugs assaulted the Tamil labourers remorselessly. The Sinhala thugs
set fire to the sugar canes and burnt or hacked to death 500 Tamils in
Polonnaruwa and Hingurakgoda. Violence spread to the Southern part of the island
wherever the Tamils live.
The Prime Minister S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike was assassinated by a
Mrs. Srimavo Bandaranaike, widow of
S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike and mother of President Chandrika Kumaratunge,
swore in as the Prime Minister.
1961 A non-violent civil disobedience campaign was launched
by the Federal Party.
government reacted violently by sending Police and military forces to Jaffna to
suppress the agitation. Anti-Tamil pogrom broke out in areas where Sinhalese
were in a majority, killing hundreds of Tamils and rendering thousands homeless.
The Srimavo-Shashtri pact was signed for the repatriation
of the Tamil people of Indian origin to whom citizenship was denied and
disenfranchised through the 1948 Citizenship Act. They lived in the island for
over 115 years.
Senanayake leader of the UNP formed the government with the help of the
Federal Party and other parties.
were held between the Prime
Minister Dudley Senanayake and S. J. V. Chelvanayagam.
24 March, an agreement known as “Dudley-Chelva” Pact
was signed between Dudley Senanayake and S. J. V. Chelvanayagam.
agreement was abandoned without
being implemented due to opposition from the SLFP, the Buddhist clergy, and UNP
1967 The Janata Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP-People's Liberation Front) was formed.
Bandaranaike became the Prime Minister, as the United Front (a coalition of SLFP
and other Sinhala leftist parties) gained a two-third majority in the
revolution by the Janata Vimukthi Peramuna was suppressed by Srimavoa
Bandaranayke. Thousands of
Sinhala JVP youths were killed.
Talks were held between various
Tamils leaders and Srimavo Bandaranayake on constitutional amendments.
No agreement was reached but the Sinhala leaders went
ahead undeterred with their republican constitution amending the minimum
safeguards granted to Tamils by the
became a “Republic” on 22 May and Ceylon was officially renamed as the “Republic
of SRI LANKA”
The United Front government enacted a Sinhala-Supremacist "Republican Constitution" for the country, which made Buddhism the state religion.
Formation of Tamil United Front (TUF) comprising Federal Party led by, S. J. V. Chelvanayagam, Tamil Congress (TC) led by GG Ponnambalam, and Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) led by Savariamoorthy Thondaman.
discrimination against Tamil students' admission to Universities reached the
peak with the introduction of "Standardisation". University
admission based on merit was abandoned deliberately to stop Tamil students
A youth group comprising self-sacrificing and disciplined youths named Tamil New Tigers (TNT) was formed by Mr. V. Pirabaharan to fight for the right to self-determination of the Tamils in the North East.
10 January, Sinhalese Police unleashed an unprovoked
violent attack on those attending the prestigious “4th Tamil
Research Conference” in Jaffna, leaving nine innocent civilians dead.
5 May the Tamil New Tigers -TNT was renamed as Liberation Tigers of
Tamil Eelam LTTE. Mr. V. Pirabaharan was named the Chairman and military
commander of the LTTE.
On 14 May, the Tamil United Front -TUF was renamed as Tamil United
Liberation Front-TULF. The TULF passed the
resolution" pledging to restore a free, sovereign,
secular, socialist state of Tamil Eelam
based on the right to self-determination, and also to safeguard the very
existence of the Tamil nation in the island.
July, Tamil United Liberation Front-TULF, contested and won
overwhelmingly at the Parliamentary election
giving them a mandate to establish the
“Right to Self-determination” of Tamil Eelam in the North East. J. R.
Jeyewardena of UNP became the Prime Minister, with a five-sixth majority in the
Parliament. The TULF became the major opposition party in the parliament.
Talks took place between
Prime Minister J.R. Jayawardena and the Tamil United Liberation Front. No
agreement was reached. Anti-Tamil
pogrom occurred immediately after elections in the areas where Sinhalese
were in the majority killing hundreds of Tamils.
was enacted and J.R. Jeyawardena became first Executive President of the
country. The phrase “Republic of Sri
Lanka” was rephrased as “Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka”
Sri Lankan security forces started perpetrating their dreadful atrocities against Tamil youths. Counter activities of Tamil militant organisations were also on the increase.
The government enacted the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act
(PTA), banning the Tamil militant organisations.
On 11 July, the Jaffna peninsula was brought effectively under
martial law under Public Security ordinance.
