3 Chronologies of Tamils & Sri Lanka
from Tamil Nation, 2007
Summarised Chronology of the Sri Lankan Conflict
Appendix 1:Reflecting on Peace Practice Project - directed by
Collaborative for Development Action, Massachussets, USA
||Portuguese arrive in Ceylon during the existence of three sovereign kingdoms, one Tamil-based in Jaffna, and two Sinhalese-based in Kotte and Kandy.
||Tamil sovereignty ends when Portuguese defeats the Tamil king and annex the Jaffna kingdom.
||Dutch arrive in Ceylon.
||British arrive in Ceylon.
||Ceylon becomes a British Crown Colony.
||Fall of Kandyan kingdom, the last holdout against colonial occupation. The redrawing of provincial boundaries is aimed at reducing the isolation of the Kandyan Sinhalese and to accelerate the process of integration. Isolation of the Kandyan Sinhalese is considered an obstacle for the creation of a homogeneous nation and a united system of administration.
||For the first time in over 2,500 years of its recorded history, the entire island of Ceylon is brought under a single administration based on the recommendations of the Colebrook-Cameron Report.
||First elections conducted by the British colonial authority enable educated citizens to elect a representative to the State Legislative Council. A Tamil, Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan, is elected, defeating Sinhalese candidate, Sir. Marcus Fernando, despite the Sinhalese being the majority voting group.
||First ethnic conflict recorded in Ceylon's history emerges through clash between Sinhalese and Muslims in Kandy.
||Ceylon National Congress (CNC), the first full-fledged "nationalist" political party, is formed by Ponnambalam Arunachalam, a Tamil.
||Arunachalam quits CNC, denouncing it as a party representing mainly a section of the Sinhalese. The incident paves the way for ethnically divided politics in Sri Lanka.
||Formation of Communist Party of Ceylon (CP).
||Creation of the All Tamil Congress led by G. G. Ponnambalam.
||United National Party (UNP) is formed.
Soulbury Constitution is enacted and maintains the unitary state established under colonial rule.
||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 origin disenfranchised and stateless.
||Formation of the Tamil Federal Party under the leadership of S. J. V. Chelvanayagam.
||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.
S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike breaks away from UNP and forms Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP).
||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 Language Act in passed in parliament. Colvin R. de Silva speaks out against "Sinhala Only," warning it will divide the country along ethnic lines. FP establishes itself as the major representative party of Ceylon Tamils.The outbreak of first post-colonial anti-Tamil riots.
||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. Barely a week later, the pact is unilaterally abrogated by Bandaranaike under pressure from UNP
and the Buddhist clergy.
A non-violent civil disobedience campaign is launched by FP in the North.The government reacts by sending police and military forces to Jaffna to suppress the agitation. A major anti-Tamil pogrom breaks out in Sinhala-majority areas, killing hundreds of Tamils and making thousands of Tamils homeless.
||Prime Minister Bandaranaike is assassinated by a Buddhist monk.
||Srimavo Bandaranaike, widow of Solomon Bandaranaike, becomes the first woman Prime Minister in the world.
||Sirimavo-Shashtri pact is signed for the repatriation of stateless plantation workers to India.
||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 implemented due to opposition from the SLFP, the Buddhist clergy and UNP backbenchers.
FP’s Tiruchelvam, Minister of Local Government, resigns from the cabinet.
||Janata Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP, the People’s Liberation Front), a nationalist movement mobilising mostly frustrated Sinhalese educated youth around economic discontent and fears of Indian imperialism, is formed.
||Mrs. Bandaranaike becomes Prime Minister, as the United Front (a coalition of SLFP, LSSP, and CP) gains a two-thirds majority in parliament. J. R. Jayewardena becomes the leader of opposition.
||Armed insurrection of JVP is brutally put down, with thousands of Sinhalese youth being killed. A state of emergency is declared, which continues for six years.
||Ceylon becomes a Republic on May 22 and is officially renamed Republic of Sri Lanka. The United Front government enacts a Sinhalese-supremacist "Republican Constitution" for the country, which makes Buddhism the de facto state religion. Ironically, the architect of this constitution is the same Colvin R. de Silva, who made the famous "one language-two nations" speech, opposing the "Sinhala only" legislation in 1956.
Formation of Tamil United Front (TUF) comprising FP, Tamil Congress (TC) led by G. G. Ponnambalam, and Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) led by Savumiamoorthy Thondaman. A small youth group named Tamil New Tigers (TNT) is formed in the Jaffna peninsula to fight for Tamil rights by a 17-year-old high school student from Valvettiturai named Velupillai Pirabhakaran.
||Unprovoked attack on attendees of a prestigious International Tamil Cultural conference in
Jaffna by Sinhalese police leaves nine civilians dead. State discrimination against Tamil students’ admission to universities reaches a peak with the introduction of "standardisation." Formation of Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO).
||Jaffna mayor and SLFP organiser Alfred Duraiyappah assassinated, apparently in retaliation for the attack on the International Tamil Conference. Pirabakharan and the TNT claim responsibility for what will become the group's first political assassination.Eelam Revolutionary Organisation of Students (EROS) is formed.
||TUF is renamed Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) and passes the "Vaddukoddai
resolution" to restore a "free, sovereign, secular, socialist State of Tamil Eelam based on the right
to self-determination" to safeguard the very existence of the Tamil nation in the country.
TNT is renamed and reorganized as Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), with Uma
Maheswaran as its leader.
||Death of ailing Chelvanayagam.
Appapillai Amirthalingam becomes the leader of Federal Party.
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. TULF, contesting on a platform of seeking a mandate for a sovereign Tamil Eelam, wins overwhelmingly in the North and does very well in Tamil-dominated areas of East, and becomes the major opposition party in parliament.
Severe anti-Tamil riots occur immediately after elections in Sinhalese-majority areas, killing hundreds of Tamils.
||A second Republican constitution is enacted, creating a powerful executive presidency and granting partial concessions to some Tamil demands. Jayawardena becomes first Executive President of the country. Despite the minor concessions, armed activities of Tamil militant organisations increase, with attacks on police stations and robberies of banks.
||Uma Maheswaran is expelled from LTTE and forms People’s Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) Government enacts the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), banning Tamil militant organizations.
Jaffna peninsula is effectively under martial law. More anti-Tamil riots in Sinhalese-majority areas.
||Formation of the Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF).
||Elections for District Development Councils (DDC) as an attempt to devolve power. Further anti-Tamil riots. Increased military repression in the north, as Tamil violence continues. The Jaffna Public Library is burnt down by the Sri Lankan armed forces, allegedly under the direction of two government ministers, Gamini Dissanayake and Cyril Mathew.
||J. R. Jayewardena defeats Hector Kobbekaduwa in the first-ever Presidential election of the country.
||Major anti-Tamil pogrom takes place in the entire country. More than 3,000 Tamils killed and over 150,000 become refugees, many fleeing the country to India and the West. With increasingly restive mood of people of Tamil Nadu, the Indian government comes out in support of the Tamil cause. LTTE and other guerrilla organizations set up training camps in India, with direct and indirect support from various state agencies.
Thousands of youth join the militant organizations, with TULF beginning to fade into political oblivion.
The conflict reaches the proportions of a full-blown civil war.
||LTTE, EPRLF, EROS, and TELO form Eelam National Liberation Front (ENLF) to coordinate
the "revolutionary struggle for national independence."
Peace talks mediated by India in Thimpu, Bhutan, break down with Sri Lankan government’s
reluctance to devolve power.
However, Tamil parties hand down .five cardinal principles. which remain the basis for any
meaningful solution to the conflict. These are commonly known as the Thimpu Principles.
||State repression and Tamil violence intensify in the North and East resulting in all-out war
between the Sri Lankan state and Tamil liberation groups.
LTTE emerges as the dominant guerrilla group and effectively takes control of Jaffna peninsula
and other northern areas.
Thousands, mostly Tamils, die as fighting turns brutal, with non-combatants from both sides
systematically targeted, firstly by the Sri Lankan armed forces and then by Tamil guerrillas.
||The Sri Lankan government launches Operation Liberation to recapture the Jaffna peninsula.
A small float of Indian boats with food and medical supplies for Jaffna peninsula is turned back
by the Sri Lankan Navy. India airdrops food on Jaffna peninsula.
The Indo-Sri Lankan Peace Accord, agreeing on detailed proposals for provincial councils and
expediting the immediate deployment of an Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) to enforce a
ceasefire, is signed without consulting the Tamil parties.
Tens of thousands of Indian troops arrive in Northeastern Sri Lanka as "Indian Peace Keeping
Initial surrender of arms by Tamil guerrilla groups.
Seventeen LTTE members, including two leaders, arrested by Sri Lankan Navy in violation of
the Peace Accord, and commit suicide.
Fighting breaks out between LTTE and IPKF.
Jaffna falls to IPKF, but fighting continues throughout the Tamil region.
Rise of Sinhala nationalist insurrection by JVP.
||Government forces furiously combat the JVP insurrection. Thousands of youths are killed or
disappeared,. causing widespread international protest.
Assassination of Vijaya Kumaratunge, leader of United Socialist Alliance (USA), allegedly by
EPRLF assumes power in the Northeastern Provincial Council.
Ranasinghe Premadasa of UNP wins the presidential election, defeating Srimavo Bandaranaike
||Sri Lankan President Premadasa requests the Indian government withdraw its troops from Sri
Lanka. JVP insurrection is brutally put down by the Government.
||Withdrawal of IPKF from Sri Lanka and the collapse of the Northeastern Provincial government.
Hostilities break out again between Sri Lankan forces and LTTE.
||Assassination of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in Tamil Nadu by suspected LTTE
||Top opposition politician and former National Security minister Lalith Athulathmudali is assassinated.
A week later, President Premadasa is killed in a suicide bomb attack. D. B. Wijetunge assumes Presidency.
LTTE leader calls for unconditional talks with the government, with a commitment to the federalisation of Sri Lanka, which is rejected by President Wijetunge.
||People’s Alliance led by Chandrika Kumaratunge wins Parliamentary elections. LTTE unilaterally announces a temporary ceasefire to welcome the change of government. PA Government begins peace talks with LTTE in Jaffna. UNP’s Presidential candidate Gamini Dissanayake is assassinated at an election rally.
Kumaratunge wins Presidential election with a landslide on a platform of "ending the war and
||Government and LTTE sign cessation of hostilities agreement.
More rounds of talks in Jaffna.
Government announces lifting of economic embargo on most items, but armed forces at the
border checkpoints continue to enforce the embargo.
LTTE issues two-week ultimatum in March to the government to implement their requests,
which is later extended by another 3 weeks to April 19th.
Government ignores the ultimatum and LTTE calls off the peace talks and resumes hostilities.
Government begins major offensive in July in parts of Jaffna peninsula after imposing press
censorship. A church and its premises, functioning as a safe place for refugees away from the
battle zone, are repeatedly bombed by Sri Lankan air force killing civilians, including women
Government informally announces a package of devolution proposals, making Sri Lanka a
"Union of Regions."
Another major offensive by the government in October results in the capture of Valigamam
division and the city of Jaffna, but more than 400,000 civilians escape to LTTE-controlled
Vadamaradchi, Thenmaradchi divisions of the peninsula and to Vanni district in the mainland,
virtually leaving a peopleless land for the Sri Lankan army, including a ghost town of Jaffna.
||An extensively watered down legal draft of the devolution proposals is submitted to the
Parliamentary Select Committee for discussion.
As customary, the powerful Buddhist clergy opposes any devolution of power to Tamils in the
Government launches another offensive and captures the entire Jaffna peninsula. The armed
forces also succeed in preventing a large number of people from escaping to LTTE-controlled
territory by sealing off the Jaffna lagoon. Yet, nearly half a million people are displaced from
their homes and live in the LTTE controlled Vanni region in the mainland.
Despite the government’s claim of the peninsula fast returning to normal life, neutral news
reporters are still barred from entering the region.
LTTE announces its willingness to negotiate peace if mediated by a neutral country, which is
rejected by the Sri Lankan government.
LTTE launches a daring attack and overruns the army camp at Mullaitheevu, capturing large
quantities of arms and military hardware, and killing more than 1,200 soldiers.
Sri Lankan armed forces launch another offensive and captures Killinochchi, relocated
headquarters of the LTTE.
