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Sri Lanka History Timeline

Sri Lanka's Information

Flag of Sri Lanka
Land Area 64,630 km2
Water Area 980 km2
Total Area 65,610km2 (#120)
Population 21,203,000 (#58)
Population Density 328.07/km2
Government Type Presidential Republic
GDP (PPP) $237.00 Billion
GDP Per Capita $11,200
Currency Rupee (LKR)
Largest Cities
1900s continued
  • (1990) Second Eelam War began
  • (1990) LTTE expelled over 75,000 Muslims from northern Sri Lanka; rebels killed over 1,000 Muslims in the east
  • (1991) Former Indian Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, killed in suicide bombing by Tamil militant
  • (1993) President Ranasinghe Permadasa killed by LTTE suicide bomber
  • (1994) Chandrika Kumaratunga elected president
  • (1994) Peace talks opened with LTTE and Sri Lankan government
  • (1994) Suicide bomber in Colombo killed 50, including opposition presidential candidate, Gamini Disanayake
  • (1995) Peace talks collapsed when Tamil Tigers attacked Sri Lankan naval vessel, 12 sailors were killed
  • (1995) Third Eelam War began
  • (1995) Sri Lankan forces captured Tamil stronghold of Jaffna
  • (1995 - 2001) War continued across north and east
  • (1997) USA listed LTTE as foreign terrorist organization; LTTE funds in USA were frozen
  • (1998) LTTE bombed one of Sri Lanka's most holy Buddhist shrines, 13 killed, shrine badly damaged
  • (1998) Over 1,000 government troops killed when Tamil Tigers overran Kilinochchi army camp
  • (2001) Suicide bomb attack at International Airport killed more than a dozen, destroyed over half Sri Lankan Airlines' fleet
  • (2002) Sri Lankan government, Tamil Tiger rebels signed Norwegian-mediated ceasefire
  • (2002) Weapons de-commissioning began
  • (2002) Road linking Jaffna Peninsula with Sri Linka reopened after 12 years
  • (2002) Government lifted ban on Tamil Tigers; rebels dropped demands for separate state
  • (2002) Sri Lanka, Tamil Tigers exchanged prisoners of war
  • (2003) Tamil Tigers pulled out of peace talks, ceasefire held
  • (2003) Flooding left more than 200 people dead, 4,000 homeless
  • (2004) President dissolved Parliament
  • (2004) Tamil Tigers launched military offensives, regained control of the east
  • (2004) Over 30,000 killed, coastal communities devastated when massive undersea earthquake off Indonesian coast triggered a tsunami
  • (2005) Agreement with Tamil Tigers for sharing of $3 billion in tsunami aid sparked dissent among Sinhalas Tamils and Muslims
  • (2005) Foreign Minister Laksham Kadirgramar assassinated by suspected Tamil Tiger; state of emergency declared
  • (2005) Supreme Court ruled President Chandrika Kumaratunga's final term would expire in December, ending 11-year controversial reign
  • (2005) Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa won presidential election
  • (2005) Third session of peace talks took place with LTTE and Sri Lankan government agreeing to share power
  • (2006) Thousands of civil servants went on strike in Colombo, demanded higher wages, government was paralyzed
  • (2006) Tamil suicide bomber attacked military outpost in Colombo, at least eight killed; government conducted air strikes in Tiger-held territory in retaliation
  • (2006) Tamil Tigers attacked naval convoy near Jaffna
  • (2006) Tigers and government forces resumed fighting in northeast, most intense clashes since 2002 ceasefire
  • (2006) Peace talks held in Geneva failed
  • (2007) US and Italian Ambassadors were wounded when helicopters were fired on by Tamil rebels who mistook them for military target
  • (2007) Police forced hundreds of Tamils out of the capital due to security reasons
  • (2007) Court ordered end to Tamil expulsions
  • (2008) Government declared end to ceasefire, launched major offensive against Tamil Tigers
  • (2008) Sri Lankan military captured Tamil Tiger naval base in Vidattaltivu
  • (2008) Suicide bombing in Anuradhpura by Tamil Tigers killed 27, including former general
  • (2008) Fierce fighting in north inflicted heavy casualties on Sri Lankan troops and Tamil Tigers
  • (2009) Government troops captured the town of Kilinochchi, held by the Tamil Tigers for ten years as administrative headquarters; President Mahinda Rajapakse urged rebels to surrender
  • (2009) Sri Lankan forces captured town of Mullaittivu, greatly reduced Tamil Tiger stronghold in north
  • (2009) International concern over humanitarian situation of thousands of civilians trapped in battle zone prompted call for temporary cease-fire which was rejected by the government
  • (2009) Tamil Tigers requested ceasefire and offered peace settlement negotiation after being cut off and running out of supplies; Sri Lankan government refused negotiations, demanded immediate surrender
  • (2009) Citizens fled from battle zone
  • (2009) Tamil Tigers defeated after army forces took last area of their hold on northeast territory
This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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