History of Tamil
From South India Rameswaram the
coastal, border of tamilnadu. There from if you proceed further in a
motor boat southeast through the Palk-Straight you can launch in a
coast where Tamil speaking people are inhabiting.
Now you are in Jaffna.You can see cent
percent Tamil speaking people here. You would have read many things
about this Jaftna in your News papers. Look at your feet which are
turned reddish, by the native red soil of Jaffna. You could moreover
observe the houses the fencing and the lands into two or three
Not only the lands, but also the
people are being divided by caste system here, The majority of
landowners belongs to upper-caste and the others are almost daily
bread winning folks who belongs to lower-castes.
There are different assessments about
the hierarchy of the Tamil speaking people of this island. One
differs with the other. One such assessment affirms that those
Tamil-speaking people were the heirs of those who were left here
after the invasions of the south Indian kings. The other assessment
states that these people-were the Immigrants before the deluge which
was said to have partisaned the land of Island once connected with
the land of India. Some historians find a different theory
acceptable which states that the Tamil-speaking people of this
island were none but the heirs of Yakkas and Nagas the ancient race
of people who had inhabited this part of the world before thousands
of years. But how these traditional groups have been distorted is a
question yet to be answered. The recent excavations done in
Anaikottai and other places of importance have supplied us with
authoritative and authentic evidences for the theory which states
that before B.C. 5000-3000 the people with Dravidian culture lived
in this Island.
Middle Stone Age implements such as bones and
grinding stones have been unearthed in the Bandarawela region in the
south; some late Stone Age tools of ground quartz were discovered
nearby. Early Buddhist pottery and iron artifacts have been found
throughout the country. Hindu burial relics dating from the 5th
century BC have been discovered in the North-Western Province. The
National Museums of Sri Lanka, with branches located in Colombo,
Kandy, Ratnapura, Anuradhapura, Galle,Jaffna and Trincomalee,
contain collections of archaeological finds and historical documents
of the country.
According to Hindu legend the greater part of Sri
Lanka was conquered in prehistoric times by Ramachandra, the seventh
incarnation of the supreme deity Vishnu. The written history of the
country(Tamil Eelam.)begins with the chronicle known
as the History of Jaffna, Yalpana Vaipavamalay,and
The written history of the country in Sinhala
(Sri Lanka.)begins with the chronicle known as the
Mahavamsa. This work was started in the 6th century AD and provides
a virtually unbroken narrative up to 1815.
The Mahavamsa was compiled by a succession of
Buddhist monks. Because it often aims to glorify or to degrade
certain periods or reigns, it is not a wholly reliable source
despite its wealth of historical material.
The Jaffna Kingdom existed with Nallur as its
capital from 1200 AD 1619 AD. The following are the names of the
Kings and their period of rule of Tamil Eelam:-
1. Kalingaman alias Koolangai Singai Aryan alias
Kalinga Vijeyabahu (1200 to 1240)
2. Kulasegara Pararajasegaram (1240 to 1256)
3. Kulothungan (1256 to 1279)
4. Vikramnan (1279 to 1302)
5. Varothayan (1371 to 1380)
6. Marthanda Perumalan (1325 to 1348)
7. Kunapooshanan (1348 to 1371)
8. Virothayan (1371 to 1380)
9. Jeyaveeran (1380 to 1410)
10. Kunaveeran (1410 to 1446)
11. Kanagasooriyan (1446 to 1450). From 1450 to 1467
Jaffna Kingdom came under the rule of Kotte kingdom. Troops which
came under the command of Chenpagap Perumal captured Jaffna. Later
he become King of Kotte under the name of King Bhuvanekabahu (VI).
Kanagasooriyan fled to Tamilnadu and came back with an army and
re-captured the Kingdom and again ruled from 1467 to 1478.
12. Pararajasegaran (1478 to 1519)
13. Sankili Segarajasegaran (1519 to 1561). He was
born to the third wife of Pararajasegaran.
14. Pararasa Pandaram, Pararasasekaran (1561 to
1565). he is son of Sankili.
15. Kurunchi Nainar (1565 to 1570)
16. Periapillai Sekarasa Sekaran (1570 to
17. Puvirasa Pandaram II (1582 to 1591)
18. Ethirmanna Singa Pararasasekaran (1591 to
19. Sankili Kumaran (1615 to 1619).
In all Jaffna Kingdom existed for 403 years.
Kalinga MaganWe learnt in
the last chapter that the Jaffna Kingdom existed for 419 years and
the names of the 19 kings who ruled during the same period. For over
200 years the Jaffna Kingdom remained the single most powerful
Kingdom in Ceylon. The Jaffna Kings maintained close relationship
with South Indian Kingdoms.This we can glean from Sinhala historical
books, some Sinhala inscriptions and through Sinhala literary works
like Kokila Sandesiya, Paravi Sandesiya, Parakum Paciritha.
There are some Tamil books, if not in great detail,
but at least to some extent, that gives the history of the origin,
rise and growth of the Jaffna Kingdom and the history of its rulers.
One such book is the Yalpana Vaipavamalai. Others are the Jaffna
History, Vaiyapadal, Kailayamalai, Rajamurai and Parajasegaran
The Yalpana Vaipavamalai was written by Mylvagana
Pulavar from Mathagal in the eighteenth century. From the forward to
the book it can be understood that this book was written at the
request of the Dutch authorities and the author based his written on
books like Vaiyapandal, Kailayamalai, Rajamurai and Parajasegaran
Ula. Both Rajamurai and Parajasegaran Ula are now extinct.
Vaiyapandal was written by Vaiyapuri Aiyar during
the reign of King Segarajeskeran. This book describes events
commencing from the first ruler of Jaffna. It also describes the
names of the chieftains and social groups and how they came from
Tamil Nadu and settled in Jaffna and Vanni. Like other Tamil works
Vaiyapandal also does not give the events in chronological
In the thirteenth century (1215 AD) following the
invasion of Kalingamagan (1215-1255 AD) the Polonaruwa Kingdom which
was already in a state of decay declined in power. Magan ruled with
Polonaruwa as his capital. He was then the most powerful monarch in
Ceylon. After the fall of Polonaruwa the Sinhalese Kings shifted
their capitals to Dambedeniya and Yapahuwa. The Vanni King
Vijayabahu III captured Mayarata and ruled with Dambedeniya as his
His son Parakramabahu II (1236-1270 AD) captured the
hill areas and the southwest and strengthened his rule. He, like his
father, entertained the ambition to capture Rajarata again and bring
it under his rule. A number of Vanni chieftains are said to have
been persuaded to shift their allegiance from Magan to
Following the fall of Polonaruwa there arose several
minor kingdoms called Vanniars. Those areas ruled by these minor
kings under the name of Vanniars were called Vannipattu or Vanni.
Since some of the warriors consisted of Vanniars, the appearance of
Vanniyars must have occurred during the Polonaruwa period.
The ancient Batticalo chronicle states that Magan
captured Polonaruwa and then gave military control to the
The Konesar inscription states that Kulakkoddan
appointed Vanniars as rulers of Trincomalee, Nilaveli, Kaddukkulam
areas. Kulakoddan's real name was Cholkathevan.
The Chulavamsa and other chronicles say that Magan
stationed troops at places like Trincomalee, Koddiyara, Kantalai,
Padavia, Kaddukkulam, Illuppaikadavai, Kytes, Pulachery and ruled
Rajarata from his capital Polonaruwa. Polanaruwa captured and ruled
by Magan was later over-run by the Javanese.
King of Java by the name Chandrabanu twice invaded Ceylon from
Malaya. On both occasions his invasion ended in failure. Later he
raised an army from Chola Nadu and Pandiya Nadu and captured
territory in North Ceylon ruled by Magan. After consolidating his
position he again attacked the Dambedeniya kingdom ruled by
Parakramabahu II. Chandrabanu demanded the surrender of Buddha's
Tooth relic and the kingship to him failing which he informed
Parakramabahu II to be ready for war. According to Chulavamsa
Parakramabaku II refused to accede to the demands made by
Chandrabanu and was successful in halting the invading Army which
had penetrated upto Yapahuva and completely freeing him self from
his (Chandrabanu) domination. Yet Chandrabanu's rule covered the
Jaffna Peninsula, Vanni in the North and Trincomalee.