Human rights violations by the army, including rape and .disappearances.. increase in the Jaffna
peninsula. This fact is brought to light by the revelation of the rape and killing of Krishanthy
Kumaraswamy, a Tamil schoolgirl. The girl.s mother, brother, and a neighbor were also killed
when they went to the army camp inquiring about the fate of the girl. Nine soldiers are charged
with the crime.
Death of former Sri Lankan President Junius Richard Jayawardena at the age of 90, who played a
major role in sowing the seeds for the conflict and later in its escalation.
LTTE releases 16 Sinhalese fishermen captured earlier as a goodwill gesture for Christmas/New
President Kumaratunge goes on a private holiday to India, raising speculations and hopes of
impending peace talks with LTTE with foreign mediation.
||The LTTE overruns a Special Task Force camp near Batticaloa in the Eastern Province.
The LTTE launches simultaneous attacks on Sri Lanka’s army camps in Paranthan and Elephant
Pass, and overruns the Paranthan camp.
Sri Lankan forces begin another major offensive in the Northern border town of Vavuniya
to capture a major highway running through Vanni region.
Sri Lankan Deputy Minister of Defence, General Ratwatte promises the capture of the highway
linking Jaffna with the south before February 4, 1998, Sri Lanka’s 50th anniversary of
Elections announced for Jaffna and other local government bodies in the peninsula.
||At a convention organised in Colombo by the National Peace Council (NPC), over 1,700
participants from all districts, ethnicities and religions renounce the war and call for a .just and
Despite goodwill messages the conference receives from President Kumaratunge, opposition
leader Wickremasinghe and LTTE leader Pirabhakaran, the war continues in the north and the
LTTE.s bombing campaign steps up in the south.
A blast attacking Sri Lankans. holiest Buddhist shrine, the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy,
outrages Sinhalese sensibilities, brings about a formal ban on the LTTE within Sri Lanka and
ends public advocacy for negotiations.
Local elections are held in Jaffna where turnout is surprisingly high considering the attacks on
Tamil villages around Trincomalee by police and home guards the very same week.
LTTE later assassinate the popular Brigadier Larry Wijerathne and the newly elected TULF
mayor, Sarojini Yogeswaran.
||Suicide bomb attack kills MP Dr. Neelam Thiruchelvam.
Opening of supply route from Vavuniya to Wanni.
Killing of PLOTE Deputy Leader and Military Leader Ranjan Manikkadasa in Vavuniya.
In an attempt to gain ground and a limited military victory before the Presidential election,
President Bandanaraike launches a limited offensive in the Wanni. Outflanked by the LTTE,
government forces suffer severe casualties and political drawback.
Despite this defeat Chandrika Bandanaraike is re-elected on a .war for peace. platform.
||In April, LTTE overrun the Elephant Pass military base at the entrance of the Jaffna peninsula as
well as ten other camps in the area, killing over a thousand troops and capturing massive
amounts of arms and ammunition.
Losses suffered by Sri Lankan military urge government to introduce Emergency regulations in
May declaring that the country is in a state of war, thus suspending many fundamental rights of
all Sri Lankans.
Concern about the plight of the 500,000 civilians stuck on the peninsula is rising as the situation
has reached an uncertain calm.
The Sri Lankan government has renewed its diplomatic relations with Israel in what is an
obvious ploy on behalf of the Sri Lankan government to obtain armament from the middle
eastern country. Sri Lankan ministers have been reported to be visiting in other countries during
the summer in an attempt to broker an arms deal needed to crush the LTTE.s latest offensive.
Based on a similar rationale, the LTTE.s front organisations in several European and North
American countries have recently pushed their fundraising campaigns often leading to violence
against the local Tamil populations solicited for funds, particularly in Canada and the UK.
Negotiations for a new devolution package have been renewed in Parliament, but without the
inclusion of the LTTE it is believed that the efforts will fail once again.
Chronology of events
from the Arrival of the first Colonial Powers until 1948
Unit for Strategic and Security Studies,
National University of Malaysia Bangi,
43600 Bangi/Selangor, Malaysia
This fact sheet may only be reproduced in its entirety and with due acknowledgment to the author of this compilation D. Hellmann-Rajanayagam. Any changes, abridgments or other modifications may only be performed with the permission, in writing, of the author.
||The Portuguese arrive in Ceylon
||Cankili I comes to the throne of Jaffna
||Cankili I orders 600 Christians in Mannar to be killed on suspicion of collaborating with the Portuguese.
||mid-16th century: The Vanniyar chieftains of Mullaitivu and Trincomalee ally with the Portuguese against Cankili and his attempts to subdue them. Cankili expels the Sinhalese from Jaffna because they support the Vanniyar.
||The Portuguese narrowly defeat Cankili in a battle to avenge the 'massacre of Mannar' and demand concession. They retain Mannar and put puppet king Edirmanasingham on the throne.
||Indian sources report a battle between the Nayak of Madurai and his Poligar army (on the order of the ruler of Vijayanagara) and the king of Kandy near Puttalam, in which the latter was defeated and killed.
||Cankili II (Cankilikumaran) declared governor of Jaffna by the Portuguese on condition that he has no contact with the Karaiyar generals.
||Cankili II allies with the Karaiyar general Mikkappillai (Migapulle) from Mannar; defeated after prolonged fighting with the Portuguese.
||Karaiyar generals continue the resistance against the Portuguese with the help of the Nayak of Tanjavur. After the final defeat the Karaiyar plunge themselves into their own swords.
||Cankilikumaran executed in Goa. The Portuguese destroy all big temples in Jaffna and Trincomalee.
||The Dutch take the Maritime Provinces including Jaffna from the Portuguese. They misunderstand the Kutimai and Atimai system and treat them as slaves, thus changing the economic and social structure of Jaffna.
||The Dutch force the King of Kandy to hand Batticaloa over to them in a treaty and cut off Kandy's access to the sea.
||The British take Ceylon from the Dutch.
||J. Burnand, a Swiss soldier in the service of the Dutch and later the English, and governor of Batticaloa, composes a 'memoir' in Batticaloa and the Vanni and his administration there in 1794.
