Political History of Sri Lanka

Here is a detailed history of how Sri Lanka has been seen in the political scenario. Maithripala Sirisena has now won the presidential elections.

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.

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

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.

1965 – Opposition party wins the elections and it tries to reverse the nationalisation.

1970 – Sirimavo Bandaranaike re-elected and she brings back Sinhalese nationalism.

1977 – LTTE was formed.

1983 – ‘Black July’ riots erupt in Sri-Lanka; about 64,000 people were killed.

1987 – Indo-Sri Lanka Accord, which was intended to end the civil war between Sri Lankan Tamil nationalists and LTTE, signed.

1988 – Nationalist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) protests against the Sri Lanka-India agreement.

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.

1991 – LTTE suicide bomber kills Rajiv Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India, in Tamil Nadu. He was instrumental in bringing the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord.

1993 – An LTTE suicide bomber kills Ranasinghe Premadasa, the third President of Sri Lanka during a May Day rally.

1994 – President Kumaratunga again initiates peace talks with LTTE.

1995 – The third Eelam war breaks out after a suicide squad attacked two naval vessels in Trincomalee killing 12 soldiers.

1999 – A female suicide bomber attacks a police station in Colombo targeting the head of the terrorism unit, Mohammad Nilabdeen.

2000 – The European Union criticises both the Tamil Tigers and security forces concerning the human rights situation in Sri Lanka.

2003 – The Sri Lankan government and the LTTE hold peace talks and agree on a ceasefire.

2005 – Rajapaksa elected for the first time.

2006 – The political killings, child soldiers, abductions, and clashes between the government and LTTE creates tension around the country.

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.

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.

2008 – Government blames LTTE after 12 civilians killed and 100 injured over a suicide bomb attack. Government launches massive offense ending the 2002 ceasefire agreement.

May 2009 – 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.

March 2009 – Vinayagamoorthy Muralidharan (Karuna), former deputy leader of the LTTE joins Rajapaksa’s cabinet.

2010 – Mahinda Rajapaksa re-elected. He promises to restore an independent National Human Rights Commission along with other commissions.

2011 – United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was appointed to monitor the government’s implementation of Human Rights.

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. 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.

Jan 2013 – Rajapaksa dismisses Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake after finding her guilty on three offences including financial irregularities.

Feb 2013 – 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.

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.

Sept 2013 – Tamil National Alliance (TNA) wins election at the Northern provincial council.

Nov 2013 – Sri Lanka hosts the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) but political heads of India, Canada and Mauritius skips the meeting.

2014 – President Mahinda Rajapaksa doesn’t allow the UN to investigate the war crimes during the Tamil Tiger insurgency.

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