The place names such as Chavakachcheri, Chavankoddai
and Chavakakoddai came into existence as a result of the rule of
Chavakas in the 13th century.
Around this time the Pandian empire under the rule
of Maravarman Sunderapandyan became very powerful. during his reign
the domination of the Kingdom in North Ceylon by Pandias was further
When Chandrabanu refused to pay tribute to the
Indian empire, Maravarman Suderapandian defeated Chandrabanu and
brought his Kingdom under his domain.
Among those chieftains who were left behind by the
Pandias to rule over Jaffna one Pandimalavan emerged very powerful.
After Chandrabanu, his son accepted the suzerainty of the Pandias
and ruled for some time. After him, it is claimed that when there
was no successor to throne Pandimalavan who hailed from the village
of Ponpatti went to Madurai and brought Prince Singairiyan and
crowned him king of Jaffna. The rule by Ariyachakravarthis were
established in Jaffna as a sequel to invasion of Ceylon by Pandias
under the leadership of army general Ariyachackravarthi about A.D
According to inscriptions, during the rule of
Maravarman Kulasegaran (AD 1268-1310), Ariyachakravarthis served
both as army generals and ministers under him.
According to the astrological book
Segarajasekeramalai the ancestors of Jaffna Kings served as army
generals and ministers under Pandias. They are said to be Brahmins
who belonged to Kasiyappa ancestry and descendants of five-hundred
and twelve "Panchagrama Vethiyar" of Ramesvaram temple.
The Aryachackravarthis are not in fact Aryans in the
ethnic sense, but they referred to themselves as such because of
matrimonial relationship established with brahmins in
The Chulavamsam referring to the invasion of Pandias
following the death of Bhuvanakabahu 1 (AD 1272- 1281) states that
Pandian Kings despatched troops under the command of a Tamil army
general. Although he was not an Aryan he was considered both popular
and influential. Further it states that the invading force destroyed
the fortified city of Yapahuva and carried away the Budha's Tooth
relic and other priceless valuables.
Consequent to the invasion by Pandias under the
command of Aryachckravarthi the Sinhalese kingdom got further
weakened. Yapahuva lost its status as capital city. Also there was
infighting for the throne between Bhuvanakabahu II (son of
Bhuvanakabahu I), and Parakramabahu III (son of Vijayabahu IV, AD
1271-1272) As a result the Sinhalese Kingdom got divided.
Bhuvanakabahu made Kurunagala his capital and ruled from there.
Parakramabahu III went to Madurai and retrieved the Tooth Relic that
was taken away by the Pandian king and installed same at Polonarwa
where he established his rule.
The Ariyachakravarthi mentioned by Chulavamsam or
some other descendant of him must have by passage of time crowned
himself king of Jaffna. The name Ariyachakravarthi does not refer to
real name but one denoting ancestry.
