Working to secure the rights of minorities and indigenous peoples

Minority Rights Group International campaigns worldwide with around 130 partners in over 60 countries to ensure that disadvantaged minorities and indigenous peoples, often the poorest of the poor, can make their voices heard.

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Chapter Six

Historical Timeline

May 1976

LTTE founded by Vellupillai Prabhakaran.

July 1983

Following years of unrest and violence, an LTTE ambush killing 13 soldiers is followed by the massacre of hundreds of Tamil civilians and the beginning of the civil war.

May 1993

Prime Minister Ranasinghe Premadasa is assassinated following failed peace talks between the government and LTTE.

February 2002

Ceasefire signed between government and LTTE.

December 2005

First large-scale attack by LTTE forces since the 2002 truce. This followed the assassination in August of Lakshman Kadirgamar, Sri Lanka’s foreign minister and an ethnic Tamil opposed to a separate state solution.

January 2008

Following more than two years of ongoing hostilities, the ceasefire is officially terminated.

January 2009

Government forces seize control of Killinochchi, an LTTE stronghold.

May 2009

Sri Lankan authorities announce the death of Prabhakaran and the formal end of the civil war.

May 2010

The LLRC is appointed to investigate allegations of international war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during the war.

June 2010

The UN Secretary General appoints an independent team of experts to undertake research on reported violations of international law.

March 2011

UN expert team publish report, highlighting credible evidence that both parties committed war crimes.

March 2014

UN Human Rights Council passes third resolution against Sri Lanka and calls on the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to investigate.

January 2015

Surprise electoral defeat of Mahinda Rajapaksa after almost a decade in power, replaced by Maithripala Sirisena and the NDF.