||J. Burnand helps with the suppression of the revolt against the Indian amildars, administrators brought from Madras to Ceylon. He drafts another 'memoir' on the North and Northeast, in which he locates the origins of the Sinhalese in Siam and mentions that from time immemorial Sinhalese and Tamils had divided the rule of the island between the two of them.
||The English translation of Burnand's memoir of 1798 becomes known as the 'Cleghorn minute'.
||In the Treaty of Amiens the new possessions of the British and Dutch in Asia are confirmed. Holland retains Batavia, the British Ceylon. The British defeat the last Vanniya, Pantara Vanniyan, and execute him. A pension is paid to his widow, the Vannichi, until the late 19th century.
||The American Mission founds the Batticotta Seminary (later Jaffna College).
||The British defeat the last King of Kandy, Wikramasinha,and contract the Kandy Convention with the aristocrats.
||In a last-ditch revolt against the British, a Tamil crown pretender arises and flees to Jaffna after being defeated. He is eventually found and executed.
||A Tamil press is established in Jaffna. A report on Trincomalee laments its sorry, poverty-stricken state and recommends 'colonization with intelligent settlers'.
||The American Mission establishes a girls' school in Jaffna, the first in Asia.
||The 'Return of the Population 1824' gives the population figures for Trincomalee as 19158, among them 317 Sinhalese. Batticaloa town had 9(!) inhabitants, the district 27483, in the Majority Mukkuvar, Moors and 'Bellale'. The Vanni, counted under Mannar, has 22536 inhabitants, among them 517 Sinhalese.
||Unrest between Protestants and Catholics in Jaffna.
||Under the Colebrooke-Cameron Reforms Ceylon becomes administratively unified, English is the language of administration.
||Simon Casie Chetty writes the 'Ceylon Gazetteer'. He describes Batticaloa as a cool, healthy and fertile district. He is nominated as a member to the Executive Council.
||Arumuka Navalar (1822-1879) leaves Jaffna Central School because of the admission of a low-caste (Nalavar) boy by Peter Percival. The Ceylon Observer laments the unhealthy climate and economic neglect of the the Eastern province.
||A rebellion in Kandy against corn taxes and rajakariya is put down by the British. Arumuka Navalar accompanies Peter Percival to Madras to present their translation of the bible. He founds his own school in Vannarponnai.
||Van Dyke is Government Agent in Jaffna.
||Simon Casie Chetty publishes his 'Tamil Plutarch'.
||Muttu Coomaraswamy is nominated as member of the Legislative Council.
||In one of his famous sermons Arumuka Navalar reproaches his fellow Tamils with neglecting their religion and their language. The Report of the Education Commission emphasises the importance of English as medium of instruction over and against the 'vernaculars'.
||Twynam is Government Agent in Jaffna.
||Caste clashes between Vellalar, dhobies and barbers in Mavittappuram, because the dhobies refuse to wash the barbers' clothes. Vellalar are blamed for the conflagration. Arumuka Navalar founds the Caivap Pirapalanarc Capai.
||An English medium school founded by Arumuka Navalar founders due to financial difficulties.
||During a famine in Jaffna Arumuka Navalar helps with collecting and distributing food to starving Vellalar.
||Sir P. Ramanathan is nominated for the Legislative Council with the strong support of the Jaffna elite against Christopher Brito. Brito publishes the English translation of the Yalppana Vaipava Malai.
||Sir P. Ramanathan claims in a controversial article that the Tamil speaking Muslims are Tamils which is fiercely rejected.
||P. Arunachalam is nominated for the Legislative Council. One Muslim member is nominated to the Legislative Council.
||Twynam is again Government Agent for Jaffna.
||In an article for a British publication P. Arunachalam defends the caste system as benevolent and necesssary.
|1908/ 1910/ 1912:
||During 'Durbars of Tamil Chiefs in Jaffna and Batticaloa' the British governor is told that the inhabitants of the two districts are not interested in the 'Settlement of the Vanni', though the latter was of the opinion that the Tamils had the right of first refusal in this area. Tamils do not want to go into the Vanni because of the unhealthy climate, but they do not want to admit Sinhalese or Indians there either.
||The Jaffna Association rejects group representation.
||Under the Crewe-McCallum Reforms four non-officials and an 'educated Ceylonese' are to be elected to the Legislative Council by selected Ceylonese voters.
||A memorial of the Jaffna Association requests voting rights also for Tamils educated in the vernacular.
||Sir P. Ramanathan wins the elections for the 'educated Ceylonese' seat against the Sinhalese doctor Marcus Fernando. In a 'History of Jaffna' Muttutampippillai calls Elara a king of Jaffna and a Cola prince. The Education Commission debates the question of the advisability of instruction in the mother tongue in English language and Anglo-vernacular schools.
||The Trincomalee Gazetteer reports that Tamils are the numerically strongest group on the East coast.
||P. Arunachalam demands more political influence for the Ceylonese in a speech 'On Our Political Needs' at the establishment of the Ceylon National Association.
||The Jaffna Association introduces the 50-50 representation formula for the Legislative Council in a memo.
||The Ceylon National Congress is established with P. Arunachalam as one of its founder members.
||As member of a delegation on constitutional reform in London P. Arunachalam assures Count Milner that all Ceylonese desire 'territorial representation' and none 'group representation'. Founding of 'Jaffna Historical Society'.
||The Manning Reforms abolish group representation (2:1) and introduce territorial representation to the fierce protest of the Tamils and the minorities who lose their relative strength under an extended voting system (4% of the population).
||P. Arunachalam leaves the CNC because of a controversy over the Western (Colombo) Seat for the Tamils.
||In a lecture in Jaffna entitled Tamilar Nakarikam (The Culture of the Tamils) Marai Malai Atikal (1876-1951) names the Vellalar as the 'cultured agricultural class among the Tamils'.
||The Tamil Mahajana Sabhai is founded and takes up the call for 50-50: Balanced Representation.
||In a booklet on the East Canagaratnam calls Batticaloa hot and unhealthy without significant economic growth. Diseases like Malaria, Smallpox, and Choler and periodic famines are rampant, after the irrigation installations have fallen into decrepitude. The population percentages for the district in 1920: were: 55% Tamils, 39% Muslims, 3.75 Sinhalese.
