Casualties of the Sri Lankan Civil War

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Sri Lankan Civil war was very costly, killing over 100,000+ civilians and 50,000+ fighters from both sides of the conflict. The "Tamil Centre for Human Rights" recorded that from 1983 to 2004, 47,556 Tamil civilians were murdered by both the Sri Lankan government and IPKF forces.[1] Another organization called NESOHR published that from the beginning of the war to the 2002 ceasefire, 4000 to 5000 Tamil civilians were killed in large scale massacres, with a total civilian death of around 40,000.[2] Civilian casualties that occurred on 2009 is of major controversy, as there were no organizations to record the events during the final months of the war. The Sri Lankan government revealed that 9,000 people were killed in the final months of the war, but it did not differentiate between LTTE cadres and civilians.[3] The UN, based on credible witness evidence from aid agencies and civilians evacuated from the Safe Zone by sea, estimated that 6,500 civilians were killed and another 14,000 injured between mid-January 2009, when the Safe Zone was first declared, and mid-April 2009.[4][5] There are no official casualty figures after this period but estimates of the death toll for the final four months of the civil war (mid-January to mid-May) range from 15,000 to 20,000.[6][7] A US State Department report has suggested that the actual casualty figures were probably much higher than the UN's estimates and that significant numbers of casualties weren't recorded.[8] A former UN official has claimed that up to 40,000 civilians may have been killed in the final stages of the civil war.[9] Several human rights groups have even claimed that the death toll in the last months of the war could be 70,000. The Sri Lankan government has denied all claims of causing mass casualties against Tamils, arguing that it was "taking care not to harm civilians". Instead, it has blamed the LTTE for the high casualty numbers, stating that they used the civilians as human shields.[10] Both the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE have been accused by the U.N for war crimes during the last phase of the war.

While the majority of civilian deaths were that of the Tamil minority, Both Sinhalese and Moor civilians died in the war. The LTTE were estimated to be responsible for 3,700 to 4,100 civilian deaths in over 200 separate attacks.[11] In response to these civilian deaths, LTTE leader Prabhakaran denied allegations of killing civilians, claiming to condemn such acts of violence; and claimed that LTTE had instead attacked armed home guards who were "death-squads let loose on Tamil civilians" and Sinhalese settlers who were "brought to the Tamil areas to forcibly occupy the land.

Around 27,000+ LTTE cadres, 23,790+ Sri Lankan Army personnel, 1000+ Sri Lankan police, 1500 Indian soldiers were said to have died in the conflict. In 2008, the LTTE revealed that "22,390 fighters who have lost their lives in the armed struggle since 27 November 1982".[12] Minister of Defence Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said on an interview with state television that 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). The Uppsala Conflict Data Program, a university-based data collection program considered to be "one of the most accurate and well-used data-sources on global armed conflicts"[13] provides free data to the public and has divided Sri Lanka's conflicts into groups based on the actors involved. It collectively reported that between 1990 and 2009 between 59,193-75,601[14] people were killed in Sri Lanka during various three types of organized armed conflict: "State-based" conflicts, those that involved the Government of Sri Lanka against rebel groups(LTTE and the JVP), "Non-state" conflicts, those conflicts that did not involve the government of Sri Lanka (e.g. LTTE vs. LTTE-Karuna Faction, and LTTE vs. PLOTE), as well as "One-sided" violence, that involved deliberate attacks against civilians perpetrated by either LTTE or the Government of Sri Lanka.[15]

Summary[edit]

Minister of Defence Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said on an interview with state television that 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.[16]

The Sri Lankan military estimates that up to 22,000 Tamil Tiger rebels were killed in the last three years of the conflict.[17]

The final five months of the civil war saw the heaviest civilian casualties. The UN, based on credible witness evidence from aid agencies and civilians evacuated from the Safe Zone by sea, estimated that 6,500 civilians were killed and another 14,000 injured between mid-January 2009, when the Safe Zone was first declared, and mid-April 2009.[4][5] There are no official casualty figures after this period but estimates of the death toll for the final four months of the civil war (mid-January to mid-May) range from 15,000 to 20,000.[6][7] A US State Department report has suggested that the actual casualty figures were probably much higher than the UN's estimates and that significant numbers of casualties weren't recorded.[8] A former UN official has claimed that up to 40,000 civilians may have been killed in the final stages of the civil war.[9]

Casualties[edit]

War or Phase Date Deaths Total dead Wounded Total wounded Sources/
notes
combat other total combat other total
C SF TT C SF TT C SF TT C SF TT C SF TT C SF TT
Eelam War I 1983 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
1984
1985
1986
Eelam War I/Indian intervention 1987
1988
1989
Indian intervention
/Eelam War II
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
Eelam War II/Eelam War III 1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000 162 784 2,845 [18]
2001 89 412 1,321 [18]
2002 Ceasefire 2002 14 1 0 [18]
2003 31 2 26 [18]
2004 33 7 69 [18]
2005 153 90 87 [18]
2002 Ceasefire/Eelam War IV 2006 981 826 2,319 [18]
2007 525 499 3,345 [18]
2008 404 1,314 9,426 [18]
2009 11,108 1,312 2,941 [18]
Total ≈26 years 13,500 5,247 22,379 23,790 27,639 [18]

Eelam War I[edit]

