Sri Lanka. Just over a week before Sri Lanka would celebrate its 50th anniversary as an independent state, the guerrilla Tamil Liberation Tigers, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), conducted its most symbolic attack during the 15-year war: a truck carrying explosives was detonated at the country’s most important Buddhist shrine in the city of Kandy. According to Countryaah, the capital of Sri Lanka is Colombo; Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte. A dozen people were killed and far more were injured. Following the attack, the government formally declared LTTE, thus closing the door to any peace talks. Attempts to politically neutralize guerrillas were also slow. In the days following the Kandy attack, the government rejected a constitutional amendment to decentralize power, including no to a Tamil autonomous region.
LTTE continued to show its danger. Two suicide attacks in Colombo in February and March killed some 40 people. In May, the newly appointed mayor of Jaffna was shot dead in his home. Four months later, her successor was murdered and at the same time 19 others, including senior executives for the security service in Jaffna.
As in 1997, the army’s offensive to conquer an important highway to the Jaffna Peninsula required hundreds of lives almost every month. At the end of September, thousands of soldiers were killed on both sides in the course of a few days when the army entered the city of Mankulam but at the same time lost Kilinochchi. It was the army’s most difficult individual adversity throughout the war, and in December the offensive was declared completed despite not achieving its target.
In April 2006, a wave of assaults began, which according to. observers meant the final collapse of the 2002 ceasefire.
In May 2006, the EU decided to put the LTTE on its terrorist list. The consequence was that the peace process in Sri Lanka was nearing a final collapse when the LTTE asked EU observers from especially Sweden and Denmark to leave the country. At the same time, the terrorist listing destroyed the EU’s opportunity to contribute to resolving the conflict in the country through negotiation. As a consequence of the terror hysteria, in April 2008, the Eastern High Court in Denmark decided to confiscate the humanitarian Tamil Rehabilitation Organizations (TRO) bank accounts in Denmark.
2007-10 LTTE defeated
By August 2007 – a year after the resumption of fighting between the government and the LTTE – over 3,500 had been killed and 300,000 forced to leave their homes. A number of humanitarian organizations working in the country estimated that 1 million people in the war zones lacked access to basic necessities of life. At the same time, the US Department of State characterized the country as a “stable democratic state.” Foreign Policy and The Fund for Peace placed Sri Lanka in 20th place over failed states in the world. In December, in a joint letter, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International requested the UN Human Rights Council to intervene to stop the bloodshed of both parties in the conflict.
In January 2008, the government unilaterally terminated the peace agreement with the LTTE and reinforced its offensive. Norway, India, Canada and the United States criticized the government for its breach of the peace agreement. The reason for the resignation was that the government has succeeded in pushing LTTE through its offenses since 2006. The government and the military now believed that the LTTE could be finally defeated. The military offensive intensified through 2008, and by the end of the year had sent 2-300,000 Tamils on the run. The fighting became increasingly cruel, and in the spring of 2009, Human Rights Watch accused the military of firing civilian areas with grenades and rockets. The military also damaged hospitals and March attacks also hit the “no-four” zones where civilians had sought protection. The LTTE, on the other hand, was accused of recruiting children and of protecting civilians who tried to flee their areas. On May 19, the military declared LTTE defeated after the Tigers chief, Velupillai Prabhakaran the day before, was killed and the last LTTE positions taken. The UN subsequently estimated that around 20,000 civilian Tamils had been killed during the 2008-09 fighting – most killed by the military. The outside world welcomed the end of the fighting, criticized the large number of civilians killed and called for national reconciliation. However, no reconciliation process was initiated, the responsible officers for massacres of the Tamil population were not brought to justice and discrimination against the Tamil people continued. The conflict between Tamils and Sinhalese had been reversed 30 years and remained unsolved.
By the end of 2009, according to Amnesty International, around 100,000 civilian Tamils and prisoners of war remained in concentration camps in the predominantly northern but also southern parts of the country. Amnesty also accused the government of the disappearance of Tamils and liquidations of prisoners of war. Finally, the government continued to liquidate human rights activists and journalists in 2009.
Following the victory over the LTTE, at the end of 2009, a sharp conflict developed between Rajapaksa and Chief of Staff Sarath Fonseka over which of them had the credit for the victory over the Tigers. In November, therefore, the president fired Fonseka, leading to the January presidential election.