From the late 3rd century AD to the middle of the
12th century, Sinhala was dominated by Tamil kings and by a
succession of invaders from southern India. Native princes regained
power briefly in the late 12th century and again in the 13th
century. From 1408 to 1438 Chinese forces occupied the island of
Sinhala, which had been partitioned into a number of petty
In 1517 the Portuguese, having established friendly
relations with one of the native monarchs, founded a fort and
trading post at Colombo. Their sphere of influence expanded steadily
thereafter, mainly as a result of successful wars of conquest, and
by the end of the 16th century they controlled large sections of the
island. Consequently, in 1638 and 1639, when the Dutch launched the
first of a series of attacks on Portuguese strongholds in the
island, they found numerous allies among the natives. The struggle
ended in 1658 with the Dutch gaining control of most of the island,
although the kingdom of Kandy remained an independent
In 1795, following the occupation of the Netherlands
by France, the British government dispatched an expeditionary force
against Sri Lanka. The Dutch capitulated early in the next year, and
in 1798 the British made all the island, except the kingdom of
Kandy, a crown colony. By the provisions of the 1802 Treaty of
Amiens, which terminated the second phase of the Napoleonic Wars,
the country was formally ceded to Great Britain. The kingdom of
Kandy was also occupied in 1803 and annexed to the crown colony in
1815. The British period of rule was marked by abortive native
rebellions in 1817, 1843, and 1848. Tea and rubber estates were
developed. In this period violent social-religious struggles between
the Sinhalese peasants, mostly Buddhists, and the moneylenders and
traders, chiefly Muslims, also occurred, and all the native peoples
struggled continuously for representative government and national
freedom. The first substantial victory in the struggle for
self-government came after more than one century, when, in 1931,
Great Britain promulgated a new constitution that granted the
indigenous people semiautonomous control over national
During World War II (1939-1945) Sri Lanka was an
important base of operations in the Allied offensive against the
Japanese and a major source of rubber, foodstuffs, and other
materials vital to the war effort.
On February 4, 1948, the colony became an
independent member of the Commonwealth of Nations; Sir Henry Moore
was installed as governor-general and D. S. Senanayake, leader of
the United National party (UNP), became prime minister. An ancient
Sinhalese flag was adopted as the flag of the new state.
The foreign ministers of the Commonwealth of Nations
assembled at Colombo in January 1950, and drafted a tentative plan
for the economic development of Southeast Asia. As finally
formulated, the Colombo Plan allocated nearly $340 million of
Commonwealth funds for a variety of projects designed to advance the
Sri Lankan economy, notably irrigation works and hydroelectric
When D. S. Senanayake died in 1952, his son, Dudley
Senanayake, who belonged to the same party, was named prime
minister. In 1954 Sri Lanka declined to join the Southeast Asia
Treaty Organization, which was formed as a defensive alliance by the
United States, Great Britain, and six other nations. On December 14,
1955, the republic of Sri Lanka was admitted to membership in the
The UNP lost the elections held in April 1956, and
Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike, leader of the Sri Lanka
Freedom party, became prime minister. Sri Lanka subsequently adopted
a policy of neutrality in the disputes between the Communist and
non-Communist countries. The United States agreed in early 1958 to
provide the country with technical assistance and a grant of about
$780,000 for economic projects. The Soviet Union and Sri Lanka
signed trade and economic agreements at about the same time. Shortly
afterward the country accepted a loan of about $10.5 million from
On September 25, 1959, Prime Minister Bandaranaike
was shot by a Buddhist monk and died the following day. In the
general elections of March 19, 1960, the UNP won the greatest number
of votes, and two days later Dudley Senanayake again became prime
minister in a minority cabinet, which quickly lost parliamentary
confidence. New general elections held on July 20 resulted in the
victory of the Sri Lanka Freedom party now led by Sirimavo
Bandaranaike, widow of the late prime minister, and she was sworn in
as prime minister the next day.
On December 31, 1960, a bill was passed making
Sinhalese the only official language of the country. Representatives
of the Tamil-speaking minority led mass demonstrations against the
measure in early 1961. To cope with the situation, a state of
emergency was declared, the Tamil Federal party was forbidden to
operate, and strikes were declared illegal. Sinhalese-Tamil
relations continued to be strained until January 1966, when Tamil
was made the official administrative language in the northern and
eastern parts of the island.
With the nation in a period of economic decline,
Dudley Senanayake was returned to power in the 1965 legislative
elections. His policy of nonalignment, economic development, and
increased domestic production did not satisfy the voters, as high
unemployment, food shortages, and labor unrest continued. In 1970 a
leftist coalition headed by Sirimavo Bandaranaike won the elections;
the new government began to move the country toward socialism. In
March 1971 a brief but violent armed revolt took place, sparked by
leaders of the Marxist-oriented People's Liberation Front. By
September, the Bandaranaike government had almost completely
suppressed the rebellion. In that month the Senate was abolished and
the House of Representatives was renamed the National Assembly. On
May 22, 1972, the country, until then known as Ceylon, officially
became the socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, when the assembly
adopted a new constitution. Bandaranaike continued as prime
minister, and William Gopallawa was appointed president.
