Women in Politics: Time Line
1872: Susan B. Anthony is the first U.S. woman to register to vote; subsequently she becomes the first to make a ballot, for which she is arrested.
1882: Aletta Jacobs is the first woman in the Netherlands to attempt to register to vote; her application is denied.
1893: New Zealand is the first country in the world in which women gain the right to vote.
1906-1907: Finland becomes the first European nation to give women the vote, and 19 women are elected to the new 200-person Finnish parliament.
1917: Jeanette Rankin of Montana is the first woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
1928: Women ages 21 to 29 in Britain are able to vote for the first time, as women’s suffrage is reduced from age 30 to 21.
1930: Alexandra Kollontai is appointed Ambassador from the Soviet Union to Sweden, becoming the first woman Ambassador in modern history.
1933: Frances Perkins, the first U.S. female Cabinet member, is appointed Secretary of Labor.
1946: Women vote and stand for election to the House of Representatives for the first time in Japan. Of the 79 women running for office, 39 are elected.
1960: Nakayama Masa is appointed Minister of Health and Welfare in Japan, becoming Japan’s first female cabinet member.
1960: Siramavo Bandaranaike of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) becomes the world’s first female Prime Minister.
1966: Indira Gandhi becomes the first Prime Minister of India.
1969: Golda Meir becomes the first female Prime Minister of Israel.
1974: Maria Estela (Isabela) Martinez de Peron becomes the first woman President of Argentina and the first female head of state in the Americas.
1979: Maria de Lourdes Pintasilgo becomes the first woman Prime Minister of Portugal.
1979: Lidia Geiler is the first woman elected President of Bolivia.
1979: Margaret Thatcher becomes the first woman Prime MInister of the United Kingdom. She served in that position — winning re-election in 1983 and in 1987 — until resigning in 1990.
1979: Simone Weil of France is the first woman elected President of the European Parliament.
1980: Vigdis Finnbogadottir is the first woman elected President of Iceland.
1980: Jeanne Sauve is the first woman appointed Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada.
1981: Gro Harlem Brundtland is the first woman to become Prime Minister of Norway.
1982: Milka Planinc is the first woman to become Prime Minister of Yugoslavia.
1982: Eugenia Charles, Doinica, is the first woman to become Prime Minister in the Caribbean.
1982: Rosario Ibarra de Piedra is the first woman to run for President of Mexico.
1984: Geraldine Ferraro is the first woman nominated for Vice-President by either major political party in the United States.
1985: Maria Liberia-Peters is the first woman to become Prime Minister of the Netherlands Antilles.
1986: Corazon Aquino is the first woman elected president of the Philippines.
1988: Benazir Bhutto is the first woman elected Prime Minister of Pakistan and becomes the first woman elected to head a Muslim country.
1989: Violeta Barrios de Chamorro elected President of Nicagagua
1990: Mary Robinson is the first woman elected President of Ireland.
1990: Ertha Pascal-Trouillot is the first woman elected President of Haiti.
1990: Carmen Lawrence is Australia’s first female premier.
1991: Edith Cresson is the first woman elected Prime Minister of France.
1991: Khaleda Zia Rahman is the first woman to become Prime Minister of Bangladesh.
1991: Rita Johnston is Canada’s first female Premier.
1992: California elects two women, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, to the U.S. Senate.
1992: Betty Boothroyd is the first woman chosen to be Speaker of the House of Commons in Great Britain.
1992: Hanna Suchocka is the first woman to become Prime Minister of Poland.
1993: Toujan Faisal is the first woman elected to the Parliament of Jordan.
1993: Tansu Ciller is the first woman elected Prime Minister of Turkey.
1993: Agathe Uwilingiyimana is the first woman to become Prime Minister of Rwanda (she was assassinated in 1994).
1993: Anson Chan is the first woman, also the first Chinese person, to be appointed Chief Secretary, the number two position in Hong Kong.
1993: Sylvia Kinigi is the first woman to become Prime Minister of Burundi. (She has since been assassinated.)
