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Journal of Contemporary Politics


Journal of Contemporary Politics

Year: 2023, Volume: 2, Issue: 2, Pages: 55-62

Original Article

War Against the Tamil Tigers: How Did Sri Lanka Win?

Received Date:28 February 2023, Accepted Date:22 May 2023, Published Date:10 June 2023


The final Eelam War that was fought during 2006 to 2009, the Sri Lankan State for the first time in the history witnessed the crystallisation of the trends in favour of it against the Tamil tigers or LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, also known as Tamil Tigers). With gradual liberation of north and eastern territory first that where under the clutches of LTTE for long and later dislodging Tigers’ command control, in three years’ timeline the Sri Lankan Armed Forces (SLAF) annihilated the Tigers entirely in May 2009. The victory of the SLAF brought three decade long armed conflict to an end that caused the death of over 100,000 and displacement of millions. While noticing the progress of the security forces and the way things unfolded, the pertinent questions that arise are: How did the Mahinda Rajapaksa government won the war? Was there a game plan with the government since the beginning of Eelam War IV? If so, what was that strategy? If not, how did they go ahead? Although there was no explicit publicly pronounced strategy by the Sri Lankan government for dislodging the Tigers but it appears their evolved game plan was broadly centered around ten points. They were: one, winning local constituency support; two, silence critics; three, build strong military, four, entice Karuna, five, shed conventional military methods; six, shrivel Tigers territories; seven, keep in loop but deter India; eight, diplomatic neutralise West; nine, curb Tigers’s international network; and finally, liquidate Tigers’ top leadership. The paper analyzes these aspects in details in this paper.

Keywords: Sri Lanka, LTTE, Tamil Tigers, Eelam, Rajapaksa


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2023 Published by Bangalore University. This is an open-access article under the CC BY license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)


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