Origins of the Sri Lankan civil war In the early s, United Front government of Sirimavo Bandaranaike introduced the policy of standardisation to rectify the low numbers of Sinhalese being accepted into university in Sri Lanka. Inspired by the failed insurrection of Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna , it was the first Tamil insurgent group of its kind.
These groups, along with another prominent figure of the armed struggle, Ponnuthurai Sivakumaran, were involved in several hit-and-run operations against pro-government Tamil politicians, Sri Lanka Police and civil administration during the early s. These attacks included throwing bombs at the residence and the car of SLFP Jaffna Mayor, Alfred Duraiyappah , placing a bomb at a carnival held in the stadium of Jaffna city now "Duraiyappah stadium" and Neervely bank robbery.
The Tamil conference incident also sparked the anger of these militant groups. Both Sivakumaran and Prabhakaran attempted to assassinate Duraiyappah in revenge for the incident. Sivakumaran committed suicide on 5 June , to evade capture by Police. Prabhakaran shot and killed the Mayor when he was visiting the Krishnan temple at Ponnalai.
Uma Maheswaran became its leader, and Prabhakaran its military commander. Prabhakaran kept the numbers of the group small and maintained a high standard of training. Amirthalingam believed that if he could exercise control over the Tamil insurgent groups, it would enhance his political position and pressure the government to agree to grant political autonomy to Tamils.
Thus, he provided letters of reference to the LTTE and to other Tamil insurgent groups to raise funds. Amirthalingam introduced Prabhakaran to N. Krishnan, who later became the first international representative of LTTE. It was Krishnan who introduced Prabhakaran to Anton Balasingham , who later became the chief political strategist and chief negotiator of LTTE, which split for the first time in Prabhakaran ordered him to leave the organisation.
By this time, LTTE and other insurgent groups wanted a separate state. They had no faith in any sort of political solution. Thus the TULF and other Tamil political parties were steadily marginalised and insurgent groups emerged as the major force in the north.
Thereafter, Tamil political parties were largely unable to represent Tamil people as insurgent groups took over their position. Thirteen Sri Lankan servicemen were killed in the attack, leading to the Black July. Some consider Black July to be a planned rampage against the Tamil community of Sri Lanka, in which the JVP movement and sections of the government were implicated.
During that period, 32 camps were set up in India to train these LTTE insurgents,  including 90 women who were trained in 10 batches. Prabakaran visited the first and the second batch of Tamil Tigers to see them training. LTTE members were prohibited from smoking cigarettes and consuming alcohol in any form. LTTE members were required to avoid their family members and avoid communication with them.
Initially LTTE members were prohibited from having love affairs or sexual relationships as it could deter their prime motive, but this policy changed after Prabhakaran married Mathivathani Erambu in October Indian Peace Keeping Force In July , faced with growing anger among its own Tamils and a flood of refugees,  India intervened directly in the conflict for the first time by initially airdropping food parcels into Jaffna.
Though the conflict was between the Tamil and Sinhalese people, India and Sri Lanka signed the peace accord instead of India influencing both parties to sign a peace accord among themselves. The peace accord assigned a certain degree of regional autonomy in the Tamil areas, with Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front EPRLF controlling the regional council and called for the Tamil militant groups to surrender.
Prime Minister Ranasinghe Premadasa pledged to withdraw IPKF as soon as he is elected president during his presidential election campaign in These consignments included RPG guns, mortars, self-loading rifles, T81 automatic rifles, T56 automatic rifles , pistols, hand grenades, ammunition, and communications sets. Unstable peace initially held between the government and the LTTE, and peace talks progressed towards providing devolution for Tamils in the north and east of the country.
From onward, the LTTE regained control of these areas, which culminated in the capture in April of the strategically important Elephant Pass base complex, located at the entrance of the Jaffna Peninsula, after prolonged fighting against the Sri Lanka Army. As part of the agreement, Norway and other Nordic countries agreed to jointly monitor the ceasefire through the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission.
This move was approved of by the international community but rejected by the Sri Lankan President. While LTTE claimed that the people under its control were free to vote, it is alleged that they used threats to prevent the population from voting. The United States condemned this. Norwegian mediator Erik Solheim told journalists that the LTTE should take direct responsibility for the collapse of the talks.
Suicide attacks,  military skirmishes, and air raids took place during the latter part of In January the government officially pulled out of the Cease Fire Agreement. The LTTE leadership accused him of mishandling funds and questioned him about his recent personal behaviour.
After a brief period of negotiations, LTTE pulled out of peace talks indefinitely. Defeat in the East[ edit ] Main article: Systematically, Sampoor , Vakarai , Kanjikudichchi Aru and Batticaloa also came under military control. Gradually, the defence lines of the LTTE began to fall.
Prabhakaran was seriously injured during air strikes carried out by the Sri Lanka Air Force on a bunker complex in Jayanthinagar on 26 November Thamilselvan , who was the head of the rebels' political wing, was killed during another government air raid. Troops captured Pooneryn and Mankulam during the final months of Aftermath[ edit ] With the end of the hostilities, 11, LTTE members, including child soldiers surrendered to the Sri Lankan military. Twenty-four rehabilitation centres were set up in Jaffna, Batticaloa, and Vavuniya.
Among the apprehended cadres, there had been about hardcore members. The LTTE was viewed as a disciplined and militarised group with a leader of significant military and organisational skills. The military wing consisted of at least 11 separate divisions including the conventional fighting forces, Charles Anthony Brigade  and Jeyanthan Brigade ;  the suicide wing called the Black Tigers ; naval wing Sea Tigers , air-wing Air Tigers , LTTE leader Prabhakaran's personal security divisions, Imran Pandian regiment and Ratha regiment;  auxiliary military units such as Kittu artillery brigade, Kutti Sri mortar brigade, Ponnamman mining unit and hit-and-run squads like Pistol gang.
Sea Tiger division was founded in , under the leadership of Thillaiyampalam Sivanesan alias Soosai. LTTE acquired its first light aircraft in the late s. Vaithilingam Sornalingam alias Shankar was instrumental in creating the Air Tigers. LTTE is the only terrorist-proscribed organisation to acquire aircraft. It was forbidden for the LTTE members to consume tobacco and alcohol. Illicit sex[ clarification needed ] was also prohibited.
Each member carried a cyanide capsule with orders to use if captured.