1993: Canada received first female Prime Minister Kim Campbell.
1994: Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga elected President of Sri Lanka.
1995: Two women run for President and 8 for Vice President of Peru, the first time women have been candidates for these offices.
1997: Mary McAleese elected President of Ireland.
1999: Vaira Vike-Freiberga elected to President of Latvia. She is the first woman to president of a country in Eastern Europe of the former Soviet Union.
1999: Mireya Elisa Moscoso de Arias becomes first female President of Panama.
1999: Helen Clark elected Prime Minister of New Zealand.
2000: Tarja Kaarina Halonen elected to be Finland’s first female President.
2001: Maria Gloria Macapagal Arroyo elected President of the Phillippines.
2001: Megawati Sukarnoputri elected as the first woman President of the Republic of Indonesia.
2002: Nancy Pelosi is sworn in as the House Democratic Whip – the highest-ranking leadership position ever held by a women in the United States Congress at that time. She was later named Minority Leader.
2004-2005: Yulia Tymoshenko helps lead the Ukrainian Orange Revolution and is named Prime Minister by her “Orange Partner” President Viktor Yushenko.
2005: Ellen Sirleaf-Johnson elected Africa’s first female president as Liberia’s head-of-state in November.
2005: Angela Merkel elected Chancellor of Germany.
2006: Portia Simpson Miller elected first Prime Minister of Jamaica
2006: Democrats take control of the United States Congress and Nancy Pelosi is elevated to the position of Speaker of the House. She is the third highest ranking official in the United States government and the highest ranking female in US political history.
2007: Senator Hillary Clinton is the first woman to ever be considered as a top candidate (or even a serious one) for the US Presidency.
Sri Lanka Post independence fact file
Courtesy: Ferguson’s Directory
1949 – British Parliamentary delegation arrive to present the Speaker’s Chair and Mace to the House of Representatives – January 3.
Four outstanding athletes from the four communities completed the last lap of the relay at the Independence Square on Independence Day celebrations with messages from Point Pedro, Dondra, Batticaloa and Colombo.
The Governor-General Sir Henry Monck-Mason Moore leaves the island after a ceremonial farewell – June 29.
Sir Arthur Wijeyewardene, Chief Justice, sworn in as first Ceylonese Acting Governor-General – June 30.
Lord Soulbury, the new Governor-General arrives and a Swearing-in Ceremony takes place at the Queen’s House – July 27.
1950 – D.S. Senanayake, Prime Minister made a Privy Councillor by the King – January 1.
1951 – Independence Day celebrations were modernised.
1952 – Celebrations were held on a subdued scale due to the death of King George VI.
1954 – The last colonial Governor-General Viscount Soulbury left the island and the first local Governor-General Sir Oliver Goonetilleke took oaths – July 17.
Sri Lanka Time Line 1948 to 2005
* Sri Lanka gains independence, ending 152 years of British rule.(4 Feb. 1948)
* D S Senanayake government enacts two bills (Ceylon Citizenship Act No. 18, 1948) to deprive the Indian plantation workers of their citizenship rights making 705,000 Indian plantation workers stateless.(Nov 15,1948)
* G G Ponnambalam (leader of the Tamil Congress (TC)) asks for a 50-50 representation before the Soulbury Commission. He votes against the first [citizenship] bill but votes for the second after getting a portfolio.?
* The Tamil Congress splits over the citizenship bill. S J V Chelvanayakam forms the Federal Party(Ilankai Tamil Arisu Kachchi) (Dec 18, 1948) * An act of parliament to establish the Sri Lanka Army passed.(Oct. 10 1949)
* The National Flag formally adopted (Feb. 13 1950)
* The National Anthem formally adopted. (Nov. 22 1951)
* S W R D Bandaranaike (leader of the Sinhala Maha Sabha) leaves the UNP government and joins the opposition.
* Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) founded. (Sept. 2 1951)
* National Anthem formally adopted. (Nov. 22 1951) 1952-1955
* Prime Minister D S Senanayake dies in a horse riding accident. (22 March 1952)
* Lord Soulbury invites the late Prime Minister’s son Dudley Senanayake to become the next Prime Minister. Dudley Senanayake appointed prime minister. (March 26 1952)
* First parliament dissolved.(April 8 1952) * Second parliamentary elections.(May 24 1952)
* Settlement of colonists in Gal Oya Scheme commences (Feb 3 1953) * General strike (hartal) organized by the left parties and trade unions; curfew imposed.(12 Aug.1953)
* Prime Minister Dudley Senanayake resigns, Sir John Kotelawala succeeds Senanayake.(Oct 12 1953)
* Kotelawala-Nehru agreement on Indian Tamils in Sri Lanka. (Jan. 18 1954)
* Sinhala and Tamil made the medium of instruction in secondary schools starting 1957 (Jan. 6 1955) 1956-1960
* Mahajana Eksath Peramuna led by the SLFP is formed. (22 Feb 1956)
* General election returns MEP coalition and S W R D Bandaranaike becomes the Prime Minister. (5,7 and 10 April 1956)
* The “Sinhala only” bill is passed (15th June 1956) and the Federal Party conducts a Gandhian style protest (also known as “Sathyagraha”) in the open air space by the beach known as the Gall Face Green, opposite the former Parliament building.(5 June 1956)
* The Department of Official Languages established (16 August 1956)
* Decision to teach in Sinhala, Tamil and English media in the University of Ceylon from 1960 announced. (14 Jan. 1957)
* Prime Minister Bandaranaike holds talks with the leaders of the Federal Party which resulted in signing of the Bandaranaike-Chelvanayakam Pact (25 July 1957).
* J R Jayewardene, organizes a march from Colombo to Kandy against the Bandaranaike-Chelvanayakam Pact (3 October 1957)
* The Federal Party initiates the “Anti-Sri” campaign.(19 January 1957)
* Bandaranaike tears the pact amid demands and threats by a faction of Buddhist monks (“Eksath Bhikkhu Peramua”) and Sinhalese chauvinists.(Jan 1958)
* Campaign of obliterating Tamil name boards commenced. (April 1 1958) * Anti-Tamil riots in May 27 1958. Emergency declared. Detaining of Federal Party MPs.(27 May, 1958)
* Tamil language ( Special Provisions ) Act passed.(14 August 1958)
* Bandaranaike assassinated. Ven. Buddharakkhita who was the founder of the “Eksath Bhikku Peramuna” is accused of leading the conspiracy. A woman parliamentarian, Minister of Health, Wimala Wijewardene is also accused of involvement in the conspiracy. (25 September 1959).
* Switch-over of administration to “Sinhala Only”.
* Fourth parliamentary elections; the UNP obtains 50 seats as against 46 won by the SLFP. (19 March 1960) Dudley Senanayake forms “minority government” and becomes prime minister of a UNP government. (21 March 1960) But in April this govt. is defeated in parliament (22 April 1960)and parliament dissolved.(26 April 1960)
* General elections held for the fifth parliament. SLFP secures 75 seats and Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike becomes world’s first woman prime minister. (20 July 1960) 1961-1970
* Nationalisation of Schools (14 Jan 1961)
* Federal Party ‘Sathyagraha’ in North and the East. And FP inaugurated Tamil Arasu (Government) Postal Service in Jaffna.(14 April 1961)
* Military occupation of Tamil areas for two years. Federal Party MPs arrested and detained for six months.(18 April 1961) * Coup de’ etat attempt by armed forces against the government. (27 Jan.1962)
* Sinhala made the official language of Sri Lanka. (01 January 1963)
* Population Census. (5 July 1963)
* Sirima-Shastri Pact signed (30 October 1964)
* SLFP, LSSP coalition defeated by 74 votes to 73 in parliament fifth parliament dissolved. (17 December 1964)
* Sixth general elections – The United National Party (UNP) gains 66 seats, led by Dudley Senanayake for a coalition government comprising UNP, Federal Party, Sri Lanka Freedom Socialist Party, Tamil Congress, Mahajana Eksath Peramuna, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna and Lanka Prajathanthravadhi Pakshaya.
