When dealing with longstanding grievances between ethnic communities locked in war, it can be difficult to disentangle a historical understanding of issues of identity and polarization. There is always the easy temptation to create the “eternal battle” between rival identities that always fought.
I don’t have the knowledge of Sri Lankan politics or history to deeply evaluate the following, but the Peace and Conflict Timeline (PACT) website offers an interesting perspective (that might be offensive to all sides). PACT is a project of The Centre for Poverty Analysis, which seeks to promote “a better understanding of poverty related issues in Sri Lanka.”
The Sri Lankan government’s endgame shelling of areas controlled by the Tamil Tigers has reached its conclusion — a massive defeat for the secessionist movement and the death of its leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran.
The Associated Press reported the details of Prabhakaran’s death:
Senior [Sri Lankan] military officials said Prabhakaran was surrounded early Monday with the last of his fighters. He and his top deputies drove in an armor-plated van accompanied by a bus filled with armed rebels toward approaching Sri Lankan forces, sparking a two-hour firefight … Troops eventually fired a rocket at the van, ending the battle, the officials said.