Timeline: Sri Lankan unrest

The Sri Lankan government has responded to the deaths of at least 61 people in an attack on a bus with a series of airstrikes on Tamil Tiger positions. This is the latest event in the escalating violence in the country.

    The Tamil Tigers fought a 19 year civil war with the government

    Major developments in Sri Lanka's conflict with the Tamil Tiger rebels.

    1975: Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam formed demanding a separate state, in the north and east of the country, for the minority Tamils.

    1983: Civil war begins after anti-Tamil riots in the Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. Many believe the riots were organised by the Sinhalese dominated government.

    February 2002: Ceasefire signed by the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tigers. More than 65,000 people were killed during 19 years of civil war.

    December 26, 2004: More than 35,000 Sri Lankans killed and tens of thousands left homeless by the Indian Ocean tsunami.

    Reconstruction efforts brought
    hope of ethnic reconciliation

    Early 2005: The Tamil Tigers' contribution to reconstruction efforts after the tsunami raises hopes that the island's ethnic divide can be bridged and the violence ended.

    June 2005: Relations between the government and the Tamil Tigers deteriorate over the sharing of international aid.

    August 2005: Lakshman Kadirgamar, an ethnic Tamil who opposed a separate state for the minority, is killed by a sniper. The government blames the assassination on the Tamil Tigers.

    December 2005: Tamil Tigers launch their first major attack since the truce killing at least 12 Sri Lankan navy personnel. A series of attacks follow.

    February 22, 2006: Government and Tamil Tiger officials agree to reduce the level of violence during peace talks in Geneva, Switzerland.

    April 19, 2006: Second round of peace talks postponed as government and Tamil Tigers disagree over transport and security. New talks scheduled for April 24-25 are never held.

    April 25, 2006: Suicide bombing aimed at killing the government's military commander is blamed on the Tamil Tigers. Eight people are killed and the government responds by attacking rebel bases.

    May 11, 2006: Tamil Tiger suicide boats sink a navy patrol boat killing at least 17 sailors. Five Tiger ships are destroyed during the battle leaving 50 rebels dead. The government responds to the battle with airstrikes on Tamil Tiger positions.

    June 8, 2006: Talks in Norway fail when the Tamil Tigers refuse to meet face-to-face with the Sri Lankan government.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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