Anti-Tamil pogrom broke out in the island. Many Tamils were killed
and properties belonging to Tamils were looted and destroyed.
Several Tamil youths were arbitrarily killed by the Sri
Lankan security forces, Police and Army.
1981 In June, another anti-Tamil pogrom was unleashed. Increased military repression in the North. The Jaffna Public Library was burnt down by the Sri Lankan armed forces, allegedly under the direction of two senior government ministers, Gamini Dissanayake and Cyril Matthew. 95,000 volumes of books including numerous culturally important and irreplaceable manuscripts and the buildings were totally destroyed by arson. The Jaffna city market, the office of the Tamils daily newspaper “Eelanadu”, the office of the political party TULF, etc were burnt down by the Sri Lanka security forces.
anti-Tamil pogrom broke out in the island. Many Tamils were killed and
looting of the Tamils properties
1982 Government sponsored a Sinhala settlement in
the Tamil populated Mullaitivu.
took place in July all over the island with the buoyed up support of the
government. During the four days riots, more than 6,000 Tamils were killed
and over 250,000 were rendered refugees. Thousands of Tamils fled the
country and went to India and to Western countries. Billions rupees worth of
Tamils properties was looted and destroyed by the Sinhala rioters.
Between 27-28 July, fifty-three Tamil political prisoners were
massacred inside the walls of the Welikadai prison in Colombo by the Sinhala
inmates. The government masterminded this massacre and the Sinhala attackers
were released from the prison and were rewarded with houses and properties in
the Sinhala settlements in the Tamil homeland.
Hundreds of youths joined the LTTE movement and the TULF Members of Parliament sought asylum in India.
J. R. Jeyawardena’s government enacts the 6th amendment
to the constitution and rejected the right to self-determination of the Tamil people in the island on
8th August. This amendment outlawed the mandate voted by the
Tamils in 1977 general election. The Sixth amendment and the Prevention of
Terrorism Act in 1979 along with the Emergency Law provisions became the
instruments through which repression was unleashed on the Tamil people.
the beginning of EELAM WAR-I. Tamils living in the North East were
lynched, arrested, tortured and killed. Women and many men disappeared. Sri
Lankan Air Force bombers dropped lethal napalm bombs in residential areas
causing severe loss and damage to the Tamil people and to their properties.
Talks mediated by
India took place in Thimbu, the capital of Bhutan, between the LTTE including
other Tamil parties and the J. R.
Jeyawardena’s government. Two rounds of direct negotiations were held in
July-August and on 17th September.
Tamil parties worked out four cardinal principles as the basis for the
negotiation, which are today known as the “Thimpu principles”.
The Sri Lankan government's reluctance to devolve powers and its refusal
to recognise the Thimbu principles as the basis for the talk resulted in the
abrupt premature termination of the negotiation. No agreement was reached.
1985-1987 State repression and counter attacks intensified in
the North East resulting in all-out war between the Sri Lankan state and the
LTTE. LTTE effectively took control of the Jaffna peninsula and other
of Tamils were killed as fighting turned brutal. Non-combatants were systematically targeted by the Sri Lanka
Police, Army, Navy, Air force and Special Task Force-STF.
In November, talks between the LTTE
representatives and President J. R. Jeyawardena took place through the mediation
of the Indian Prime minister in Bangalore, India.
LTTE Leader Pirabaharan and advisor Dr. Anton
Balasingham participated in the talk.
Talks ended in a failure. J. R. Jeyawardena refused to recognise the right to self-determination
and the homeland of the Tamils.
economic embargo was imposed by the Sri Lankan government on the Jaffna
peninsula. Sri Lankan government
launched a military operation named
“Operation Liberation” to recapture the Jaffna peninsula. Sri
Lanka’s two army brigades launched an offensive in the early hours on the 26th
May in Vadamarachchi. The operation continued for five days.
the 29th July 1987, a peace accord known as “Indo-Lanka” pact was
signed between Sri Lanka and India. Even though this accord purported to bring
an end to the island’s ethnic crisis, it was signed by India and Sri Lanka
without any consultation with LTTE and the Tamils of the North East of
of thousands of Indian troops known as “Indian Peace Keeping Force" (IPKF)
arrived in North East. Later this
force was named by the Tamils and civil society as the “Innocent Public
Killing Force” (IPKF).
