When Counterinsurgency Wins
Sri Lanka's Defeat of the Tamil Tigers
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press
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Table of Contents
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‘‘A few hours ago our troops recovered the body of the world’s most ruthless terrorist.’’1 Thus came the announcement by General Sarath Fonseka, commander of the Sri Lankan army (SLA), on May 19, 2009, heralding the death of Vellupillai Prabhakaran, founder and leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. VP, as Prabhakaran was known, along with his family ...
1. The Sri Lankan War in Context
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What kind of conflict was the war in Sri Lanka? On the surface the answer is quite simple: it was a conflict between two ethnic and religious communities separated by what appeared to be vastly different cultures. The conflict emerged in the wake of rising Tamil ethnic separatism that stemmed from discrimination and violence at the hands of the entrenched power of the ...
2. Background to War: State Formation and Identities in Conflict
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Once upon a time, many decades ago, a famous French historian, a specialist on the history of the British Isles, was said to start every lecture with the pronouncement: ‘‘Mesdames et messieurs, la Grande Bretagne est un ıˆle’’ (‘‘Ladies and Gentlemen, Great Britain is an island’’). ...
3. The Eelam War I-III Campaigns
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In the 1970s, the various militant Tamil organizations that had mushroomed in the north among the disgruntled youth began to undertake a variety of terrorist and criminal actions. These attacks constituted a nuisance but not a dire threat. However, various senior police officers—many of whom were Tamil and thus had a pulse on what was going on within ...
4. Eelam War IV: A Military Analysis
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In 2001, both sides in the conflict ended EelamWar III exhausted; however, the LTTE emerged from this period with a formidable reputation, solidified by its victory at Elephant Pass. By contrast, the Sri Lankan armed forces were demoralized and all but defeated. Eelam War IV started in April 2006 and ended on May 19, 2009, when the LTTE was crushed and almost its ...
5. Postwar Sri Lanka: Reconciliation or Triumphalism?
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As the war ended in spring 2009, Sri Lankans heaved a sigh of relief.1 They also realized that much needed to be done to set their country back on track after decades of war. A year later, Sri Lankans celebrated the Sinhala and Tamil new years with considerable optimism. These celebrations came in the wake of the recently concluded parliamentary elections of April 2010, ...
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I owe a great deal to a great many people in the lengthy preparation of this book. Many thanks go to the Naval War College for academically and financially supporting the initial project on which this book is based. Dr. Peter Dombrowski, head of the Strategic Research Department, was effusive in his support for the project, which was part of my research on Irregular Warfare ...
Publication Year: 2012