In 1977 Bandaranaike's government was decisively
defeated at the polls. She was replaced as prime minister by Junius
R. Jayewardene, leader of the UNP. His government in 1978 replaced
the 1972 constitution with one providing for an executive president,
an office which Jayewardene then assumed. Reversing the socialist
trend of his predecessor, he achieved some initial economic gains.
By 1980, however, inflation and falling wages led to a general
strike, which the government thwarted only by calling out troops.
Later in the year Bandaranaike was expelled from the National
Assembly and barred from voting or standing for election for seven
years. The supreme court had previously found her to have abused her
power during her years as prime minister. Jayewardene won reelection
to a second six-year presidential term in October 1982.
Subsequently, in December, a government proposal to extend the life
of parliament until 1989 was approved by popular
In 1983 a civil war began between the
Sinhalese-dominated government and the rebel Liberation Tigers of
Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The LTTE is a group that seeks to create a
separate nation for the Tamil minority in the northern and eastern
portions of Sri Lanka. In June 1987, after an agreement with
Jayewardene, Indian troops moved into northern Sri Lanka to enforce
a peace agreement between the Sinhalese and the Tamils. Warfare
subsided, and Jayewardene retired in 1988; Ranasinghe Premadasa was
elected to succeed him that year, defeating Bandaranaike.
Premadasa's UNP retained its majority in the parliamentary elections
of February 1989, and the last Indian troops departed in March. The
period of relative peace was short-lived. In 1991 and 1992 several
major battles were fought between the army and the LTTE, and in
early 1993 the government was rocked by two assassinations. On April
23 Lalith Athulathmudali, who had founded the opposition Democratic
United Liberation Front in 1991, was shot to death during a
political rally. A week later, during the annual May Day parade,
President Premadasa was assassinated by a suicide bomber who
allegedly was a member of LTTE. Days later the Parliament
unanimously elected UNP member Dingiri Banda Wijetunga, who
previously was the premier, to serve as president until the next
national election. In November 1993 LTTE forces managed to seize a
government military base in Pooneryn, which is about 32 km (20
miles) southeast of Jaffna. Several days later government forces
drove the rebel forces back, and recovered the base. The fighting
was some of the worst between the Sri Lankan government and rebel
Tamil forces; the Sri Lankan government estimated that about 1200
people were missing or killed. Since fighting between the two groups
began in 1983, more than 18,000 people have been killed. In
parliamentary elections held in August 1994, the People's Alliance
party defeated the UNP, and Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga
became prime minister.1. Ceylon
gained independence on February 04, 1948. However, it was not
complete independence. In terms of the defense agreement entered
into between Britain and Ceylon, Colombo, Trincomalee and Katunayake
bases continued to remain under British control.
2. In 1948 the parliament legislated that the
sword wielding Lion shall be the national flag of Ceylon. To appease
the Tamils and the Muslims yellow and green stripes were added to
3. In 1948, the very year of independence,
the Parliament dominated by the majority Sinhalese, enacted the
Citizenship Act which reduced the political strength of the Tamils
by one-half. Under this Act, one million Hill country Tamils, whom
the British brought from South India 200 years before to work in the
tea and rubber plantations, lost their citizenship rights.
4. In 1949 the Hill country Tamils' franchise
rights were deprived by simple amendment to the order in council.
The new law Ceylon Amendment Act defined that only citizens have the
right to vote in elections.
5. The leader of the All Ceylon Tamil
Congress Mr. G. G Ponnambalam voted in favor of the citizenship Act
and Ceylon (Parliamentary Elections) Amendment Act. Mr. S.J.V.
Chelvanayagam voted against. This caused the All Ceylon Tamil
Congress which was formed in 1944 to split into two.