* Senanayake-Chelvanayakam Pact. (1965)
* Regulation for “Reasonable use of Tamil” (Tamil Language (Special) Provisions Act. SLFP-LSSP-CP led street demonstrations against the regulation.(8 Jan 1966)
* District Councils bill presented to the parliament. (26 June 1968)
* Sixth parliament dissolved. (25 March 1970) * Seventh parliamentary elections returns SLFP-LSSP-CP United Front coalition to power with Mrs. Bandaranaike as Prime Minister.(27 May 1970) 1971-1980
* An insurrection by a radical, leftist youth group calling themselves “Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna” (JVP), led by Rohana Wijeweera begins. (4 April 1971)
* The trial of accused in the April insurrection begins. (12 June 1971)
* Rohana Wijeweera, the JVP leader, sentenced to 20 years in prison. (12 Dec. 1971)
* Tamil United Front (TUF) formed. (May 1972)
* The first Republican Constitution promulgated and Sri Lanka declared a republic; the name of the country officially changed from Ceylon to Sri Lanka.(22 May 1972)
* Language of the Courts (Special Provision) bill passed in parliament. (23 March 1973)
* At the International Tamil Research Conference 7 people were dead by electrocution. (January 1974)
* “Sirima-Gandhi Pact”.(28 June 1974)
* Assassination of Jaffna mayor Duriappah by Velupillai Prabhakaran (the present leader of LTTE) (27 July 1975)
* Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) is formed with pledge to establish a separate Tamil State (15 May 1976)
* Chelvanayakam calls for a separate Tamil state.(19 November 1976)
* General elections1977 returns UNP (led by J R Jayewardene) to power.(23 June 1977)
* Anti-Tamil riots (August 1977)
* The Second Republican Constitution promulgated. (7 September 1978)
* Adopting the new Constitution for the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. Presidential System of Government with J R Jayewardene as the first Executive President. (4 February 1978)
* A law enacted proscribing the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and other similar organisations. (19 May 1978)
* Prevention of Terrorism Act enacted.(12 July 1979)
* TULF ends its boycott of parliament. (4 Sept. 1979)
* Former Prime Minister Mrs Sirimavo Bandaranaike deprived of her civic rights and expelled from parliament. (16 October 1980)
* Mrs Ranaganayaky Pathmanathan takes oaths as the first Tamil woman MP since independence (26 November 1980) 1981-1990
* Population Census (17 March 1981)
* Curfew in Jaffna (2 June 1981) * Emergency imposed (4 June 1981)
* District Development Council election disrupted in Jaffna. Burning down of Jaffna Public Library. (4 June 1981)
* Emergency lifted (9 June 1981)
* State of emergency declared (17 August 1981)
* Emergency declared and a curfew imposed in Galle; Sinhala-Muslim communal clashes in Galle (30 July 1982)
* Curfew in Galle lifted (4 August 1982)
* Presidential election (20 October 1982)
* Curfew imposed in the Jaffna district (28 October 1982)
* A Referendum is held to extend the term of eighth parliament till 1989. (22 Dec 1982)
* The UNP wins 14 of the 17 parliamentary by-elections (19 May 1983)
* The fifth amendment to the constitution (24 May 1983)
* 13 soldiers including an officer killed in a LTTE ambush. (23 July 1983)
* Anti-Tamil rioting breaks out in several parts of Colombo and curfew imposed in the city (25 July 1983)
* Racial riots throughout the island. All-island curfew imposed About 70,000 Tamils flee to India.(26 July 1983).
* Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, Nava Sama Samaja Party, and the Communist Party proscribed (30 July 1983)
* The sixth amendment to the constitution making espousal , promotion, financing, encouraging or advocacy of the establishment of a separate state in Sri Lanka illegal, passed in parliament. (4 Aug 1983) * The new district of Kilinochchi constituted. (11 Aug. 1983)
* Talks begin in Colombo to end the ethnic conflict. (21 Dec 1983)
* Gopalanswami Parthasarathi, the special emissary of the Indian Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Ghandhi, arrives in Colombo for talks on the ethnic conflict. (3 Jan 1984)
* All-Party Conference on devolution of powers. (10 January 1984)
* Ministry of National Security established (24 March 1984)
* Terrorist bombs explode in Colombo (22 October 1984)
* Government abandons the proposals of the All-Party Conference on ethnic peace. (26 Dec 1984)
* LTTE, EROS, EPRLF and TELO together form the Elam National Liberation Front (ENLF). (April 1985)
* The Anuradhapura massacre, the first attack on Sinhalese civilians by Tamil militants. About 250 men, women and children are gunned down at the central bus stand at the Anuradhapura town. (May 1985)
* Thimpu talks between Tamil parties and the Jayewardene Government initiated by the Indian Government.(5 July 1985)
* The government lifts the eight-month-long night curfew in the Northern Province (10 July 1985)
* The second round of ethnic peace talks in Thimpu. (9 Aug 1985)
* Failure of Thimpu talks: Tamil militants withdraw from the discussion (17 August 1985)
* Two former TULF MPs, V Dharmalingam and A Alalasundaram murdered (2 September 1985)
* The Jayewardene government rejects proposals by TULF on the basis that they are Federalist.
* President J R Jayewardene restores the civic rights of Mrs Sirimavo Bandaranaike, former prime minster and Mr Felix Dias Bandaranaike, former Cabinet minister (posthumously) (1 January 1986)
* A bomb explosion in an Air Lanka plane bound for Male at the Katunayake International Airport kills 17 passengers and injures about 24. (3 May 1986)
* All-Party-Conference to resolve the ethnic crisis begins at the BMICH (25 June 1986)
* Eastern University of Sri Lanka (EUSL), the country’s eighth university inaugurated (15 November 1986)
* A summit in Bangalore between Rajiv Gandhi and Jayewardene (17 & 18 November 1986)
* Terrorists massacre 128 civilians and injure more than 60 near Kitulottuwa along the Habarana-Trincomalee road (17 April 1987)
* A bomb explosion kills 113 persons and injures more than 300 in Pettah, Colombo (21 April 1987)
* Launching of a military operation at Vadamarachchi to put an end to the dominance established by Prabhakaran in Jaffna after the black (26 May 1987)
* India shows its protest against the Vadamarachchi operation by sending a flotilla of “humanitarian aid” to Jaffna. When these boats (Indian fishing vessels) were turned back by the Sri Lankan navy, the Indian Air Force dropped food and medical supplies in Jaffna the following day violating the Sri Lankan air space. (3 June 1987)
* A 72 hour islandwide curfew imposed (27 July 1987)
* The signing of Indo-Lanka peace accord (27 July 1987)
* Arrival of the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) (late July 30th – early August 1987) (30 July 1987)
* The 13th amendment to the constitution debated in Parliament. This amendment among other things made provisions for the establishment of a system of Provincial Councils. Amendment was certified on 14th November 1987. (14 November 1987)
* The first ever Provincial Council election takes place for the North Central, Sabaragamuwa, North Western and Uva Provincial Councils (28 April 1988)
* President Jayewardene officially authorises the merger of the Northern and Eastern provinces within a single North Eastern Province. (7 September 1988)
* Elections were held for seats in the above Provincial Council.(19 November 1988)
* 16th Amendment to the Constitution certified. The provisions of the 13th amendment dealing with language, were clarified and consolidated by the 16th amendment.(17 December 1988)
* R Premadasa of the UNP wins the presidential election (19 December 1988)
* The ninth parliamentary election held for the first time under a proportional representation scheme (15 February 1989)
* Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) leader A Amirthalingam and former TULF MP Yogeswaran assassinated by LTTE gunmen (13 July 1989)
* An All-Party Conference held in Colombo to find a solution to the prevailing unrest in the country (13 September 1989)
* Sri Lanka and India sign an agreement in Colombo providing for the withdrawal of the IPKF from the North and East by December 31 and the suspension of offensive military operations against the LTTE from the 20th onward (18 September 1989)
* International Committee Red Cross arrives in Sri Lanka. Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) begins its withdrawal from Ampara. The Tamil National Army and the Sri Lankan Army move into the areas vacated by the IPKF (October 1989)
* The LTTE takes over areas vacated by the IPKF in the North and East (January 1990)
* President R Premadasa holds talks with the LTTE (February 1990)
* EPRLF declares an “Independent Eleam” and renamed the provincial council as a Tamil National Assembly on 1st of March 1990.
