Post-conflict history of Sri Lanka

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Post-conflict history of Sri Lanka is the history of Sri Lanka from the end of the Sri Lankan Civil War, in 2009, to the present. Officially the war ended on the 19 May 2009, when the President Mahinda Rajapaksa addressed Parliament and declared victory and liberation from terrorism. Many developments have come from the end of the war such as the Tamil National Alliance, the largest Tamil political party in Sri Lanka dropping its demand for a separate state[1] and the peace dividend allowing Sri Lanka to become one of the fastest growing economies of the world.[2] The Sri Lankan government is now in the process of rebuilding war torn areas and development of the nation as a whole.

End of the war[edit]

Main article: Sri Lankan Civil War

Sri Lankan government declaration of total victory on 16 May 2009 marked the end of the 26-year-long civil war. President Mahinda Rajapaksa, while attending the G11 summit in Jordan, addressed the summit stating "my government, with the total commitment of our armed forces, has in an unprecedented humanitarian operation finally defeated the LTTE militarily".[3] However the fighting continued for a couple of days thereafter. On the same day, Sri Lankan troops killed 70 rebels attempting to escape by boat, as the last LTTE strongpoints crumbled.[4] The whereabouts of LTTE leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran and other major rebel leaders were not certain at the time. On 17 May 2009, Selvarasa Pathmanathan, the LTTE chief of international relations, admit the organization's defeat stating "This battle has reached its bitter end ... We have decided to silence our guns. Our only regrets are for the lives lost and that we could not hold out for longer".[5][6]

On May 18, 2009 Velupillai Prabhakaran was erroneously claimed to be killed by the Sri Lankan armed forces. It was claimed that on the morning of that day, he was killed by gunfire, while trying to escape the conflict zone in an ambulance with his closest aides. State television announced that the military had surrounded Prabhakaran in a tiny patch of jungle in the north-east. The Daily Telegraph wrote that, according to Sri Lankan TV, Prabhakaran was "... killed in a rocket-propelled grenade attack as he tried to escape the war zone in an Ambulance. Colonel Soosai, the leader of his "Sea Tigers" navy, and Pottu Amman, his intelligence chief were also killed in the attack."[7]

19 May 2009 saw President Mahinda Rajapaksa giving a victory speech to the Parliament and declared that Sri Lanka is liberated from terrorism.[8][9] Around 9:30 a.m., the same day, troops attached to Task Force VIII of Sri Lanka Army, reported to its commander, Colonel G.V. Ravipriya that a body similar to Velupillai Prabhakaran has been found among the mangroves in Nandikadal lagoon.[10]

Sarath Fonseka officially announced Prabhakaran's death on the State television ITN. Later, his body was shown on Swarnavahini for the first time, while the identity was confirmed by Karuna Amman, his former confidant. DNA tests against his son, who had been killed earlier by the Sri Lanka Military, also confirmed the death.[11] Prabakaran's identity was [12] However, contradicting the government claims, Selvarasa Pathmanathan on the same day claimed that "Our beloved leader is alive and safe."[13] But finally on the 24 May 2009, he admitted the death of Prabhakaran, retracting the previous statement.[14] The Sri Lankan military effectively concluded its 26 year operation against the LTTE, its military forces recaptured all remaining LTTE controlled territories in the Northern Province.[15][16][17]

The Sri Lankan civil war cost the lives of an estimated 80,000–100,000 people. This included more than 23,327 Sri Lankan soldiers and policemen, 1,155 Indian soldiers and 27,639 Tamil fighters. The numbers were confirmed by Secretary of Defence Ministry Gotabhaya Rajapaksa in an interview with state television on 22 May 2009. 23,790 Sri Lankan military personnel were killed since 1981 (it was not specified if police or other non-armed forces personnel were included in this particular figure). From the August 2006 recapture of the Mavil Aru reservoir until the formal declaration of the cessation of hostilities (on May 18), 6261 Sri Lankan soldiers were killed and 29,551 were wounded.[18] The Sri Lankan military estimates that up to 22,000 LTTE militants were killed in the last three years of the conflict.[19] While Gotabhaya Rajapaksa confirmed that 6,261 personnel of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces had lost their lives and 29,551 were wounded during the Eelam War IV since July 2006. Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara added that approximately 22,000 LTTE fighters had died during this time.

Following the LTTE's defeat, Tamil National Alliance, the largest political party in Sri Lanka dropped its demand for a separate state, in favour of a federal solution.[1][20] Sri Lanka, emerging after a 26-year war, has become one of the fastest growing economies of the world.[2][21][22][23]

The new year & post war development[edit]

Presidential elections were completed in January 2010. Mahinda Rajapaksa won the elections with 59% of the votes, defeating General Sarath Fonseka who was the united opposition candidate.

