a memorial for all wars: the Polynational War Memorial


Sri Lankan Govt vs Tamil Militants (LTTE)

Also called: Sri Lankan Civil War

Years: 1984-2009
Battle deaths: 70,785 [1]
Onesided violence: 3,052 [2]

Nation(s) involved and/or conflict territory [note]
Sri Lanka, India

Published prior to 2013 | Updated: 2017-06-04 18:15:45
Quote from Uppsala Conflict Data Program 1):

"Sri Lanka has been torn by violent conflict between its governmental forces and militant Tamil forces fighting for a separate state since 1984. The conflict has pitted the Sinhalese majority against the minority Tamils, and has its roots in discriminatory post-independence legislation. Despite attempts to solve the conflict through negotiations, it proved very intractable. In 2009, the conflict was ended through a decisive victory of the government over the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam)."


1983-1987 LTTE attacks on Government Forces (SLA) and attacks on Tamils marks the start of the war.

1987-1990 Unsuccessful SLA offensive on Jaffna. Indian Peacekeeping force (IPKF) enters the country after an agreement between all parties. IPKF becomes involved in fighting, meets resistance from both militants and the government and leaves in 1990.

1990-1995 LTTE expands its control to the eastern coastal region. The war is becoming increasingly brutal with numerous massacres along religious and ethnic lines.

1995-2002 SLA takes Jaffna in 1996. A war-weary nation are searching for peaceful alternatives. In 2000 Norway are invited to negotiate a settlement and talks starts in 2002.

2003-2005 A fragile ceasefire holds despite numerous skirmishes and massacres, but talks are failing repeatedly.

2006-2009 Renewed fighting breaks out. The ceasfire is officially abolished. SLA pushes LTTE out of the eastern provinces and continues its campaign in LTTE:s heartland in the North. 30,000 civilian IDP:s gets caught in a brutal final battle against LTTE in early 2009. The government declares victory on May 16 2009.

Timeline compiled from
Source: Wikipedia, published under the GNU FDL. Retrieved 2016-07-26

1) Quote from
Source: Uppsala Conflict Data Program (Date of retrieval: 2013-07-27) UCDP Conflict Encyclopedia, Uppsala University


Data Sources

[1] Battle deaths: PRIO Battle Deaths Dataset v3.0 (link) (1946-88) #157 UCDP Battle-Related Deaths Dataset v. 5-2016 (link) (1989-2015)
Low: 64,185 High: 93,353

[2] UCDP One-sided Violence Dataset v. 1.4-2014 (1989-2013)(link) including actors: Government of Sri Lanka, LTTE
Low: 3,024 High: 3,704

More about sources


NOTE! Nation data for this war may be inconlusive or incomplete. In most cases it reflects which nations were involved with troops in this war, but in some it may instead reflect the contested territory.



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