Sinhala nationalist Janatha Vimukthi Permuna (JVP) vigorously opposed the
LTTE’s first public meeting was held in Suthumalai on 4 August 1987. The LTTE
Leader Mr. Pirabaharan’s speech in this meeting became known as the “Suthumalai
5th August, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam -LTTE and other militant groups
surrendered their arms to the Indian army.
3rd October, seventeen LTTE members, including two leaders, were intercepted at
sea near the coastal waters of Point Pedro, by the Sri Lankan Navy and were held
at the Pallaly military base. This was a violation of the cease-fire as an
amnesty had been given to the militant groups in the “Indo-Lanka” accord.
When the Sri Lanka army attempted to forcibly transport them by air to Colombo,
all seventeen simultaneously bit cyanide capsules. Twelve died on the spot and
10th October, the Indian Peace Keeping Force-IPKF which came to maintain peace
in the North East, started attacking the Tamils in the North East killing more
than six thousand (6000) civilians, torturing, raping innumerable women, looting
billions of rupees worth of jewellery. Fighting started between the IPKF and the
leader of the United Socialist Alliance (USA), Vijaya Kumaratunge, husband of
President Chandrika Kumaratunga, was assassinated allegedly by the members
of Janath Vimukthi Peramuna-JVP. Ironically JVP are present allies of President
Chandrika. Ranasinghe Premadasa of the United National Party won the
between the LTTE the President Premadasa took place in Colombo. LTTE’s chief
negotiator Dr. Anton Balasingham, Mrs Adel Balasingham and many other LTTE
high-level leaders took part in the talks.
in negotiation with the LTTE, Sri Lanka President Premadasa demanded the Indian
government to withdraw the Indian troops from Sri Lanka. The Up-rising of
Janatha Vimukthi Perumuna (JVP) was suppressed by the government and the
JVP leader, Rohana Wijeweera and many others were killed.
LTTE formed a political party and named it as
People Front of the Liberation Tigers (PFLT). The LTTE was preparing to
participate in the Elections to demonstrate the peoples’ support to the LTTE.
August, the PFLT representative attended the All Party Conference as an
“Observer”. Twenty six political parties participated in this conference in
March, the IPKF withdrew from the island of Sri Lanka.
soon as the Indian Army left the island, President Premadasa started changing
his tactics and kept on dragging on the issues negotiated with the LTTE. For
example LTTE participation in an election to demonstrate the support of the
people was systematically avoided. Premadasa was preparing for a military
victory over the LTTE. Talks ended in a failure.
At the beginning of EELAM WAR II. Hostilities broke out again between the Sri Lankan forces and the LTTE. Economic blockade was imposed causing severe shortage of food and medicine in the North.
the 10th September, 185 Tamil civilians were butchered by the Sri Lankan army at
the Saththurukondan Army camp in the Batticaloa district. Tamils from
Saththurukondan, Panichchaiyady, Kokkuvil, Pillaiyaraddy were the victims of the
in the North East were subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention, torture, rape,
summary executions and massacres. Properties of the Tamils worth million of
rupees were destroyed in aerial bombardments
and artillery shelling. Military operation ‘JAYASHAKTI’ was
launched to expand the Pallaly army camp and the airfield.
military operation code named 'SEA BREEZE' was launched in
operation 'THRIVIDHA BALAYA' was launched during the operation on the old
Dutch Fort in the heart of Jaffna town. The
military operation 'BALAVEGAYA - I' was the largest military operation
conducted at that time. 'AKUNUPAHARA' was launched in the Niththikaikulam
area and military operation 'BALAVEGAYA - II' was launched in
the Jaffna peninsula.
12th June, 82 Tamils were massacred in the village of Kokaddicholai, Mahiladi
Theevu and Muthalai Kuddah in the Batticaloa district. More than 400 houses were
looted and burnt by the Sri Lanka army
9th August, 32 Tamils
were killed in the village of Mailanthannai in Batticaloa district. Most of the
victims were hacked to death by the Sri Lanka army.
Premadasa was killed in a bomb explosion at a May Day rally in Colombo. The then
Prime Minister D.B. Wijetunge assumed Presidency. The then cabinet minister
Ranil Wickremasinghe became the Prime Minister.
People's Alliance led by Chandrika Kumaratunge won the
Parliamentary elections with the pledge to "end the war and bring
peace". The LTTE unilaterally announced a temporary ceasefire to
welcome the change of government.
between the LTTE and the PA government led by President Chandrika Kumaratunga
commenced in Jaffna. Kumaratunge won the Presidential election. LTTE chief
negotiator Dr. Anton Balasingham, and many other LTTE high-level leaders
participated in the talks.