* President R Premadasa imposes direct control on Northeast Provincial Councils (March, 1990)
* Justice Minister Hameed and the LTTE leader Prabhakaran hold talks (12 May 1990)
* LTTE attacks two Muslim mosques killing 290 people (August 1990)
* LTTE evicts Muslims from the North (October 1990) 1991-1999
* Defense Minister Ranjan Wijeratna assassinated. (2 March 1991) * IPKF withdrawal completed (24 March 1991)
* The UNP wins local government elections (11 May 1991)
* Fighting breaks out between government troops and the LTTE in what is dubbed as Eelam War II (June 1991)
* A group of senior Army officers including General Denzil Kobbekaduwa die in a land mine explosion. (8 August 1992)
* Former Defense Minister Lalith Athulathmudali assassinated (23 April 1993)
* A bomb explosion in a street in Colombo kills President R Premadasa who was taking part in his party’s May day rally. (1 May 1993)
* Provincial Council elections (17 March 1993)
* Two peace delegations, one led by the Anglican Bishop of Colombo Rev. Kenneth Fernando and the other led by the Sarvodaya Leader A T Ariayaratne, visit Jaffna (5 February 1994)
* General elections for the tenth parliament; the People’s Alliance wins a plurality, beating the UNP (16 August 1994)
* A delegation of influential officials including the Secretary to the President leaves for Jaffna to initiate negotiations for a peaceful settlement.(13 October 1994)
* Gamini Dissanayake, a former minister in the UNP government, and a presidential election candidate is killed along with several other senior members of the party by a suspected LTTE suicide bomber in a manner identical to the killing of Rajiv Gandhi in Tamil Nadu in 1991 (24 October 1994)
* Chandrika Kumaranatunga Bandaranaike becomes the fourth Executive President of Sri Lanka.(10 November 1994)
* Second round of talks between the Government and LTTE. (3 January 1995)
* Cessation of hostilities between the Government and the LTTE (7 January 1995)
* Third round of talks between the Government and LTTE. (14 January 1995) * Fourth round of Government-LTTE talks (10 April 1995)
* LTTE attacks government naval installation, resumption of hostilities (19 April 1995)
* Government Security forces commence operation “Leap Forward” (9 July 1995)
* Government officially announces its Peace Package (3 August1995)
* Government security forces in the north commence operation “Riviresa” (17 October 1995)
* LTTE attacks Colombo oil installation facilities (20 October 1995)
* Operation “Riviresa” military campaign concluded with the taking of Jaffna from the LTTE (5 December 1995)
* A suicide bomb explosion by the LTTE at the Central Bank in Colombo kills more than 100 civilians and wounds 1,300 others. (31 January 1996)
* Two bombs explode in a Colombo commuter train killing more than 60 people (14 July 1996)
* Nearly 1,400 soldiers killed in an LTTE attack on the Mulativu military camp (18 July 1996)
* India bans the LTTE (1 August1996)
* A lorry packed with explosives is exploded at the outer gates of the Dalada Maligawa, a 400 years old Buddhist shrine in the city of Kandy, as it was preparing for the 50th independence celebrations (25 January 1998)
* Sarojini Yogeshwaran, the first woman mayor of Jaffna was gunned down by LTTE gunmen (17 May 1998)
* A bomb blast at the Municipal council kills P Sivapalan, who took over after the death of Mrs Yogeshwaran. Some of Jaffna top military brass were killed along with him. (11 September 1998)
* Dr. Neelan Tiruchelvam, a constitutional lawyer, a human rights advocate and a parliamentary member of TULF (a moderate Tamil party) is assassinated by a LTTE suicide bomber in Colombo (29 July 1999)
