Velupillai Prabhakaran forms a Tamil militant group which in 1976 changes its name to Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
July 23, 1983:
LTTE ambush an army patrol, killing 13 soldiers in the Jaffna peninsula and sparking anti-Tamil riots elsewhere, leaving some 600 people, mostly Tamils, dead.
July 8, 1985:
Government opens first direct talks with Tamil guerrillas. Talks fail.
July 29, 1987:
India and Sri Lanka reach agreement on deployment of Indian peace-keeping force.
March 24, 1990:
Indian troops withdraw with LTTE in control of large areas of northern Sri Lanka. Tigers begin running a de facto separate state.
May 21, 1991:
Former Indian premier Rajiv Gandhi killed allegedly by LTTE suicide bomber.
May 1, 1993:
President Ranasinghe Premadasa killed by LTTE suicide bomber.
President Chandrika Kumaratunga comes to power pledging to end war and opens peace talks with the LTTE. Fighting resumes in April 1995.
December 2, 1995:
LTTE bastion of Jaffna falls to Sri Lankan army.
January 31, 1996:
Tigers bomb the central bank in Colombo, killing 91 people.
July 18, 1996:
Tigers overrun army camp in northeastern town of Mullattivu.
October 8, 1997:
The United States declares the LTTE a foreign terrorist organisation.
January 25, 1998:
An LTTE suicide bomb devastates Sri Lanka’s holiest Buddhist shrine, the Temple of the Tooth, killing 17 people. The government slaps a ban on the Tigers.
September 26, 1998:
Tigers overrun Kilinochchi army camp.
December 18, 1999:
President Kumaratunga wounded in assassination attempt blamed on the Tigers. Twenty-six others die.
December 30, 1999:
Kumaratunga announces she has invited Norway to help bring Tigers to peace table.
Britain outlaws LTTE as terrorist organisation, followed swiftly by Canada and Australia.
Suicide attack by LTTE on the international airport kills 14.
February 21, 2002:
Government and the LTTE sign a permanent ceasefire agreement, paving the way for talks to end the long-running conflict. The peace initiative is sponsored by Norway. Truce ends in January 2008.
At peace talks in Norway the government and the LTTE agree to share power. Under the deal, minority Tamils would have autonomy in the mainly Tamil-speaking north and east.
April 21, 2003:
Tigers suspend participation in peace talks saying they are being marginalised.
March 3, 2004:
Renegade Tamil Tiger commander, V. Muralitharan, known as Karuna, leads split from main LTTE movement.
Feb. 22, 2006:
Government and the LTTE meet in Switzerland for peace talks.
Nov. 2, 2007:
Tigers’ political wing head S.P. Thamilselvan is killed in a government air raid.
Aug. 2, 2008:
Sri Lankan troops enter the Kilinochchi district which has been the LTTE’s de facto political capital, for the first time in 11 years.
Jan. 2, 2009:
Sri Lankan forces enter Kilinochchi, leaving Tigers only the jungle district of Mullaittivu.
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