6. In 1949 Thanthai Chelvanayagam broke away
from the Tamil Congress and formed a new party. It was named
Ilankaith Tamil Arasuk Kadchi (Federal Party).
7. In 1948-50 the then Prime Minister of
Ceylon D.S. Senanayake launched massive Sinhalese colonization
schemes in the Eastern province, the traditional homeland of the
Tamils. Gal Oya in the Batticalo District, Allai and Kanthalai in
the Trincomalee District were the colonization schemes launched by
8. The Hill country Tamils who were able to
elect 8 members to the Parliament in 1947 failed to elect even a
single member at the elections held in 1952.
9. On June 14, 1956 Mr. S. W. R. D.
Bandaranayake, leader of the Srilanka Freedom Party and Prime
Minster, who won the Parliamentary Elections help in 1956 caused
Parliament, dominated by the majority Sinhalese to enact "Sinhala
Only" as the official language of Ceylon. This was a negation of the
hitherto accepted language policy of treating both Sinhala and
Tamils as the official languages in place of English. The imposition
of Sinhala only represented the subjugation of Tamils by Sinhalese
imperialism. In protest the Federal Party which opposed the Sinhala
only act staged Satyagraha in Colombo.
10. On July 26, 1957 the
Bandaranayake-Chelvanayagam pact was signed. The B-C pact envisaged
decentralization of powers to the North and East through the
establishment of Regional Councils. But Bandaranayake abrogated the
pact under pressure from Sinhalese chauvinists.
11. In 1958 following the National convention
of the Federal Party held in Vavuniya, violence was let lose against
the Tamils. There were heavy losses of lives and property.
12. The government of Bandaranayake passively
connived with the Sinhalese hoodlums responsible for the violence
directed against the Tamils and imposed emergency rule only after 4
days of rioting.
13. In 1961 the Federal Party launched a
civil disobedience campaign and Satyagraha in front of Kachcheries
in the Northern and Eastern provinces of Ceylon which paralyzed
civil administration. Mrs. Bandaranayake's government used the
military to break the peaceful Satyragraha campaign.
14. The Senanayake-Chelvanayagam pact was
signed on March 24, 1965. This pact envisaged certain degree of
regional autonomy to the North and East through the establishment of
District Councils. But this pact too was abandoned in the face of
opposition from the Sinhalese.
15. In the elections held in May 1970 the
United Front headed by the Srilanka Freedom Party, Lanka Sama Samaja
Party and The Ceylon Communist Party came to power after capturing
116 out of 157 seats in Parliament. In the same year militant Tamil
youths formed the Tamil Manavar Peravai to fight the impeding
introduction of "Standardization" to university admissions.
16. In 1971 admission to the university based
on merit was abandoned and "standardization" to university
admissions through G.C.E A/L examination results was introduced.
Lower qualifying marks were fixed for Sinhalese than for Tamil
students, both regarding the language of instruction and the
subjects themselves. The introduction of "standardization" adversely
affected Tamil students' access to higher education.
17. On May 22, 1972 a new constitution was
adopted. Ceylon was renamed Srilanka. All ties to Britain were
severed and Srilanka was declared a Republic. Buddhism was afforded
foremost recognition. Because of the New Republican Constitution the
sovereignty of the Sinhalese and the sovereignty of the Tamils
reverted back to the Sinhalese and Tamils. To safeguard the language
and education rights of Tamils, to halt the encroachment of Tamils
traditional homeland through Sinhalese colonization, to stay and hit
back when attacked by the Sinhalese, Prabhakaran realized that
taking up arms is the only way. He formed the New Tamil Tigers
organization comprising brave, self-sacrificing and disciplined
18. On January 10, 1974 nine people lost
their lives when the Srilankan Sinhalese police at the instigation
of Alfred Duraiappha, Mayor of Jaffna, arbitrarily broke-up the 4th
Tamil Research conference held in Jaffna by baton-charging and
19. In 1975 Thanthai Chelvanayagam won the by
election held for the Kankesanthurai electorate by a margin of more
than 16,000 votes. Chelvanayagam proclaimed that his victory was a
mandate for the Tamils to establish the state of Tamil Eelam by
exercising their right to self determination. In 1972 Thanthai
Chelva had resigned his parliamentary seat in protest against the
new constitution and challenged Mrs. Bandaranayake's government to
hold a by-election to test the acceptability of the new constitution
by the Tamil people.