Year Civilians Security Force LTTE Total
1983 400 - 3,000 13 53 - 100 ~3,113[citation needed]
1984
1985
1986
1987
Total
Notes:
Source:

Indian intervention[edit]

Year Civilians Security Force IPKF LTTE Total
1987
1988
1989
1990
Total 26 1,000+ 1,300
Notes:
Source:

Eelam War II[edit]

Year Civilians Security Force LTTE Total
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
Total
Notes:
Source:

Eelam War III[edit]

Year Civilians Security Force LTTE Total
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000* 162 784 2,845 3,791
2001 89 412 1,321 1,822
Total 251 1,196 4,166 5,613
Notes:*Data from March 1, 2000
Source:[19]

Cease Fire Period[edit]

Year Civilians Security Force LTTE Total
2002 14 1 0 15
2003 31 2 26 59
2004 33 7 69 109
2005 153 90 87 330
Total 231 100 182 513
Notes:Includes only Casualties between 2002-2005 most of which is the Cease Fire.
Source:[19]

Eelam War IV[edit]

Year Civilians Security Force LTTE Total
2006 981 826 2,319 4,126
2007 525 499 3,345 4,369
2008 404 1,314 9,426 11,144
2009* 9,257 1,312 2,515 13,084
Total
Notes:*Data till April 20, 2009
Source:[19][20]

Overall[edit]

Year Civilians Security Force LTTE Total
Eelam War I
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
Indian intervention
1988
1989
Eelam War II
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
Eelam War III
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000** 162 784 2,845 3,791
2001 89 412 1,321 1,822
Cease Fire
2002 14 1 0 15
2003 31 2 26 59
2004 33 7 69 109
2005 153 90 87 330
Eelam War IV
2006 981 826 2,319 4,126
2007 525 499 3,345 4,369
2008 404 1,314 9,426 11,144
2009* 9,257 1,312 2,515 13,084
Total 11,649 5,247 21,953 38,849
Notes:*Data till May 11, 2009, **Data from March 1, 2000
Source:[19][20]

The above table is incomplete. Revisions and sourced additions are welcome.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Recorded figures of Arrests, Killings, Disappearances,". www.tchr.net/50_year_arrest_kill.htm. 
  2. ^ "Genocide against the Tamil People" (PDF). www.ptsrilanka.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/massacres_pogroms_en.pdf. 
  3. ^ "Sri Lanka government publishes war death toll statistics". 
  4. ^ a b David Pallister & Gethin Chamberlain (24 April 2009). "Sri Lanka war toll near 6,500, UN report says". London: The Guardian, UK. 
  5. ^ a b "Sri Lanka rejects rebel ceasefire". BBC News. 27 April 2009. 
  6. ^ a b Chamberlain, Gethin (29 May 2009). "Sri Lanka death toll 'unacceptably high', says UN". London: The Guardian, UK. Retrieved 26 October 2009. 
  7. ^ a b "Slaughter in Sri Lanka". London: The Times, UK. 29 May 2009. Retrieved 26 October 2009. 
  8. ^ a b "Report to Congress on Incidents During the Recent Conflict in Sri Lanka" (PDF). Department of State, USA. 22 October 2009. 
  9. ^ a b Buncombe, Andrew (12 February 2010). "Up to 40,000 civilians 'died in Sri Lanka offensive'". The Independent. London. Retrieved 23 May 2010. 
  10. ^ "Sri Lanka 'war crimes': Main allegations". www.bbc.com/news/world-south-asia-13158916. 
  11. ^ "The Causes and Consequences of Group Violence: From Bullies to Terrorists". books.google.com/books?id=jLdKBAAAQBAJ&pg=PA98#v=onepage&q=modest&f=false. 
  12. ^ "LTTE leader pays homage on Heroes Day". www.tamilnet.com/art.html?artid=27600&catid=71. 
  13. ^ Ford Institute for Human Security, Human Security Data, http://www.fordinstitute.pitt.edu/FordResources/Databases/tabid/466/Default.aspx,
  14. ^ Uppsala Conflict Data Program, Low-high estimates for state based fighting between Government of Sri Lanka (Ceylon) and JVP (low:61-high:61)Government of Sri Lanka (Ceylon) and LTTE (Low:56,219-high:70,375), deliberate killings of civilians by Government of Sri Lanka (Ceylon) (low:368-high:1,666) and LTTE (low:2,252-high:3,110) and fighting between LTTE and LTTE-Karuna Faction (low:192-high:294) and LTTE and PLOTE (low:101-high:103), http://www.ucdp.uu.se/gpdatabase/gpcountry.php?id=144&regionSelect=6-Central_and_Southern_Asia#, viewed 2013-05-03
  15. ^ Uppsala Conflict Data Program, Sri Lanka Conflict Summary, http://www.ucdp.uu.se/gpdatabase/gpcountry.php?id=144&regionSelect=6-Central_and_Southern_Asia
  16. ^ "Victory's price: 6,200 Sri Lankan troops". The Sydney Morning Herald. 22 May 2009. 
  17. ^ http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/eda17636-4733-11de-923e-00144feabdc0.html?nclick_check=1
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k http://satp.org/satporgtp/countries/shrilanka/database/annual_casualties.htm
  19. ^ a b c d South Asian Terrorism Portal.
  20. ^ a b South Asian Terrorism Portal.