In April 2009, Human Rights Watch reported while rebels were preventing civilians from leaving the last tiny strip of land where they were fighting the government forces, the government forces repeatedly and indiscriminately shelled the area.
UN satellite images suggested the government shelled "no-fire zone" (Both sides have also increasingly targeted the media.
Rajapaksa allied his Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) with two staunchly anti-LTTE political parties: the radical Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP, People’s Liberation Front) and the nationalist Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU, National Heritage Party) controlled by Buddhist monks.
Muslim parliamentarians have also sided with this alliance against the militants.
Since the end of the cease-fire the Sri Lankan military has been trying to root out the LTTE, and in May 2009, the government claimed that it had defeated the rebels and liberated the country.
In November 2005 national elections, candidate Ranil Wickremasinghe of the governing United National Party (UNP) lost narrowly to anti-LTTE hard-liner Mahinda Rajapaksa.Increased fighting in the country’s north in early 2009 left more than 250,000 displaced; both the LTTE and the government were accused of placing civilians at risk.The last few months of fighting between the government and the militants resulted in huge civilian casualties and censure from the international community.More commonly known as the Tamil Tigers, the LTTE wants an independent state for the island’s Tamil minority.Following a fierce, year-long military offensive, the Sri Lankan government claimed in May 2009 that it had defeated the separatist group () and killed its leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran.In August 2007, Human Rights Watch released a report that catalogues alleged abuses on both sides of the conflict.Amnesty International made similar accusations in its 2008 report on the state of the world’s human rights.Experts say this approach would likely be used in the north if the government succeeds in defeating the LTTE.However, rights groups allege the TMVP commits human rights abuses with impunity because of support from the central government.Peace talks broke down the following year, but experts posit the fragile truce held in large part because of devastation related to the 2004 tsunami, which caused thirty thousand deaths on the island.In August 2005, the assassination of Sri Lanka’s foreign minister, Lakshman Kadirgamar, reignited the conflict.