Timeline 2018-05-31T09:25:32+00:00
1948
The Tamil Genocide Takes Root as Ceylon Gains Independence

The Tamil Genocide Takes Root as Ceylon Gains Independence

The British leave and Ceylon becomes a self-governing dominion with a government dominated by the Sinhalese elite assuming power. Passage of the Citizenship Act that makes more than a million Tamil plantation workers of Indian..Read More

1949

Formation of the Tamil Federal Party under the leadership of Thanthai Chelvanayagam.

1951

First convention of the Federal Party (FP), declaring its intention to campaign for a federal structure of governance, and for regional autonomy for Tamils living in North and East.

1956
Sinhala Only Act and the 1958 Anti-Tamil Pogrom

Sinhala Only Act and the 1958 Anti-Tamil Pogrom

UNP ousted from power in the general elections by SLFP, riding on the wave of Sinhalese- Buddhist nationalism with strong anti-Tamil overtones. Sinhalese is proclaimed as the sole official language of Ceylon as the Official..Read More

1958

Prime Minister Bandaranaike and FP leader Chelvanayagam sign a historic agreement (the B-C Pact) on a federal solution, devolving wide-ranging powers to the Tamil-majority North and East Provinces. A major anti-Tamil pogrom breaks out in Sinhala-majority..Read More

1959
From Ceylon to the Republic of Sri Lanka: The Continuation of Sinhala-Buddhist Chauvinism

From Ceylon to the Republic of Sri Lanka: The Continuation of Sinhala-Buddhist Chauvinism

Prime Minister Bandaranaike is assassinated by a Buddhist monk.

1965

UNP’s Dudley Senanayake forms a government with the help of FP and other parties. The Dudley-Chelva agreement, which amounts to a diluted version of the B-C pact, is signed. The agreement is abandoned without being..Read More

1972

Ceylon becomes a Republic on May 22 and is officially renamed The Republic of Sri Lanka. The United Front government enacts a Sinhalese-supremacist “Republican Constitution” for the country, which makes Buddhism the de facto state..Read More

1976

TUF is renamed Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) and passes the “Vaddukodai resolution” to restore a “free, sovereign, secular, socialist State of Tamil Eelam based on the right to self-determination” to safeguard the very existence..Read More

1977
President JR Jayewardena is Elected, Bringing an Upsurge in Anti-Tamil State Violence

President JR Jayewardena is Elected, Bringing an Upsurge in Anti-Tamil State Violence

Death of ailing Thanthai Chelvanayagam. J.R. Jayewardena becomes Prime Minister when UNP routs SLFP in the general elections to come back to power with a thumping five-sixths majority in parliament.

August 12-20, 1977

August 12-20, 1977

Severe anti-Tamil pogroms occur immediately after elections, killing hundreds of Tamils; tens of thousands of Tamils from Sinhalese-majority areas, flee North to the Tamil regions.

1978

A second Republican constitution is enacted, creating a powerful executive presidency

1979

Government enacts the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), a law based on Apartheid South Africa’s Terrorism Act. More anti-Tamil pogroms in Sinhalese-majority areas.

1981
The Destruction of the Jaffna Library, Black July, the 6th Amendment and Outbreak of War

The Destruction of the Jaffna Library, Black July, the 6th Amendment and Outbreak of War

The Jaffna Public Library is burnt down by the Sri Lankan armed forces, under the direction of two government ministers, Gamini Dissanayake and Cyril Mathew.

1983
Black July 1983: The most horrific anti-Tamil pogrom spreads throughout the island

Black July 1983: The most horrific anti-Tamil pogrom spreads throughout the island

More than 3,000 Tamils killed and over 150,000 become refugees, many fleeing the country to India and the West.  Prison guards allow Sinhalese génocidaires into the wards holding Tamil political prisoners- 53 Tamil political prisoners..Read More

1983- on-wards

1983- on-wards

The armed conflict phase of Sri Lanka’s genocide against Tamils begins…

1987
1987- India’s Intervention

1987- India’s Intervention

The Indian military performed a peacekeeping operation in Sri Lanka between 1987 and 1990. It was formed under the mandate of the 1987 Indo-Sri Lankan Accord that aimed to end the Sri Lankan Civil War..Read More

September 15, 1987

September 15, 1987

Thileepan (Rasaiah Parthipan) began his fast at the Nallur Murugan Temple, Jaffna. His main objective was to bring awareness and appeal to the Indian government to honour pledges made to the Tamil people. Thileepan was..Read More

