Humanitarian Operation – Factual Analysis

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A. Overview of this Report

1. This report sets forth the factual background and operational context of the Humanitarian Operation undertaken by the Government of Sri Lanka between July 2006 and May 2009 to free the country from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). An examination of these facts demonstrates why the Government of Sri Lanka engaged in a military strategy against the LTTE, why Security Forces used the level of force they did, and how at each stage in the operation Sri Lanka took extraordinary steps to respect and protect the lives of civilians.

2. Part One of this report provides a detailed background of the LTTE, including its historical record of atrocities, its scale and sophistication, and its repeated rejection of options for a peaceful solution. At the end of Part One, it is clear why the Government of Sri Lanka had no resort but to pursue a military strategy against the LTTE.

3. Part Two explores the rationale for Security Forces using the degree of force and types of tactics they used, and demonstrates how all aspects of the Humanitarian Operation were planned and executed in light of deep concern for the lives of all Sri Lankan citizens. This section details the steps taken to minimise civilian casualties, including an examination of pre-operation training and policies and specific tactics used in the battles in the East and the Wanni.

4. Part Three concludes the report with an overview of the consequences of the war and shows why the Humanitarian Operation was just—both in the way it was conducted and in its result.