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 You are in: Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security > Bureau of Political-Military Affairs > Security Assistance > Security Assistance: Countries A-Z

Sri Lanka: Security Assistance

Bureau of Political-Military Affairs
Washington, DC
October 20, 2008

Map of Sri Lanka

Background: The first Sinhalese arrived in Sri Lanka late in the 6th century B.C. probably from northern India. Buddhism was introduced in about the mid-third century B.C., and a great civilization developed at the cities of Anuradhapura (kingdom from circa 200 B.C. to circa A.D. 1000) and Polonnaruwa (from about 1070 to 1200). In the 14th century, a south Indian dynasty established a Tamil kingdom in northern Sri Lanka. The coastal areas of the island were controlled by the Portuguese in the 16th century and by the Dutch in the 17th century. The island was ceded to the British in 1796, became a crown colony in 1802, and was united under British rule by 1815. As Ceylon, it became independent in 1948; its name was changed to Sri Lanka in 1972. Tensions between the Sinhalese majority and Tamil separatists erupted into war in 1983. Tens of thousands have died in the ethnic conflict that continues to fester. After two decades of fighting, the government and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) formalized a cease-fire in February 2002 with Norway brokering peace negotiations. Violence between the LTTE and government forces intensified in 2006 and the government regained control of the Eastern Province in 2007. In January 2008, the government officially withdrew from the ceasefire, and has begun engaging the LTTE in the northern portion of the country. (Source: CIA—The World Factbook)

Security Assistance Funding: (Source: 2009 Congressional Budget Justifications for Foreign Operations)

($ in thousands)

Account
FY 2007
FY2007
FY 2008
FY 2008
FY2009

 

Actual
Supp
Estimate
Supp
Request
FMF
990
--
422
--
900
IMET
483
--
571
--
600
NADR
1,050
--
1,143
--
650

Direct Commercial Sales: (Source: 2007 Section 655 Report)

In FY 2007, the Department of State authorized the export of defense articles and services valued at $32,295,501.


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