Following a breakdown in talks between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the government of Sri Lanka, Colombo announced it had formally pulled out of a ceasefire agreement on 2 January 2008. A sporadic shadow war had now grown into an all-out military offensive, with Sri Lanka’s military having greatly expanded and garnered international support.
Sri Lankan troops had surged forward and seized large swathes of LTTE territory. In the preceding months, thousands of Tamil civilians have already been killed.
For several months the military has focused its efforts on capturing the key town of Kilinochchi.