5 January, the Government of Sri Lanka (President Chandrika) and the LTTE
(Leader V. Pirabahakaran) signed an agreement for cessation of hostilities.
The Government announced lifting of the economic embargo on some items only
on paper, but the embargo continued. Later
Chandrika government argued that there was no such thing as an economic embargo
in the Tamil region. This was
considered by civil society and the international humanitarian organisations as
an “Utter lie with hidden agenda”.
PA was not at all interested in a negotiated political settlement to the bloody
ethnic conflict. The PA government was preparing for a military assault on the
LTTE. In order to buy time they
were sending non-governmental officials for talks with LTTE and were dragging on
the promise to lift the economic embargo.
The LTTE gave a two-week ultimatum in March to the government to implement what they had promised to the civilians. This ultimatum was later extended by another three weeks until April 19th. Talks ended in failure.
launched a major offensive in July in several parts of the Jaffna peninsula
after imposing a press censorship.
This was the beginning of EELAM WAR-III.
the 9th July, military operation ‘OPERATION LEAP FORWARD’
was launched from Pallaly, Tellipallai and Mathagal towards Alaveddy, Sandilipay
the same day, St. Peters church at Navaly which was functioning as a temporary
refugee camp for displaced people from the battle zone was bombed by Sri Lankan
Air force killing 165 civilians, including many women and children.
the 1st October, military operation ‘THUNDER’ was launched
in Vasavillan, Pathameni, Atchuveli and Puttur.
the 22nd September, Sri Lankan Air force bombed a school at Nagarkovil in
Vadamaradchi, killing 25 school children among the
71 killed on the spot.
On 17th October military operation 'RIVIRESA-I' was launched in the Valikamam area of the Jaffna peninsula. Most of the people had fled Valikamam during this military operation. The Sri Lanka army captured Valigamam and Jaffna city and this resulted in more than 500,000 civilians fleeing to LTTE controlled Vadamaradchi, Thenmaradchi divisions of the peninsula and to Vanni. On the 30th October, Jaffna remained a “ghost town” sans people.
On the morning of 15th November, the NGO Forum took
place at Bentota Beach Hotel, in Bentota, in the South of Sri Lanka. Both
foreign and local NGO representatives participated in this forum, which was
designed to improve cooperation between local and international NGOs in the
effort to promote equitable development. The forum meeting was disrupted by
Three journalists were nearly hammered to death by members of the crowd,
which congregated outside the Bentota hotel! They smashed a car and attempted to
throw a journalist into the river. The police authorities made no effort to
prevent the assault or to rescue the victims. It was alleged that certain
government politicians were behind the anti-NGO demonstration. The organisers of
the NGO forum decided to shift the venue to the capital, Colombo.
16th November, the NGO Forum re-convened in the morning at a conference
hall in Ratmalana, a suburb south of Colombo. The conference attendees,
several of whom had been questioned by police officers at their hotel the
previous night, once again became nervous. Just as the Forum was beginning its
work, police officers arrived to “request” the Forum to suspend its
proceedings, claiming that the meeting was illegal! The meeting was dissolved
and all attendees dispersed.
the afternoon of the 16th November, the Forum’s international Core
Group and the Sri Lanka Working Group convened an emergency meeting at an
NGO’s office in Colombo to discuss their concerns regarding the disrupting of
the NGO Forum in two different locations. Unfortunately this meeting, too, was
disrupted when an angry crowd, made aware of the venue by radio news broadcast,
converged on the site. It was evident that the discussions could not continue
rights violations by the army, including rape and disappearances increased in
the Jaffna peninsula. This fact was brought to light by the revelation made of
the rape and murder of Krishanthy Kumaraswamy, a Tamil schoolgirl. The girl's
mother, brother and a neighbour were also murdered when they went to the army
camp, inquiring about the fate of the girl.
LTTE released 16 Sinhala fishermen captured earlier, as a gesture of good
will for Christmas-New Year. During the month of
April-May, the 2nd and 3rd Stages of Operation 'RIVIRESA' were launched
in Thenamarachchi and Vadamarachchi in the Jaffna peninsula. In September, the
military operation 'SATHJAYA' was launched in Kilinochchi and Paranthan
Lankan forces began another major offensive in the Northern town of Vavuniya. In
February, operation 'EDIBALA' was launched in Mannar. In May, the longest
and the largest military operation "JAYSIKURU" was launched in
Vanni. Operation “RIVIBALA” was launched by the Army (53 and 55
Divisions) in Oddusudan town and along Nedunkerny Oddusudan Road.