* President Chandrika Kumaratunga temporarily rules out the possibility of peace talks with the LTTE. (18 October 1999)
*1999 Chandrika survives an assassination attempt, a bomb attack at an election meeting, and suffers an eye injury. Same day there was an attempt, another bomb attack, to assassinate Ranil Wickremasinghe, the opposition leader, at a UNP election meeting
*2000 LTTE declares unilateral ceasefire – Negotiations with chandrika Kumaratunga under PA government (lasting 4 months)
*2001 May – Elephant Pass, the biggest military base in the entire island, over-run by the LTTE who then made their way to the outskirts of Jaffna city and came close to destroying the heart of the SLA. Indian response to the GOSL’s appeal for military assistance lukewarm and was to offer to evacuate the troops. LTTE attack on Katunayake International Airport, which seriously affects SL economy.
December – LTTE declares unilateral ceasefire
*2002 UNP (UNF) wins general elections, defeating Chandrika’s coalition (UPFA). Ranil Wickremasinge takes over as Prime Minister.
February 23 – Ceasefire agreement (MOU) signed by Ranil Wickeremasinghe and Velupillai Pirabakaran.
*September 16 – Peace Talks between UNF government and LTTE commence in Thailand.
Oslo Declaration (statement), where LTTE offers to explore alternatives to separation
*2003 April – LTTE puts peace talks in abeyance, citing GOSL’s action in regard to resettlement of refugees and dismantling of High Security Zones of SLA
Tokyo conference of donors’ consortium, where $ 4.5 billion pledge for reconstruction and development, subject to satisfactory progress in peace talks.
*October 31 – LTTE submits its Interim Self-Governing Authority (ISGA) proposals.
Chandrika uses ISGA proposal as evidence of UNF government weakness, and takes over the Defence, Media and Interior Ministries in November, with the intent to dissolve Parliament and call a general election.
*Nov. 27 – Pirbakaran declares on Heroes’ Day that “If the Sinhala chauvinistic ruling elites continue to deny the rights of our people and oppose reconciliation and if the conditions of oppression continue, we have no alternative other than to secede and form an independent state invoking the right to self-determination of our people.”
*2004 Feb. 7 – Chandrika dissolves Parliament.
March – Eastern Province Commander Karuna breaks ranks with LTTE.
Parliamentary elections held in April. UNF party loses its majority, and Chandrika’s UPFA (SLFP & JVP) forms a minority government.
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) win 20 seats at the general elections, well over the majority from the NorthEast. Tamils thus overwhelmingly endorse the representation of the LTTE and the ISGA proposals
Chandrika and the UPFA make concerted efforts to break up the TNA and get the 5 TNA MPs from the Batticaloa and Amparai Districts to function as a separate group, but fail in their attempt
SL defence for 2005 increased from Rs 52.08 billion –($526 Million) in 2004 to Rs 562.98 Billion, an 8.1 % increase despite the ceasefire.
*Nov. 27 – Pirabakaran delivers his Heroes’ Day speech, the day following his 50th birthday, “urged the government to resume the peace negotiations without conditions, based on our proposal for an Interim Self-Governing Authority. If the Government of Sri Lanka rejects our urgent appeal and adopts delaying tactics, perpetuating the suffering of our people, we have no alternative other than to advance the freedom struggle of our nation”.
*Dec 26 – Tsunami hits Sri Lanka, with 2/3 of total casualties from NorthEast.