1989
1st Maveerar Naal – November 27,1989

1st Maveerar Naal – November 27,1989

Marks the 1st Maveerar Naal. Maveerar Naal is a day of remembrance and is held each year on November 27th, the date on which the first LTTE cadre, Lt. Shankar is said to have died..Read More

1995
1995-2000- Sri Lankan Government Attacks

1995-2000- Sri Lankan Government Attacks

Several bombings and killings on civilians by the government took place from 1995. On July 9, 1995 the Sri Lankan Air Force bombed the Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in Navaly as an..Read More

September 22, 1995

September 22, 1995

Sri Lankan Air Force bombed Nagarkovil Maha Vidyalaym, a government school in Jaffna. 39 civilians died many of which were school children. The staff of the school informed the sighting of the Sri Lankan Air..Read More

2000
February 2000- Norway Begin Negotiations

February 2000- Norway Begin Negotiations

In 2000, an estimated one million people in Sri Lanka were displaced within the country, living in camps or homeless and struggling for survival. In February 2000, Norway was asked by both sides to intervene..Read More

2002
February 2002-  Ceasefire

February 2002- Ceasefire

The Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE sign a ceasefire which was notified by the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs. The two sides formalized a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on February 22nd, 2002, and..Read More

2004
December 26, 2004 – Tsunami

December 26, 2004 – Tsunami

One of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history. Indonesia was the hardest-hit country, followed by Sri Lanka, India and Thailand. Over 30 000 deaths in Sri Lanka alone.

2005
November 2005- The Rajapaksa Regime

November 2005- The Rajapaksa Regime

Mahinda Rajapaksa became the 6th President of Sri Lanka. He quickly appointed his three brothers to run important ministries and other political positions, regardless of their merit. The Rajapaksas have been accused of being authoritarian,..Read More

2006
August 14, 2006- Sencholai Massacre

August 14, 2006- Sencholai Massacre

The Sencholai children’s home had been designated as a humanitarian zone. However, the government found it to be the perfect cite to target the future of Tamils. 53 students and 3 staff members were killed..Read More

2008

January 2, 2008- End of Ceasefire

On January 2, 2008 the Sri Lankan government officially abrogated the ceasefire agreement.

April 2008- ‘Zone of Peace’ Attacked

April 2008- ‘Zone of Peace’ Attacked

The Sri Lankan Army (SLA) focus their operations on capturing Mannar by shelling Madhu Shrine, a holy Catholic pilgrimage site that houses a statue of ‘Our Lady of Madhu’. The area surrounding the shrine was..Read More

July 2008- Removing the “Witnesses”

July 2008- Removing the “Witnesses”

July 2008 the Government of Sri Lanka instructs the Sri Lankan Telecom Department to cut 500 phone lines that connected Kilinochchi to the outside world.  The phone lines that were cut belong to civilian-serving institutions..Read More

Fall/Winter 2008- Food Insecurity

Fall/Winter 2008- Food Insecurity

In early 2008, the Government of Sri Lanka placed increased limitations on the number of transport vehicles allowed into Vanni.  By late 2008, these restrictions cause a food insecurity crisis that is compounded by the..Read More

November 2008- Displacement and Food Insecurity

November 2008- Displacement and Food Insecurity

The restriction on food items coming into Vanni must also be judged in the backdrop of this loss of local rice production caused by displacement.” By the end of November 2008, 75% of the entire..Read More

November 2008- Army Shelling Continues

November 2008- Army Shelling Continues

Crucial infrastructure meant to support the high-needs IDP population is targeted by Sri Lankan Army shelling. Kilinochchi is consistently shelled, with hospitals, IDP settlements and main roads, as frequent targets.  The number of casualties continue..Read More

December 2008- Use of Banned Weapons

December 2008- Use of Banned Weapons

In December 2008, reports begin to emerge regarding the use of cluster munitions on civilian areas.  The use of banned weapons on civilian targets becomes a systemic practice by the Sri Lankan Army. Meanwhile, in December..Read More

2009
January 21, 2009- First ‘Safe Zone’

January 21, 2009- First ‘Safe Zone’

A year after the end of the ceasefire.  The Sri Lankan Army begins shelling civilian areas for long periods of time and people spend hours in their bunkers.  The number of casualties begins to mount. ..Read More

January 2009- Shelling the ‘Safe Zone’