On the 25th September, 38 NGOs serving in several parts of Batticaloa
district, were ordered by
Government of Sri Lanka to cease all their humanitarian operations. This
immediately followed a government order banning NGOs from assisting
people in the areas of Batticaloa.
Lankan armed forces shelled the residential area Karuvakeni. Medical embargo to
the North-East continued. Sri Lankan Kfir bombers bombarded the towns. The
Jaffna Teaching Hospital was on the verge of shutting down its surgical wards
owing to the short supply of items. Two Catholic priests were killed by bombs
dropped by Sri Lankan Kfir planes. The Sri Lankan army shot and hacked to death
many Tamil civilians.
the 5th July, it was revealed in High Court, Colombo by the former Army Lance
Corporal that that “hundreds of men and women arrested by the army in Jaffna
were killed and buried in Chemmani.
Military operation commenced in early March in Mundumurippu, Iranai,
Illuppaikkulam and Puwarasankulam
military operation was launched (53 and 55 Divisions) in mid March 1999 in Madu
and Palamppiddi areas.
Military operation was launched
in early May 1999 in Periyamadu and south west of Chiraddikulam.
operation was launched on mid June 1999 in Papamodai, Vedithalathivu and
RIVIKIRANA 1 & II
operation ‘RIVIKIRANA I & II’ were launched in Ariyalai,
Thanakillppu and Kaithaddy. Military operation ‘KINIHEERA I’ was
launched by 51,52,53 and 55 Divisions along the Thanakillappu-Chava Road.
Military Operation ‘KINIHEERA II’
was launched in Kaithaddy, Nunavil, Thanakillappu and Ariyalai.
operation ‘KINIHEERA III and IV’ was launched in Sarasalai,
Puthur, Maduvil South and Nunavil East.
On the 5th January, Human Rights Defender Mr. G. G. Ponnambalam
was assassinated allegedly the by the PA (Chandrika’s) government’s
The Norwegian government came forward to facilitate peace talks between
LTTE and the Chandrika government. The Norwegian chief facilitator Mr. Eric
Solheim was shuttling between LTTE and the government. The Norwegian chief
facilitator had meetings with LTTE Chief negotiator Dr. Anton Balasingham in
London as well with LTTE Leader Mr. V. Pirabaharan in the Vanni. He also had
meetings with other political leaders in Sri Lanka.
Sinhala Muslims riots broke out on 2nd May in Mawanella,
between Colombo and Kandy. Two
Muslims were killed and Muslim- owned shops and houses were set on fire by the
Sinhala rioters. On the following Friday Muslim worshippers at a Mosque in
Colombo, demonstrated against the violence against Muslims in Mawanella.
were also Sinhala-Muslim riots in Muttur in Trincomalee following the Mawanella
incidents. Many shops in Muttur were razed to the ground.
LTTE have announced unilateral cease-fires many a time. One lasted for
four months. President Chandrika’s government refused to
reciprocate the cease-fire declared by the LTTE and opted to continue with its
Minister of foreign affairs Lakshman Kadirgamar accused the Norwegian peace
envoy Mr. Eric Solheim of giving too much consolation to the Tamils and
sidelined him, out of personal dislike for Eric Solheim. On the 7th June,
Kadirgamar insisted that the Norwegian government must remove Mr. Eric Solheim
from the peace mediation. This brought the mediation to a stalemate.
The Tamil political parties formed a front known as the “Tamil National
Alliance (TNA)” and contested the Parliament elections in the North East on
the 5th December 2001 and won in 16 electorates.
TNA’s Election manifesto.
In December, the UNP government headed by the Prime Minister Ranil
Wickremasinghe came into power with the mandate for peace and negotiations with
LTTE. The LTTE declared a one month cease-fire and it was renewed. The
government also declared one month cease-fire and renewed it.
LTTE released 10 prisoners of war as a gesture of good
will for peace.
Norwegian government re-activated its peace role. The Norwegian delegation led
by Deputy Foreign Minister Vidar Helgesenand and Mr. Eric Solheim met with the
LTTE chief negotiator Dr. Anton Balasingham in London and the Prime Minister and
other ministers in Sri Lanka.