||S. Rasanayagam gives a paper on 'Ancient Jaffna' to the RAS(CB) which is heavily attacked by Sinhalese scholars.
||The Manning Reforms are retracted and modified group representation is reintroduced.
|1923 (16th Sept.):
||P. Arunachalam founds the Ceylon Tamil League (Ilankai Tamil makkal cankam) to ssafeguard Tamil Culture in the Tamilakam (Arunachalam's speech in the 'Morning Leader' of that date). In a caste revolt in Sutumalai Vellalar attack Paramba who had hired drummers for a funeral.
||During a historical conference Tamil New Year (13th/14th April) is declared Tamil National Day. A number of Tamil Literary and Cultural Associations are founded. During a second visit Marai Malai Atikal is warmly greeted in Jaffna. A CNC document calls the Eastsern province "...admittedly Tamil".
||First elections under the rules of the Manning Reforms. P. Arunachalam dies.
||S. Rasanayagam's 'Ancient Jaffna' is published.
||Nanappirakacar publisheshis replique to Rasanayagam: 'A Critical History of Jaffna'.
||The Donoughmore Commission comes to Ceylon. It gives the population figures for the Eastern Province as 192821, of which 101880 are Tamils, 8600 Sinhalese, 75475 Muslims and 1371 Indians.
||Catholics from Mannar complain to the Donoughmore Commission about caste repression and injustice and demand to be acknowledged as an 'ethnic' minority. Protestant Tamils denounce the move. In a preface to a new edition of his father's historical study on Jaffna Daniel John names Cankili I as sthe king who by driving the Sinhalese from Jaffna made 'Jaffna safe for the Tamils'. Fernao Queyroz' report on the conquest of Ceylon is published in English translation. The Education Report (signed, among others, by P. Ramanathan) demands instruction in the mother tongue and compulsory religious education. E.V. Ramacami Naicker (Periyar) visits Jaffna.
|14th June/16th Aug. 1929:
||Start of the 'Equal-seating' controversy: After a directive by the administration that in grant-aided schools low-casste children have to be allowed to sit on benches instead on the floor or outside on the ground virulent protests erupt from the Vellalar. Low-caste children are assaulted and their houses burnt down. The low-caste parents are afraid to send their children to school.
||Death of Sir P. Ramanathan.
||In a petition to the government Vellalar from Urelu, Vasavilan and Punalakkattavan demand to rescind the equal-seating directive.
||The Donoughmore constitution introduces universal suffrage and territorial representation against the spirited protests of the Tamils. The Jaffna Youth Congress demands a boycott of the constitution and the elections, since they do not confer dominion status on Ceylon. Caste clashes in Canganai where Pallar are attacked by Vellalar for hiring drummers for a funeral. Nehru visits Jaffna and is warmly greeted by the Jaffna Youth Congress.
||G.G. Ponnambalam denounces the boycott. In articles in Ilakecari the Jaffna Youth Congress now agrees to end the boycott. Sesveral pamphlets denouncing democracy and voting rights for low castes and women demand a federation between India and Ceylon to safeguard group representation under the umbrella of the British Raj.
||Bye-elections in Jaffna after the boycott is rescinded. G.G. Ponnambalam founds the All Ceylon Tamil Conference. A Tamil author, Singhan, residing in Malaya, demands the abolition of universal suffrage and the respect of caste rules and distinctions. S. Rasanayagam publishes his history of Jaffna under the British (in Tamil).
||The Jaffna Association repeats its demand for 50-50 representation: 50% for the Sinhalese, 25% for the Tamils, 25% for the other minorities.
||In the elections G.G. Ponnambalam wins for the first time against A. Mahadeva. Governor Stubbs recommends the abolition of territorial representation.
||a 'pan-Sinhalese' Board of Ministers is established under Senanayake which does not contain a single Tamil in order to punish the Tamils for the election Boycott in 1931. Ponnambalam demands 50-50 representation for the first time.
||Leonard Woolfe proposes a federation as the best solution for Ceylon in a memo to the Fabian Society. The Jaffna Youth Congress passes a resolution against the 50-50 formula. As souvenir in honour of Arumuka Navalar is published.
||In his famous 'nine-hour-speech' Ponnambalam defends the concept of 50-50 representation: 50% for the Sinhalese, 50% for ALL minorities. Ilakecari praises the formerly vilified P. Ramanathan for his yeoman service for the Tamils and denounces G.G. Ponnambalam as a 'Colombo Tamil'. Jaffna Youth Congress leader K. Balasingham calls for a federation with India to safeguard democratic principles.
||The elections due in that year are postponed because of the outbreak of WWII. In a a memo to the CNC, Jayewardene demands a federation between India and Ceylon.
||In a preliminary draft constitution formulated bye Jayewardene and others for the CNC Tamil and Sinhala are named as the official languages in their respective areas. But in a memo to the CNC, J.R. Jayewardene rejects any concessions to the minorities in the political system and says the Donoughmore Constitution tried to buy the loyalty of the Sinhalese, the 'stronger group'.
||The idea of a federation with India is repeated in a memo to the CNC by G. Perera.
||The BoM is asked to draft a new constitution for an independent Ceylon after the end of the war. The Report of the Special Committee on Education recommends free education up to tertiary level in the mother tongues.
||G.G. Ponnambalam founds the All Ceylon Tamil Congress. In a series of telegrams to the British Government and the Labour Party he demands the protection and granting of equal rights to the Indian Tamils. A resolution by Jayewardene in the State Council states that Sinhala and Tamil will be official languages and media of instruction after independence.
||The Communist Party of Ceylon proposes an All-Party Conference to discuss the right of self-determination and independence for the two nationalities of Ceylon, Sinhalese and Tamils.
||The All-Party Conference is held in Colombo with nearly all parties participating, except Tamil Congress, Kandyan Assembly and European Association.
||The Soulbury Commission visits Ceylon to get feedback on the draft constitution and is boycotted by the Sinhalese. The Commission accepts the BoM constitution draft with slight modifications as the 'Soulbury Constitution'.
||In an article in the Ceylon Daily News the Secretary General of the ACTC, S.C. Sivasubramaniam, denounces the Soulbury Constitution. Subsequently he pleads for cooperation between UNP and ACTC as the only chance for the Tamils in a letter to the editor of the Colombo Observer in March 1947. Dudley Senanayake demands Sinhala to be made the only national language and is fiercely attacked by the English language press.
||The UNP wins the elections. In Jaffna, the ACTC wins a majority of votes.
|1948 (4th Feb.):
||Ceylon becomes independent under the UNP government. A. Mahadeva and G.G. Ponnambalam join Senanayake's Cabinet.
