List of riots in Sri Lanka

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Location of Sri Lanka

Following is a List of riots in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is an island nation situated in South Asia. It has experienced ethnic tensions between its majority Sinhalese and minority Tamils and Moors populations since 1915 from time to time.[1]

20th century[edit]





  • 1981 - Burning of Jaffna library, Jaffna, Northern Province - The destruction of the Jaffna Public Library, with the loss of over 100,000 books, artifacts and palm writings. Four Sri Lankan Tamils were killed.[4]
  • 1981 Riots were carried out by Sinhalese mobs against predominantly Indian Tamils in Ratnapura, Kahawatte and Balangoda areas. Shops were looted and set on fire and many women and girls were raped by marauding mobs
  • 1983 - Black July, Sri Lanka - Ethnic riots Sri Lankan Tamils and Sinhalese where between 400 and 3,000 Sri Lankan Tamil civilians were killed and many more made homeless and refugees.[5]
  • 1987 - 1987 Trincomalee riots, Trincomalee, Eastern Province - riots between Tamils and Sinhalese in Trincomalee that later morphed into LTTE violence against Sinhalese killed over 200 Sinhalese and rendered thousands homeless and displaced in the Eastern Province.


21st century[edit]



See also[edit]


  1. ^ Chattopadhyaya, H. Ethnic Unrest in Modern Sri Lanka: An Account of Tamil-Sinhalese Race Relations, pp. 51-82
  2. ^ a b "An evolving army and its role through time". Sunday Times. 2005-10-16. Retrieved 2008-10-29. The outbreak of island wide ethnic violence from May 24–27, 1958, saw for the first time the deployment of military personnel under emergency proclamations throughout the entire island, where Colombo and the North and East of the country witnessed the worst violence leading to over 300 deaths.
  3. ^ Kearney, R.N. (1985). "Ethnic Conflict and the Tamil Separatist Movement in Sri Lanka". Asian Survey. 25 (9): 898–917. doi:10.1525/as.1985.25.9.01p0303g. JSTOR 2644418.
  4. ^ Over two decades after the burning down of the Jaffna library in Sri Lanka Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Harrison, Frances (23 July 2003). "Twenty years on – riots that led to war". BBC News. Retrieved 10 October 2009.
  6. ^ "ASA 37/30/97 Sri Lanka: Appeal for a full inquiry into prison killings". Amnesty International. 15 December 1997.
  7. ^ "Sri Lanka: Killing of Political Prisoners in Kalutara Prison". Asian Human Rights Commission. 23 December 1997.
  8. ^ "Chronology for Sri Lankan Tamils in Sri Lanka". United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees/Minorities at Risk Project. 2004. Archived from the original on 2013-04-16.
  9. ^ "Three Tamil prisoners killed by Sinhala inmates". TamilNet. 12 December 1997.
  10. ^ "Times Online - Daily Online Edition of The Sunday Times Sri Lanka". Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  11. ^ "news09". Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  12. ^ Jayakody, Pradeep (21 November 2012). "Welikada Prison Riot". The Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka).
  13. ^ "Sri Lanka troops accused of prison 'massacre'". Al Jazeera. 11 November 2012.
  14. ^ "Probe sought in Sri Lankan prison 'massacre'". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation/Associated Press. 11 November 2012.

Further reading[edit]

  • Vittachi, Tarzie (1958). Emergency '58: The Story of the Ceylon Race Riots. Andre Deutsch. OCLC 2054641.
  • Seneratne, Jagath P (1998). Political Violence in Sri Lanka, 1977-1990: Riots, Insurrections, Counter-Insurgencies, Foreign Intervention. VU University Press. ISBN 90-5383-524-5.

External links[edit]