South Asia

A political history of Sri Lanka from 1956

Sri Lanka's newly elected president Maithripala Sirisena.

Sri Lanka's newly elected president Maithripala Sirisena.   | Photo Credit: Ishara S.KODIKARA

From Solomon Bandaranaike’s election in 1956 to Trincomalee massacre of students happened in 2006 to Velupillai Prabakaran’s death to this year’s development of Rajapaksa’s defeat, here is a detailed history of how Sri Lanka has been seen in the political scenario. Maithripala Sirisena has now won the presidential elections.



Read more:

>Sri Lanka sabotaging war crimes probe, says UN rights chief


Mahindra Rajapaksa in an interview with The Hindu says that he faces the twin challenges of external pressure for an international probe into allegations of war crimes and internal pressure over the dialogue process with the Tamil National Alliance.

Read more:

>‘We will not allow an external probe’




Sri Lanka hosts the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) but political heads of India, Canada and Mauritius skips the meeting.

Read more:

>PM to skip CHOGM


>Need more time to address rights violation charges: Rajapaksa


>Rajapaksa satisfied with India’s representation at Commonwealth meeting


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>Testing time for Jaffna, Colombo




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>Sri Lanka turning authoritarian: UN human rights chief




On February 19, 2013 a series of photographs showed Velupillai Prabakaran’s 12- year son Balachandran hit by bullets by a British channel’s documentary. The incident created controversies against Sri Lanka’s armed forces conduct in their final stage of operation against the Tamil Tiger rebels. However Rajapaksa government denied shooting anyone.

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>Killing a 12-year old


>Sri Lanka dismisses film on Prabkakaran son’s death




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>Rajapaksa dismisses Chief Justice




>UN blames itself for failure during Eelam war climax


The former Sri Lankan Army Chief, Sarath Fonseka freed after two and a half years.


Sri Lanka was in the same state when it came to ensuring justice to the victims of numerous Human Rights violations.


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>Sri Lanka against itself


>Protests in Sri Lanka against proposed U.N. rights resolution


>Fonseka released with strings attached




United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was appointed to monitor the government’s implementation of Human Rights.

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>Human Rights is a serious concern in Sri Lanka






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>Karuna joins Cabinet




On May 18, 2009 Velupillai Prabakaran was killed by the Sri Lankan army. The war between the Tigers and the Sri Lankan military reaches its bitter end and the Tigers decide to silence their guns in the interest of Tamil citizens.

Read more:


>LTTE supremo Prabakaran believed dead


>Battle at its bitter end: LTTE


>Protest against ‘killing’ of Prabhakaran




Government launches massive offense ending the 2002 ceasefire agreement.


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>12 killed in Colombo suicide attack




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>28 killed in Sri Lanka clashes




The Trincomalee massacre of students happened in 2006. It was considered to be act of state terror. Vankalai massacre of four minority Sri Lankan Tamils. It was also considered to be act of state terror.


Read more: >Fissures in Sri Lankan Tamil parties ahead of Presidential poll




The Sri Lankan government and the LTTE hold peace talks and agree on a ceasefire.

Read more: >Not fighting for now




2014

President Mahinda Rajapaksa doesn’t allow the UN to investigate the war crimes during the Tamil Tiger insurgency.


Nov 2013

Sept 2013







Tamil National Alliance (TNA) wins election at the Northern provincial council.


Aug 2013

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay says Sri Lanka was showing signs of heading in an increasingly authoritarian direction.


Feb 2013

Jan 2013

Rajapaksa dismisses Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake after finding her guilty on three offences including financial irregularities.


2012

Rajapaksa government dismisses UN report which states that Sri Lanka intimidated UN members investigating abuses at the end of the civil war in 2009.


2011



2010



Mahinda Rajapaksa re-elected. He promises to restore an independent National Human Rights Commission along with other commissions .


March 2009



Vinayagamoorthy Muralidharan (Karuna), former deputy leader of the LTTE joins Rajapaksa's cabinet.


May 2009



2008



Government blames LTTE after 12 civilians killed and 100 injured over a suicide bomb attack.


2007

At least 28 people, which includes 14 cadres of the LTTE, die in clashes between the security forces and the Tamil Tigers in September.


2006

The political killings, child soldiers, abductions, and clashes between the government and LTTE creates tension around the country.


2005

Rajapaksa elected for the first time.


2003

2000

The European Union criticises both the Tamil Tigers and security forces concerning the human rights situation in Sri Lanka.


1999

A female suicide bomber attacks a police station in Colombo targeting the head of the terrorism unit, Mohammad Nilabdeen.


1995

The third Eelam war breaks out after a suicide squad attacked two naval vessels in Trincomalee killing 12 soldiers.






1994

President Kumaratunga again initiates peace talks with LTTE.


1993

An LTTE suicide bomber kills Ranasinghe Premadasa, the third President of Sri Lanka during a May Day rally.


1991

LTTE suicide bomber kills Rajiv Gandhi in Tamil Nadu. He was instrumental in bringing the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord.


1990

Second Eelam War breaks. East Province taken over by Sri Lankan Forces after heavy fighting. The LTTE continue to kill civilians in the Eastern province.


1988

Nationalist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) protests against the Sri Lanka-India agreement.


1987

Indo-Sri Lanka Accord, which was intended to end the civil war between Sri Lankan Tamil nationalists and LTTE, signed.


1983

‘Black July’ riots erupt in Sri-Lanka; about 64,000 people were killed.


1977

LTTE was formed.


1970

Sirimavo Bandaranaike re-elected and she brings back Sinhalese nationalism.


1965

Opposition party wins the elections and tries reverse the nationalisation.




1960

Sirimavo Bandaranaike becomes first woman Prime Minister in the world. She was sworn in on July 21, 1960 after her United National Party won the elections.



1959

On September 25, 1959, Solomon Bandaranaike was shot by Talduwe Somarama, a Buddhist monk. He succumbed to injuries the next day.



1956

Solomon Bandaranaike was elected as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. He made Sinhala the only official language. More than 100 Sri Lankan Tamils people were killed after the Tamil members of parliament protested.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2020 10:53:47 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/south-asia/political-history-of-sri-lanka/article6771008.ece

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