- British Crown colony established over low-country Sinhalese and Tamil areas (1802)
- Sinhalese Kandyan kingdom secedes to British (1815)
- British unify low-country Sinhalese, Tamil areas with the Kandyan area and establish Government of Ceylon. Legislative Council established (1833)
- Sinhalese-Muslim riots (1915)
- Ceylon National Congress formed (1919)
- Donoughmore Constitutional Commission introduced. State Council elected by universal suffrage. Board of Ministers formed.(1931)
- Soulbury Constitutional Commission.(1944-45)
- Select committee of State Council on Sinhala and Tamil as official languages appointed.(1945)
- Independence bill passed in parliament. Inaugural meeting of the first parliament.(1947)
- Agreement signed between Colombo and London granting Sri Lanka full independence.(1947)
- First parliamentary elections.(1947)
- Sri Lanka gains independence, ending 152 years of British rule.(4 Feb. 1948)
- D S Senanayake government enacts two bills (Ceylon Citizenship Act No. 18, 1948) to deprive the Indian plantation workers of their citizenship rights making 705,000 Indian plantation workers stateless.(Nov 15,1948)
- G G Ponnambalam (leader of the Tamil Congress (TC)) asks for a 50-50 representation before the Soulbury Commission. He votes against the first [citizenship] bill but votes for the second after getting a portfolio.?
- The Tamil Congress splits over the citizenship bill. S J V Chelvanayakam forms the Federal Party(Ilankai Tamil Arisu Kachchi) (Dec 18, 1948)
- An act of parliament to establish the Sri Lanka Army passed.(Oct. 10 1949)
- The National Flag formally adopted (Feb. 13 1950)
- The National Anthem formally adopted. (Nov. 22 1951)
- S W R D Bandaranaike (leader of the Sinhala Maha Sabha) leaves the UNP government and joins the opposition.
- Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) founded. (Sept. 2 1951)
- National Anthem formally adopted. (Nov. 22 1951)
- Prime Minister D S Senanayake dies in a horse riding accident. (22 March 1952)
- Lord Soulbury invites the late Prime Minister's son Dudley Senanayake to become the next Prime Minister. Dudley Senanayake appointed prime minister. (March 26 1952)
- First parliament dissolved.(April 8 1952)
- Second parliamentary elections.(May 24 1952)
- Settlement of colonists in Gal Oya Scheme commences (Feb 3 1953)
- General strike (hartal) organized by the left parties and trade unions; curfew imposed.(12 Aug.1953)
- Prime Minister Dudley Senanayake resigns, Sir John Kotelawala succeeds Senanayake.(Oct 12 1953)
- Kotelawala-Nehru agreement on Indian Tamils in Sri Lanka. (Jan. 18 1954)
- Sinhala and Tamil made the medium of instruction in secondary schools starting 1957 (Jan. 6 1955)
- Mahajana Eksath Peramuna led by the SLFP is formed. (22 Feb 1956)
- General election returns MEP coalition and S W R D Bandaranaike becomes the Prime Minister. (5,7 and 10 April 1956)
- The "Sinhala only" bill is passed (15th June 1956) and the Federal Party conducts a Gandhian style protest (also known as "Sathyagraha") in the open air space by the beach known as the Gall Face Green, opposite the former Parliament building.(5 June 1956)
- The Department of Official Languages established (16 August 1956)
- Decision to teach in Sinhala, Tamil and English media in the University of Ceylon from 1960 announced. (14 Jan. 1957)
- Prime Minister Bandaranaike holds talks with the leaders of the Federal Party which resulted in signing of the Bandaranaike-Chelvanayakam Pact (25 July 1957).
- J R Jayewardene, organizes a march from Colombo to Kandy against the Bandaranaike-Chelvanayakam Pact (3 October 1957)
- The Federal Party initiates the "Anti-Sri" campaign.(19 January 1957)
- Bandaranaike tears the pact amid demands and threats by a faction of Buddhist monks ("Eksath Bhikkhu Peramua") and Sinhalese chauvinists.(Jan 1958)
- Campaign of obliterating Tamil name boards commenced. (April 1 1958)
- Anti-Tamil riots in May 27 1958. Emergency declared. Detaining of Federal Party MPs.(27 May, 1958)
- Tamil language ( Special Provisions ) Act passed.(14 August 1958)
- Bandaranaike assassinated. Ven. Buddharakkhita who was the founder of the "Eksath Bhikku Peramuna" is accused of leading the conspiracy. A woman parliamentarian, Minister of Health, Wimala Wijewardene is also accused of involvement in the conspiracy. (25 September 1959).
- Switch-over of administration to "Sinhala Only".
- Fourth parliamentary elections; the UNP obtains 50 seats as against 46 won by the SLFP. (19 March 1960) Dudley Senanayake forms "minority government" and becomes prime minister of a UNP government. (21 March 1960) But in April this govt. is defeated in parliament (22 April 1960)and parliament dissolved.(26 April 1960)
- General elections held for the fifth parliament. SLFP secures 75 seats and Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike becomes world's first woman prime minister. (20 July 1960)
- Nationalisation of Schools (14 Jan 1961)
- Federal Party 'Sathyagraha' in North and the East. And FP inaugurated Tamil Arasu (Government) Postal Service in Jaffna.(14 April 1961)
- Military occupation of Tamil areas for two years. Federal Party MPs arrested and detained for six months.(18 April 1961)
- Coup de' etat attempt by armed forces against the government. (27 Jan.1962)
- Sinhala made the official language of Sri Lanka. (01 January 1963)
- Population Census. (5 July 1963)
- Sirima-Shastri Pact signed (30 October 1964)
- SLFP, LSSP coalition defeated by 74 votes to 73 in parliament fifth parliament dissolved. (17 December 1964)
- Sixth general elections - The United National Party (UNP) gains 66 seats, led by Dudley Senanayake for a coalition government comprising UNP, Federal Party, Sri Lanka Freedom Socialist Party, Tamil Congress, Mahajana Eksath Peramuna, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna and Lanka Prajathanthravadhi Pakshaya.