20. On July 27, 1975 Tamil traitor Alfred
Duraiappah was shot dead. This marked the first attack in the
history of the armed liberation struggle. The attack was mounted by
Tamil New Tigers under the leadership of V. Prabhakaran.
21. On May 5, 1975 with the object of
rallying the entire Tamil nation, the "Tamil New Tigers" were
re-named "Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam." V. Prabhakaran was
named the Chairman and Military Commander of the LTTE.
22. On May 14, 1976 the Tamil United
liberation Front (TULF) was formed. A resolution to establish an
independent Tamil Eelam was adopted at the TULF convention held at
Vaddukkodai. This is called the Vaddukkodai Resolution.
23. In the elections held in July, 1977 the
United National Party headed by J.R.Jayawardena came to power. The
Tamil United Liberation front won 18 seats on a mandate for the
establishment of an Independent, Sovereign, Secular, Socialist state
of Tamil Eelam, to become the official opposition party. Following
the election yet another racial riot was engineered and executed
against the Tamils.
24.In July 1978 Democratic Socialist Republic
of Srilanka was established under a new constitution. Presidential
system of government came into effect. J.R. Jayawardena became the
25. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam was
proscribed by the Srilankan government as an illegal
26. In July 1979, Parliament enacted the
Prevention of terrorism Act. On July 11th emergency was declared in
Tamil areas. Innocent youth were shot dead by the security forces in
27. In June 1981 under directions of two
Sinhalese Ministers the army and the police set fire to important
buildings in Jaffna town, specially the Jaffna Public Library
considered one of the best in South Asia was torched. This resulted
in the destruction of 84,000 valuable books. In addition printing
presses and shops were also burnt down. Civilians were killed by the
army . Another racial riot broke out.
28. The first Tiger fighter Lieutenant
Sathiyanathan (Sankar) attained martyrdom on November 27,
29. On July 24, 1983 The Liberation Tigers
mounted their first guerrilla style ambush using land mine against
the Srilanka army. 13 soldiers died in this attack.
This was followed by the worst genocidal attack by
the Sinhalese on the Tamils. Thousands of lives and property worth
many millions were lost. Tamils girls were subjected to sexual
On July 27-28, 53 Political prisoners and detainees
incarcerated at the Welikada prison were brutally murdered inside
the prison by Sinhalese convicts with the connivance of the
Sinhalese prison guards. This is popularly known as the " Welikada
30. In 1984 an all Party conference was
convened by the Srilanka government. Indra Gandhi was assassinated
by her own Sikh body guards.
31. In July-August 1985 talks between the
Srilankan government and Tamil militants were held in Thimbu, the
capital of Bhutan. The talks ended in failure.
32. In January, 1987 an economic blockade was
imposed by the Srilankan government on the Jaffna Peninsula.
Minister for National Security Lalith Athulathmudail announced the
launching of "Operation Liberation". The Sinhalese army attacked the
Vadamarachi regions of Jaffna district. Black Tiger captain Miller
executed a suicide attack on the Sinhalese army camped in Nelliady
Madhya Maha Vidyalayam. Hundreds of soldiers died in the
33. In July 29, 1987 Rajiv Gandhi and J.R
signed the Indo-Srilanka Peace Accord without the consent of the
LTTE. The LTTE leader who was taken to Delhi on the eve of signing
the accord was forcibly confined at Ashoka Hotel incommunicado.
Later LTTE Leader V.Prabhakaran declared at the meeting held at
Suthumalai that India had signed the agreement to safeguard her own
geopolitical interests. This is popularly known as the Indo-Srilanka
Peace Accord. But the Tamils even today believe the Accord was a
betrayal of their trust by the Indian Government.