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Sri Lanka

Yearbook 1997

Sri Lanka. In May, the army launched its biggest offensive to date against the Tamil guerrillas. 20,000 people were put into "Operation Safe Victory". The intention was to open a 7.5 km long link between the cities of Vavuniya and Kilinochchi to the Jaffna Peninsula in the north. According to Countryaah, the offensive met with fierce resistance and even late in the fall, the army held only two-thirds of the distance. Several times, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the Liberal Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), succeeded in carrying out counterattacks that caused the army heavy losses. After seven months of fighting, nearly 1,000 army soldiers were estimated to have fallen and 4,000 wounded. The guerrilla rebutted information that 4,500 had been killed or injured from its ranks.

In October, at least 15 people were killed in an explosion and a fire in central Colombo. As usual, the LTTE was blamed. Just a week earlier, however, a state investigation had cleaned the LTTE of the charge of having murdered opposition leader Lalith Athulathmudali in 1993. According to the investigation, it was then President Ranasinghe Premadasa who planned the murder and allowed criminals to carry it out. Premadasa himself was murdered just a week after Athulathmudali.

1997 Sri Lanka

Although Kumaratunga's party, the People's Alliance, won the most votes in the October general elections, it did not get an absolute majority, prompting the president to declare that she would likely call on other political parties to join the government. The People's Alliance got 108 seats, s8 more than SK. The Marxist JVP got 10 seats - the highest number in the party's history. Sri Lanka's Muslim Congress also got 10th. The most important Tamil party, TULF got 5, and a former rebel group that had dropped the weapons, Eelam's People's Democratic Party got 4.

In Christmas 2000, the LTTE declared unilateral ceasefire to run until April 24, 2001. But a militant unit dissatisfied with the process leading to ceasefire negotiations broke the ceasefire and attacked a ship from the Navy in Mullativu.

On July 11, 2001, President Kumaratunga lost his majority in parliament when the coalition partner, the Muslim Alliance withdrew. The president, therefore, dissolved Parliament printed a referendum on amending the Constitution. However, this vote was abandoned.

A short time later, the LTTE conducted a suicide attack at Sri Lanka's international airport. It killed 17 people, caused serious injuries at the airport and in tourism.

In November 2001, for the first time since the start of the civil war, LTTE eased its demand for independence for the Tamil provinces. LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran declared that economic and political autonomy would be sufficient to satisfy the Tamil ambitions.

UNHCR UNHCR stated that despite the ongoing peace process, the situation remains very difficult for a more massive repatriation. The UNHCR stated that the UN was not yet able to organize a return for the 100,000 Tamil refugees located in the southern part of India.

The alliance led by Wickremasinghe won the parliamentary elections on December 19, 2001, on the promise of launching negotiations on the final end of the armed conflict and re-energizing the economy. Kumaratunga's alliance at the same time lost control of the parliament.

The government launched a ceasefire with the LTTE after the rebels agreed to follow it to the fullest. Prime Minister Wickremasinghe put himself at the forefront of efforts to create a negotiating process that could bring the conflict to an end.

Sri Lanka's central bank declared that at the beginning of 2002, the country's economy was at its lowest point ever since independence from the UK. The war weakened the economy and reduced the country's finances to a minimum. In order to cope with the high cost of the war, the government has had to print extra taxes, which has boosted inflation. According to the aid organization Caritas, those who have served in the war are the arms dealers and manufacturers, as well as many young Sinhalese and Tamils ​​who have found work by joining the military.

After 7 years of total blockade, the government lifted in January some of the restrictions on the transfer of food, medicine and personal belongings to the northern Tamil controlled areas. The purpose was thus to support the peace efforts. At the same time, it was a fulfillment of one of the LTTE's requirements up to the negotiations. At the same time, the LTTE initiated its transformation from guerrilla movement to political organization. The plan was for a decision in June 2002 that the two parties should meet directly at the negotiating table, somewhere in Thailand. In this process, Norway played a key role as a mediator and expected the two parties to draw up an agenda for the negotiations. The clashes in the negotiations are likely to be the creation of a transitional administration in the conflict areas of northern and eastern Sri Lanka.

In April, the opposition held a large demonstration in Colombo in protest of the peace process. The demonstration was organized by Kumaratunga's People's Alliance and the Left of the Popular Liberation Front. It was the first manifestation of the importance of the government's efforts to achieve peace. During the demonstration, the President accused the Prime Minister of giving concessions that threatened Sri Lanka's sovereignty.

 

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