- Senanayake-Chelvanayakam Pact. (1965)
- Regulation for "Reasonable use of Tamil" (Tamil Language (Special) Provisions Act. SLFP-LSSP-CP led street demonstrations against the regulation.(8 Jan 1966)
- District Councils bill presented to the parliament. (26 June 1968)
- Sixth parliament dissolved. (25 March 1970)
- Seventh parliamentary elections returns SLFP-LSSP-CP United Front coalition to power with Mrs. Bandaranaike as Prime Minister.(27 May 1970)
- An insurrection by a radical, leftist youth group calling themselves "Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna" (JVP), led by Rohana Wijeweera begins. (4 April 1971)
- The trial of accused in the April insurrection begins. (12 June 1971)
- Rohana Wijeweera, the JVP leader, sentenced to 20 years in prison. (12 Dec. 1971)
- Tamil United Front (TUF) formed. (May 1972)
- The first Republican Constitution promulgated and Sri Lanka declared a republic; the name of the country officially changed from Ceylon to Sri Lanka.(22 May 1972)
- Language of the Courts (Special Provision) bill passed in parliament. (23 March 1973)
- At the International Tamil Research Conference 7 people were dead by electrocution. (January 1974)
- "Sirima-Gandhi Pact".(28 June 1974)
- Assassination of Jaffna mayor Duriappah by Velupillai Prabhakaran (the present leader of LTTE) (27 July 1975)
- Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) is formed with pledge to establish a separate Tamil State (15 May 1976)
- Chelvanayakam calls for a separate Tamil state.(19 November 1976)
- General elections1977 returns UNP (led by J R Jayewardene) to power.(23 June 1977)
- Anti-Tamil riots (August 1977)
- The Second Republican Constitution promulgated. (7 September 1978)
- Adopting the new Constitution for the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. Presidential System of Government with J R Jayewardene as the first Executive President. (4 February 1978)
- A law enacted proscribing the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and other similar organisations. (19 May 1978)
- Prevention of Terrorism Act enacted.(12 July 1979)
- TULF ends its boycott of parliament. (4 Sept. 1979)
- Former Prime Minister Mrs Sirimavo Bandaranaike deprived of her civic rights and expelled from parliament. (16 October 1980)
- Mrs Ranaganayaky Pathmanathan takes oaths as the first Tamil woman MP since independence (26 November 1980)
- Population Census (17 March 1981)
- Curfew in Jaffna (2 June 1981)
- Emergency imposed (4 June 1981)
- District Development Council election disrupted in Jaffna. Burning down of Jaffna Public Library. (4 June 1981)
- Emergency lifted (9 June 1981)
- State of emergency declared (17 August 1981)
- Emergency declared and a curfew imposed in Galle; Sinhala-Muslim communal clashes in Galle (30 July 1982)
- Curfew in Galle lifted (4 August 1982)
- Presidential election (20 October 1982)
- Curfew imposed in the Jaffna district (28 October 1982)
- A Referendum is held to extend the term of eighth parliament till 1989. (22 Dec1982)
- The UNP wins 14 of the 17 parliamentary by-elections (19 May 1983)
- The fifth amendment to the constitution (24 May 1983)
- 13 soldiers including an officer killed in a LTTE ambush. (23 July 1983)
- Anti-Tamil rioting breaks out in several parts of Colombo and curfew imposed in the city (25 July 1983)
- Racial riots throughout the island. All-island curfew imposed About 70,000 Tamils flee to India.(26 July 1983).
- Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, Nava Sama Samaja Party, and the Communist Party proscribed (30 July 1983)
- The sixth amendment to the constitution making espousal , promotion, financing, encouraging or advocacy of the establishment of a separate state in Sri Lanka illegal, passed in parliament. (4 Aug 1983)
- The new district of Kilinochchi constituted. (11 Aug. 1983)
- Talks begin in Colombo to end the ethnic conflict. (21 Dec 1983)
- Gopalanswami Parthasarathi, the special emissary of the Indian Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Ghandhi, arrives in Colombo for talks on the ethnic conflict. (3 Jan 1984)
- All-Party Conference on devolution of powers. (10 January 1984)
- Ministry of National Security established (24 March 1984)
- Terrorist bombs explode in Colombo (22 October 1984)
- Government abandons the proposals of the All-Party Conference on ethnic peace. (26 Dec 1984)
- LTTE, EROS, EPRLF and TELO together form the Elam National Liberation Front (ENLF). (April 1985)
- The Anuradhapura massacre, the first attack on Sinhalese civilians by Tamil militants. About 250 men, women and children are gunned down at the central bus stand at the Anuradhapura town. (May 1985)
- Thimpu talks between Tamil parties and the Jayewardene Government initiated by the Indian Government.(5 July 1985)
- The government lifts the eight-month-long night curfew in the Northern Province (10 July 1985)
- The second round of ethnic peace talks in Thimpu. (9 Aug 1985)
- Failure of Thimpu talks: Tamil militants withdraw from the discussion (17 August 1985)
- Two former TULF MPs, V Dharmalingam and A Alalasundaram murdered (2 September 1985)
- The Jayewardene government rejects proposals by TULF on the basis that they are Federalist.
