The Tamil Separatist War in Sri Lanka: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Tamil Separatist War in Sri Lanka

1st Edition

By Channa Wickremesekera

Routledge India

270 pages | 5 B/W Illus.

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The complex and long-drawn war between the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) ended with the defeat of the Tigers in 2009. This book provides a military history of the conflict in tracing its evolution from a battle between a ragtag guerrilla force and a mainly ceremonial army to one between an organized guerrilla force with semi-conventional capability and a state military apparatus that had morphed into a large and potent force with modern armour, aircraft and naval vessels. Using a wide range of sources this book offers an incisive analysis of the progress and conclusion of one of the longest and most destructive wars in modern South Asia.

Comprehensive and accessible, the volume will be of great interest to scholars and researchers of modern South Asia, especially Sri Lanka, military history, politics, defence and strategic studies, as well as the general reader.


'… it is yet convenient to have a book of reference for the major events of a conflict that took such a long tragic course for practically the parties concerned.'

V.Krishna Ananth, Sikkim University, Studies in People's History

Table of Contents

List of maps Acknowledgements Introduction 1. From Assassins to Guerrillas: the birth of the Tamil Rebellion 2. Learning to Fight: The Sri Lankan Military 3. The First Showdown: ‘Operation Liberation’ 4. Chapter 4: The IPKF Interlude and the Tigers’ return 5. The Army on the Offensive 6. The Rise of the Sea Tigers and the Battle for Kilali 7. A New Regime, a New War 8. The Problem of the Wanni 9. The East in Ferment 10. The Rise and Fall of the Unceasing Waves 11. The Peace that Failed and the Reconquest of the East 12. The Rolling up of the Wanni 13. The Last Retreat of the Tamil Tigers Conclusions

About the Author

Channa Wickremesekera is an independent scholar and obtained his PhD from Monash University, Australia. He is the author of Best Black Troops in the World (2002) and Kandy at War (2004).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Asia / General
HISTORY / Asia / India & South Asia
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies