Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Lisa Koch

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Rights Information

© 2019 Chloe A Amarilla

OCLC Record Number



The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were branded as the most dangerous and deadly extremists in the world by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in January of 2008. The Tamil Tigers are held responsible for perfecting the use of suicide bombers, inventing the suicide belt, being the first to use women in suicide attacks, and killing nearly 4,000 people in the one year prior to 2008. The LTTE is the only terrorist organization to have assassinated two world leaders, Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, and Sri Lankan President Ranasinghe Premadasa. They were also the first to acquire air power and their strike on Sri Lanka’s World Trade Center was the largest terrorist assault before the September 11 attacks in 2001. It took the government of Sri Lanka over thirty years to rid the country of this powerful terrorist group.

This paper will investigate what caused the fall of the Tamil Tigers. In my second chapter, I will evaluate the policies and military strategies adopted by the government. My third chapter will look at the role of international actors in the conflict and their effects. Lastly, in my fourth chapter, I will examine key mistakes made by the LTTE that may have led to its own demise. In chapter five, I will analyze three possible causes for the defeat of the LTTE and what was the most significant in bringing its fall. It will also include its potential for replication in other countries and effects on foreign policy moving forward.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.