Aerial bombing by Sri Lankan air force kills an estimated 61 children at a school in Mullaitivu. The Sri Lankan government justifies the attack on the basis that the alleged 'orphanage' is a training camp for child soldiers.
Timeline of events under "Military operations" issue
The LTTE threatens to pull out of peace talks following the sinking of one of their vessels by the Sri Lankan navy.
Artillery shells hits Madhu Church in the northern Vanni region killing forty-two and injuring sixty more. The battle was fought around the religious shrine in which a large number of IDPs were known to be seeking refuge. Each side blamed the other for the attack.
Sri Lankan air force bomb areas of Mullaitivu killing 21 civilians.
The army begins the first phase of Operation Ranagosa (or 'Battle Cry'), and fighting shifts to the southwestern Vanni region, where the army made substantial territorial gains.
The Sri Lankan army launches a new offensive and advances northeast-ward into the area around Oddusuddan, displacing some 12,000 people, some forcibly.
In the first criminal prosecution of its type, the Colombo High Court sentenced to death six soldiers and a reserve policeman found guilty of the September 1996 murders of Jaffna schoolgirl Krishanthy Kumarasamy and her mother, teenage brother and neighbour.
Thousands are displaced when the military forces launch a massive operation in the northern Vanni region for control of a key highway that would give it land access to the former LTTE stronghold of Jaffna. The operation is codenamed Jayasikuru or 'Victory Assured'.
The 'Operation Riviresa' military campaign concludes with the taking of Jaffna from the LTTE.
Government security forces commence 'Operation Riviresa' in the North.
Government commences operation 'Leap Forward' from Arali point in Jaffna. The offensive continues for seven days. 127 square kilometers were captured, but troops later withdraw to Palaly.
LTTE attacks a naval installation, results in resumption of hostilities and collapse of peace talks. LTTE resumes bombing campaign. Government launches major offensive.
New wave of fighting breaks out between government troops and the LTTE in what is dubbed as ‘Eelam War II’.
The LTTE takes over areas vacated by the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in the North and East. Violence between the Sri Lankan army and the LTTE escalates.