chapter  Chapter 29
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)
ByAhmed Salah Hashim
Pages 14

For almost three decades from 1983 to 2009, the island nation of Sri Lanka was wracked by a conflict between the forces of the government of Sri Lanka and one of the most fearsome terrorist and insurgent organizations of contemporary times: the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The goals of both sides were mutually incompatible; the government, dominated by the Sinhalese majority, wanted to maintain the unity of the island-nation while the LTTE wanted to create a separate Tamil nation on one-third of the island and incorporating two-thirds of the coastline. The civil war was divided into four phases: First Eelam War (1983–1987), Second Eelam War (1990–1995), Third Eelam War (1995–2000), and Fourth Eelam War (2006–2009). Velupillai Prabhakaran headed the overall organization, directing both its political and military wings through the articulation of its ideology, its goals, and military strategies.