Timeline of the violence in Sri Lanka
By The Associated Press AP - 1 hour 51 minutes ago
Major developments in Sri Lanka's conflict:
_ 1975: Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam group forms. The group demands a separate state for minority ethnic Tamils in the island's north and east.
_ 1983: Civil war begins.
_ 1987: Former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Sri Lankan President Junius Richard Jayawardena sign a pact.
_ 1991: Tamil Tiger suicide bomber assassinates Gandhi, apparently in revenge for sending Indian peacekeeping troops who ended up fighting the rebels.
_ 1993: Tamil Tiger suicide bomber kills Sri Lanka's President Ranasinghe Premadasa after his government's failed peace efforts.
_ February 2002: Sri Lankan government signs a cease-fire agreement with Tamil Tigers, ending 19 years of civil war, which left more than 65,000 dead.
_ June 2005: Relations between the government and Tiger rebels deteriorate over the issue of sharing international tsunami aid.
_ August 2005: Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, an ethnic Tamil who opposed a separate state for the minority, is assassinated in a killing blamed on the Tigers.
_ December 2005: Tiger rebels launch first major attack since truce, killing at least 12 Sri Lankan navy sailors. A series of attacks follows.
_ Feb. 22, 2006: Government and rebel officials meet in Switzerland for peace talks and agree to de-escalate violence. A second round of peace talks a few months later is postponed as the two sides argue over transport and security.
_ June 8, 2006: Talks in Norway aimed at restoring peace collapse.
_ July 20, 2006: Tamil Tigers close sluice gates of an eastern reservoir, cutting water to over 60,000 people, prompting the government to launch its first major offensive on Tiger territory since the 2002 cease-fire.
_ Nov. 2, 2007: Tamil Tigers' political wing head S.P. Thamilselvan, believed by many to be the second-in-command of the group, is killed in a government air raid.
_ Jan. 2, 2008: Government says Tamil Tigers must disarm before any future peace talks, a day after the authorities decide to withdraw from an internationally brokered cease-fire.
_ Jan. 16, 2008: Sri Lanka's cease-fire deal ends.
_ Feb. 13, 2008: The Red Cross says civilian casualties have reached "appalling levels" in the civil war.
_ July 21, 2008: Tamil Tigers say a new round of peace talks is impossible as long as the government presses ahead with a military offensive.
_ Aug. 2, 2008: Sri Lankan military says troops enter the district housing the Tamil Tiger rebels' de facto capital for the first time in 11 years.
_ Aug. 29, 2008: Sri Lanka urges civilians living in Tamil Tiger rebel-held areas to flee to government-controlled territory.
_ Nov. 10, 2008: Sri Lanka's government says Tamil separatists must lay down their arms before cease-fire negotiations can begin.
_ Jan. 1: Military says Sri Lankan forces will seize the guerrillas' de facto capital within two days.
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