Peacebuilding and Reconciliation: An Introduction

1983-2009

Violence in Sri Lanka

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In 1983, violence broke out in Sri Lanka following an insurgency against the government by the LTTE (the Tamil Tigers), a militant organisation fighting for the creation of an independent Tamil state. The violence was characterised by three ?Eelam? wars, in addition to failed ceasefires, suicide bombings, and renewed violence following the 2004 tsunami. Despite international pressure for a ceasefire, government forces continued attacks against the Tamil Tigers until they agreed to lay down arms in May 2009, ending a 30-year long military effort allegedly plagued by war crimes.