Under Mahinda Rajapaksa large infrastructure projects and Mega projects such as the Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port were carried out.[24] Large hydro power projects as well as coal powered power plants like the Sampur and Norocholai Power Stations[25] and Sustainable power stations such as the Hambantota Solar Power Station were also built to supply the rising need for power in the country.[26] By 2010 Sri Lanka's poverty rate was 8.9% while it was 15.2% in 2006.[27] Sri Lanka also made it into the "high" category of the Human Development Index during this time.[28]

How ever the government came under fierce criticism for corruption and Sri Lanka ranked 79 from among 174 countries in the Transparency International corruption index.[29]

Maithripala era[edit]

In 2014 November Mahinda Rajapksa called for early elections as signs of declining public support started to appear.[30] Taking the chance the General Secretary of the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party and Health minister Maithripala Sirisena defected and said he would contest President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the upcoming presidential election. He was backed by the former president Chandrika Kumaratunga ,UNP and its leader Ranil Wickremesinghe, Jathika Hela Urumaya as well as Sarath Fonseka. In his speech he promised to end Thuggery, embezzlement, crime, drug mafia, nepotism and corruption.[31] The largest Muslim party of Sri Lanka also left the government and joined Maithripala[32]

In Sri Lankan presidential election, 2015 in January Maithripala won the election with 51.28% of the votes and took oath as president.[33] He removed politically appointed officials such as the Chief of Justice Mohan Peiris and launched a major anti-corruption campaign [34]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Sri Lanka Tamil party drops statehood demand". BBC. 13 March 2010. Retrieved 18 August 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "Merryl Lynch lists Sri Lanka among 10 fast growth economies". 8 August 2011. Retrieved 20 August 2011. 
  3. ^ "Sri Lankan President Declares Military Defeat of Rebels". Voice of America. 16 May 2009. Retrieved 18 August 2011. 
  4. ^ "Sri Lankan troops 'kill' 70 escaping Tamil Tigers". London: Times Online. 17 May 2009. Retrieved 18 August 2011. 
  5. ^ From correspondents in Colombo (May 17, 2009). "Tamil Tigers admit defeat in civil war after 37-year battle". Retrieved 17 May 2009. 
  6. ^ Bosleigh, Robert; Page, Jeremy (18 May 2009). "Tamil Tigers admit defeat after battle reaches 'bitter end'". London: Times Online. Retrieved 18 August 2011. 
  7. ^ Nelson, Dean (18 May 2009). "Sri Lanka: Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran and his lieutenants 'eliminated'". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 30 May 2009. 
  8. ^ "Sri Lankan TV broadcasts 'video of body of Tamil Tiger leader' as President declares the country liberated from terrorism". London: Daily Mail. 20 May 2009. Retrieved 18 August 2011. 
  9. ^ Weaver, Matthew; Chamberlain, Gethin (19 May 2009). "Sri Lanka declares end to war with Tamil Tigers". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 18 August 2011. 
  10. ^ "No peace offer from Prabhakaran – only war". Lanka Web. 2011-06-11. Retrieved 2011-06-20. 
  11. ^ "Sri Lanka Army – Defenders of the Nation". Retrieved 2009-05-19. 
  12. ^ Bosleigh, Robert (2008-05-09). "DNA tests on body of Prabhakaran, Sri Lankan rebel leader". The Times (London). Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  13. ^ "Rebel leader Prabhakaran 'alive and safe' Tigers claim". The Times (London). 19 May 2009. Retrieved 18 August 2011. 
  14. ^ "LTTE admits Prabhakaran is dead, finally". Indian Express. 24 May 2009. Retrieved 18 August 2011. 
  15. ^ "Sri Lanka Army – Defenders of the Nation". 20 May 2009. Retrieved 30 May 2009. 
  16. ^ "Sri Lanka Army – Defenders of the Nation". 21 May 2009. Retrieved 30 May 2009. 
  17. ^ "Troops recover more military equipments in search and clear operations". 8 June 2009. Retrieved 13 June 2009. 
  18. ^ "Victory's price: 6,200 Sri Lankan troops". 22 May 2009. Retrieved 30 May 2009. 
  19. ^ "/ UK – Sri Lankan army and Tamil Tiger death tolls reveal grim cost of years of civil war". 23 May 2009. Retrieved 30 May 2009. 
  20. ^ "Sri Lankan Tamils drop demand for separate independent homeland". The Guardian. 14 March 2010. Retrieved 18 August 2011. 
  21. ^ Ganguly, Šumit(Author); Michael, E. Brown(Editor) (2003). Fighting Words: language policy and ethnic relations in Asia. The MIT Press. pp. 136–138. ISBN 978-0-262-52333-2. 
  22. ^ Schmidt, Bettina(Editor); Schroeder, Ingo(Editor) (2001). Anthropology of Violence and Conflict. Routledge. p. 185. ISBN 978-0-415-22905-0. 
  23. ^ "Sri Lanka leader hails 'victory'". BBC News. 2009-05-19. Retrieved 2010-06-02. 
  24. ^ "The Hambantota Port Declared Open". 
  25. ^ "Sampur coal power project on track". 
  26. ^ "500 KW Solar Power Plant commissioned in H'tota". 
  27. ^ "Millennium Development Goals-Eradicate extreme hunger and poverty". 
  28. ^ "'Rise of the South' - Sri Lanka ranked high in human development". 
  29. ^ "Sri Lanka Is A Corrupt Nation". 
  30. ^ "Sri Lanka president calls early election". 
  31. ^ "UNP names Maithripala as the common candidate.". 
  32. ^ "Sri Lanka's main Muslim party quits government, pledges to support opposition ahead of election". 
  33. ^ "Maithripala Sirisena takes oath as President". 
  34. ^ "Video: Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake resumes duties as CJ - See more at:". 

External links[edit]