January 2009- Shelling the ‘Safe Zone’

Shelling the ‘safe zone’ and the PTK hospital. The first ‘safe zone’ is consistently targeted by Sri Lankan Army shelling. Within one week, hundreds are killed and thousands are wounded. The only remaining hospital lies..Read More

February 12, 2009- New ‘Safe Zone’

February 12, 2009- New ‘Safe Zone’

A new ‘safe zone’ is declared along a narrow strip of beach. Over 330,000 people are corralled into an area that is 14 sq. km

February 2009- Starvation

February 2009- Starvation

The entire Vanni Tamil population is suffering from starvation.  According to the UN Office of the Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator, to feed a population of 300,000 people for one month, at least 5000 Metric..Read More

March-April 2009- Women and Children Targeted

March-April 2009- Women and Children Targeted

On 8th of April 2009, a large group of women and children, who were queued up at a milk powder distribution line organized by RDHS, were shelled at Ambalavanpokkanai. Some of the dead mothers still..Read More

March-April 2009- Clearing the Dead in the ‘Safe Zone’

March-April 2009- Clearing the Dead in the ‘Safe Zone’

“These burial sites contained human remains from hundreds, and in some instances, thousands of men, women and children who died during the conflict…”

March- April 2009 – ICRC Evacuations

March- April 2009 – ICRC Evacuations

“The ICRC continued to play a leading role in alleviating the plight of the civilian population in the Vanni, by evacuating wounded civilians from the coastal strip by ship, starting on 10 February 2009. In..Read More

May 8, 2009 – Final ‘Safe Zone’ declared

May 8, 2009 – Final ‘Safe Zone’ declared

In May 2009, the ‘safe zone’ became progressively smaller as the Sri Lankan Army closed in on the remaining Tamils of Vanni. At the beginning of May 130,000 people are packed into an area that..Read More

May 2009- “White Flag” Incident”

May 2009- “White Flag” Incident”

“The surrender of the political leaders of the LTTE- Pulidevan and Nadesan- is commonly known as “the white flag incident”. It involved approximately twelve people surrendering, including the leaders. Photographs of their dead bodies later..Read More

May 2009- Systematic Executions

May 2009- Systematic Executions

Systematic and widespread executions of people associated with or suspected of being associated with the LTTE. The Sri Lankan Security Forces collected ‘trophy’ photos and videos of captured LTTE suspects.  This ‘trophy’ footage was later..Read More

May 2009- Mullivaikal

May 2009- Mullivaikal

The journey out of Mullivaikaal and into the internment camps. “Between 16 and 19 May, the remaining civilians trapped in the zone made their way south, out of the coastal strip, crossing the Vadduvahal Bridge..Read More

May 18 2009- Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day

May 18 2009- Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day

Marking the massacre of tens of thousands of Tamils at the end of the armed conflict in Sri Lanka in May 2009.

Post- 2009- The Ongoing Genocide of Tamils

Post- 2009- The Ongoing Genocide of Tamils

Systemic Sexual Violence and Forced Sterilization

2018
2013
November 2013- Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting

November 2013- Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting

Sri Lanka held the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting. There were significant calls from many bodies not to host the summit in Sri Lanka and to boycott the event due to the country’s poor..Read More

December 11, 2013

December 11, 2013

On December 11, 2013 Permanent People’s Tribunal passed a judgement ruling that Sri Lanka had indeed committed the crime of genocide against the minority Tamils.

2015
2015- Presidential Elections in Sri Lanka

2015- Presidential Elections in Sri Lanka

Rajapaksa lost his presidency to Maithripala Srisena. Srisena served as the active Defence Minister during the civil war.

2016
2016- International Hybrid Court

2016- International Hybrid Court

Members of the United States Congress called for the formation of a hybrid special court with international judges, prosecutors and lawyers to try war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Sri Lanka. To this..Read More

2018
2018 – Displacement of Tamil Civilians Post-2009

2018 – Displacement of Tamil Civilians Post-2009

As of 2018, displaced Tamil villagers have not been able to return to their livelihoods. Villages, such as Iranaitivu and Keppapilavu, have been leading and participation in peaceful protests demanding the release of their lands..Read More

February 20, 2018

February 20, 2018

365 Days of Protest by Mothers of Disappeared It has been a year and the government has yet to meet the demands outlaid by the mothers. The protests are constantly under surveillance and intimidation by..Read More