- President J R Jayewardene restores the civic rights of Mrs Sirimavo Bandaranaike, former prime minster and Mr Felix Dias Bandaranaike, former Cabinet minister (posthumously) (1 January 1986)
A bomb explosion in an Air Lanka plane bound for Male at the Katunayake International Airport kills 17 passengers and injures about 24. (3 May 1986)
All-Party-Conference to resolve the ethnic crisis begins at the BMICH (25 June 1986)
Eastern University of Sri Lanka (EUSL), the country's eighth university inaugurated (15 November 1986)
- A summit in Bangalore between Rajiv Gandhi and Jayewardene (17 & 18 November 1986)
- Terrorists massacre 128 civilians and injure more than 60 near Kitulottuwa along the Habarana-Trincomalee road (17 April 1987)
A bomb explosion kills 113 persons and injures more than 300 in Pettah, Colombo (21 April 1987)
- Launching of a military operation at Vadamarachchi to put an end to the dominance established by Prabhakaran in Jaffna after the black (26 May 1987)
India shows its protest against the Vadamarachchi operation by sending a flotilla of "humanitarian aid" to Jaffna. When these boats (Indian fishing vessels) were turned back by the Sri Lankan navy, the Indian Air Force dropped food and medical supplies in Jaffna the following day violating the Sri Lankan air space. (3 June 1987)
A 72 hour islandwide curfew imposed (27 July 1987)
- The signing of Indo-Lanka peace accord (27 July 1987)
- Arrival of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) (late July 30th - early August 1987) (30 July 1987)
- The 13th amendment to the constitution debated in Parliament. This amendment among other things made provisions for the establishment of a system of Provincial Councils. Amendment was certified on 14th November 1987. (14 November 1987)
- The first ever Provincial Council election takes place for the North Central, Sabaragamuwa, North Western and Uva Provincial Councils (28 April 1988)
President Jayewardene officially authorises the merger of the Northern and Eastern provinces within a single North Eastern Province. (7 September 1988)
- Elections were held for seats in the above Provincial Council.(19 November 1988)
- 16th Amendment to the Constitution certified. The provisions of the 13th amendment dealing with language, were clarified and consolidated by the 16th amendment.(17 December 1988)
- R Premadasa of the UNP wins the presidential election (19 December 1988)
- The ninth parliamentary election held for the first time under a proportional representation scheme (15 February 1989)
Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) leader A Amirthalingam and former TULF MP Yogeswaran assassinated by LTTE gunmen (13 July 1989)
An All-Party Conference held in Colombo to find a solution to the prevailing unrest in the country (13 September 1989)
Sri Lanka and India sign an agreement in Colombo providing for the withdrawal of the IPKF from the North and East by December 31 and the suspension of offensive military operations against the LTTE from the 20th onward (18 September 1989)
International Committee Red Cross arrives in Sri Lanka. Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) begins its withdrawal from Ampara. The Tamil National Army and the Sri Lankan Army move into the areas vacated by the IPKF (October 1989)
The LTTE takes over areas vacated by the IPKF in the North and East (January 1990)
President R Premadasa holds talks with the LTTE (February 1990)
EPRLF declares an "Independent Eleam" and renamed the provincial council as a Tamil National Assembly on 1st of March 1990.
President R Premadasa imposes direct control on Northeast Provincial Councils (March, 1990)
- Justice Minister Hameed and the LTTE leader Prabhakaran hold talks (12 May 1990)
- LTTE attacks two Muslim mosques killing 290 people (August 1990)
LTTE evicts Muslims from the North (October 1990)
Defense Minister Ranjan Wijeratna assassinated. (2 March 1991)
- IPKF withdrawal completed (24 March 1991)
- The UNP wins local government elections (11 May 1991)
- Fighting breaks out between government troops and the LTTE in what is dubbed as Eelam War II (June 1991)
- A group of senior Army officers including General Denzil Kobbekaduwa die in a land mine explosion. (8 August 1992)
- Former Defense Minister Lalith Athulathmudali assassinated (23 April 1993)
- A bomb explosion in a street in Colombo kills President R Premadasa who was taking part in his party's May day rally. (1 May 1993)
- Provincial Council elections (17 March 1993)
- Two peace delegations, one led by the Anglican Bishop of Colombo Rev. Kenneth Fernando and the other led by the Sarvodaya Leader A T Ariayaratne, visit Jaffna (5 February 1994)
General elections for the tenth parliament; the People's Alliance wins a plurality, beating the UNP (16 August 1994)
- A delegation of influential officials including the Secretary to the President leaves for Jaffna to initiate negotiations for a peaceful settlement.(13 October 1994)
- Gamini Dissanayake, a former minister in the UNP government, and a presidential election candidate is killed along with several other senior members of the party by a suspected LTTE suicide bomber in a manner identical to the killing of Rajiv Gandhi in Tamil Nadu in 1991 (24 October 1994)
- Chandrika Kumaranatunga Bandaranaike becomes the fourth Executive President of Sri Lanka.(10 November 1994)
- Second round of talks between the Government and LTTE. (3 January 1995)
- Cessation of hostilities between the Government and the LTTE (7 January 1995)
- Third round of talks between the Government and LTTE. (14 January 1995)
- Fourth round of Government-LTTE talks (10 April 1995)
- LTTE attacks government naval installation, resumption of hostilities (19 April 1995)
- Government Security forces commence operation "Leap Forward" (9 July 1995)
- Government officially announces its Peace Package (3 August1995)
- Government security forces in the north commence operation "Riviresa" (17October 1995)
- LTTE attacks Colombo oil installation facilities (20 October 1995)
- Operation "Riviresa" military campaign concluded with the taking of Jaffna from the LTTE (5 December 1995)
- A suicide bomb explosion by the LTTE at the Central Bank in Colombo kills more than 100 civilians and wounds 1,300 others. (31 January 1996)
- Two bombs explode in a Colombo commuter train killing more than 60 people (14July 1996)
- Nearly 1,400 soldiers killed in an LTTE attack on the Mulativu military camp (18 July 1996)
- India bans the LTTE (1 August1996)
- A lorry packed with explosives is exploded at the outer gates of the Dalada Maligawa, a 400 years old Buddhist shrine in the city of Kandy, as it was preparing for the 50th independence celebrations (25 January 1998)
- Sarojini Yogeshwaran, the first woman mayor of Jaffna was gunned down by LTTE gunmen (17 May 1998)
- A bomb blast at the Municipal council kills P Sivapalan, who took over after the death of Mrs Yogeshwaran. Some of Jaffna top military brass were killed along with him. (11 September 1998)
- Dr. Neelan Tiruchelvam, a constitutional lawyer, a human rights advocate and a parliamentary member of TULF (a moderate Tamil party) is assassinated by a LTTE suicide bomber in Colombo (29 July 1999)
- President Chandrika Kumaratunga temporarily rules out the possibility of peace talks with the LTTE. (18 October 1999)
- President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga narrowly escapes with injuries an assassination attempt by a suicide bomber at an election rally in Colombo. (18December 1999)