Renewed Conflict in Sri Lanka: A Return to War

Renewed Conflict in Sri Lanka: A Return to War

  • 9 May 2006

In 2002, Sri Lanka looked set to bring an end to the civil
war that had plagued the island for nearly twenty years
and claimed the lives of 64,000 soldiers and civilians.
As the peace process got underway, it seemed that the
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were gaining
more from it than they could ever have achieved from
the war. Peace, it seemed, had finally come to Sri Lanka
and the process seemed irreversible. The main questions
that remained concerned the extent of devolution and
federalism that the Sri Lankan government would be
prepared to grant the LTTE.
One year later, however, the situation looked less
positive. Serious differences emerged between the two
sides with regard to the administration of the peace
process and eventually the LTTE refused to negotiate
any further with the government. Broadly speaking,
the ceasefire held but there were plenty of violations—
especially on the part of the LTTE. Had the tsunami not
struck Sri Lanka, the LTTE would probably have resumed
violent conflict in January 2005, but the impact of the
tsunami on the coastal areas controlled by the LTTE was
immense and forced the Tigers to put all plans on hold.
The situation began to deteriorate markedly at the end of
2005; and by February 2006 it was clear that the LTTE had
encouraged the beginnings of an intifada-style uprising in
Jaffna and then Trincomalee. The LTTE has also engaged
in a major fundraising program in Europe and Canada,
calling for increased donations to fund the final war. To all
intents and purposes, the peace process is in ruins.

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Tuesday 9 May 2006

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Tuesday 9 May 2006

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