The history of terrorism in Sri Lanka is mainly a history of the Tamil Tigers and their use of suicide attacks to promote an independent Tamil State, but there is also another terrorist history that the country has dealt with, and that is the uprising and insurgencies of the JVP party of Sinhalese nationalism. These groups have crossed paths many times over the past thirty years, but is mainly the Tamil who are still a violent force in the region.
For the last four decades, the island of Sri Lanka has seen the effects of a violent civil war between the “ruling Sinhalese majority and a revolutionary minority group called the Tamil” (Bhattacharji 1). This group has been fighting for their own independent territory mainly along the northeastern border of the island. Their militant body is a group of rebels that are known as the Tamil Tigers. This group has gained attention internationally because of its use of violent terrorism against both civilians and infrastructure, and mostly because it was one of the first groups to use the tactic of suicide bombing.
[...] The Sri Lankan government accused the Tiger of using over 35,000 civilians in the eastern region as human shields, and they used this as justification during the invasion they set forth during 2006. Many human rights studies have cited the use of state terrorism by the Sri Lankan government during this time. In April of 2007, the Sri Lankan government accused the Tamil Tigers of killing six Red Cross tsunami workers, and their reaction was to set off a bomb on a bus that killed seventeen people. [...]
[...] So while the Sri Lankan government dispatched forces to deal with the JVP uprisings in the southern region, the Indian Peace Keeping Forces were given control of the northeastern regions of the island where they attempted to collect weapons from the Tamil militants. This resulted in more fighting between Indian Peacekeepers and the LTTE. Both sides urged the withdrawal of Indian force, but President Rajiv Gandhi insisted on the continuation of the mission. By 1989, the LTTE were nearly defeated, and the Sinhalese power within the Sri Lankan government was becoming more extreme than ever. [...]
[...] After one suicide bomber attacked the Temple Tooth, one of the most sacred Buddhist shrines in the world, the Sri Lankan government was able to gain international support for banning the LTTE organization and making their existence illegal in several countries around the world. In July 1999, a LTTE suicide bomber was responsible for the assassination of a Sri Lankan member of parliament, Neelam Thiruchelvam, an ethnic Tamil involved in a government sponsored peace initiative. This further divided support even among Sri Lankan Tamil civilians for the LTTE. [...]
[...] In 1919 British Governor William Manning promoted “communal consciousness” in setting up the new legislature, and the Sinhalese were given a thirteen to three majority in congress. Stokke says this created the consciousness of communal identity, and as blank had pointed out, the religious community was already very devout. This new consciousness evolved into a form of nationalism, for both the Sinhalese and the Tamil. In 1931, the Donoughmore convention did away with the legislative form and they planned to do away with the communal representation idea (Stokke 292). [...]
[...] One of the main issues that are also relevant to mention when discussing the conflict between the Tamil and the state government of Sri Lanka is the fact that the state military has been known to conduct terrorism against its own citizens, making this conflict one of the deadliest on record. The Tamil Tigers are defined by Bhattacharji's article on the Council of Foreign Relations website, as a “separatist group.” Their full title is the LTTE, which stands for Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. [...]
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