Timeline of the Sri Lankan Civil War


Sinhala Only Act was issued in Sri Lanka

Tamil was removed as an official spoken language of the nation

Sinhala government made it harder for tamils to have higher opportunities 

Tamils wanted separate state 


Anti-Tamil riots leave more than 200 people dead. Thousands of Tamils displaced.


LTTE Formed to represent Tamils and fight for independence from Sri Lanka


Jaffna Library housed ancient Tamil literature and was burnt by oppressors. Documented history of Tamils no longer exists.

July 23rd, 1983

Beginning of the Civil War

Riots against Tamil people in Colombo

Black July


Indian government infiltrates and aids Sri Lankan military.

1000 Indian soldiers killed over three year battle with LTTE


Indian army retreats from Sri Lankan war

Jaffna is controlled by LTTE.

Second eelam war begins


LTTE loses Jaffna to Sri Lankan army.

Third eelam war begins.

1995 to 2001

North and East Sri Lanka has become a battle ground.

May 18th, 2009


In the final stages of the civil war, Tamil civilians were promised refuge at a no fire zone located on a strip of land called Mullivaikkal, in Mullaitivu. About 300,000 Tamils were trapped on Mullivaikkal, surrounded by Sri Lankan military. The Sri Lankan president declared victory over the LTTE on May 18, 2009, after the designated No Fire Zones in Mullivaikkal were up in flames.

Prabaharan, the LTTE leader considered dead


A memorial was built at Jaffna University to commemorate the lives lost during the Mullivaikkal tragedy


The Sri Lankan Government breaks down the Mullivaikkal memorial in an effort to deny the events of the genocide.