The only international airport in Sri Lanka is Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) near Katunayake, 30 km north of Colombo. There are exchange offices and bank counters here.
It is recommended to confirm flights 72 hours before departure (especially with Sri Lankan Airlines).
Airlines with flights to Sri Lanka
The national airline in Sri Lanka is SriLankan Airlines.
Airlines that offer flights to Sri Lanka are Austrian Airlines, Qatar Airlines, Indian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Condor, Cathay Pacific, Thai Airways, Czech Airlines, Emirates, LTU, Etihad Airways, Kuwait Airways, Malaysia Airlines and Royal Jordanian.
SriLankan Airlines flies between London and Colombo every day. Emirates, Czech Airlines and Royal Jordanian usually have the cheapest fares between London and Colombo.
The main European airlines with flights to Sri Lanka are Czech Airlines (twice a week from Prague via Dubai) and Austrian Airlines. Of the major European airlines, only Lufthansa flies to Sri Lanka.
SriLankan Airlines has two flights a week between Paris and Colombo, two weekly flights between Frankfurt and Colombo and connections between Vienna and Zurich (via Dubai) to Colombo.
Charter airlines with seasonal flights include Condor (from Frankfurt) and LTU (from Munich and Frankfurt).
SriLankan Airlines flies twice a day from Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum) in Kerala and Colombo. There are flights to Tiruchirappalli (Trichy) in Tamil Nadu three times a week. Other destinations are Bodhgaya in the Indian state of Bihar and Bangalore in Karnataka. Indian Airlines and Sri Lankan Airlines offer flights between Colombo and Chennai (Madras).
Many visitors combine a visit to Sri Lanka with a trip to the Maldives. Sri Lankan Airlines flies between Colombo and Male.
The cheapest flights between Singapore and Colombo are usually offered by Emirates. SriLankan Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines and Thai Airways also fly between Singapore and Colombo (either non-stop or with a stopover in Kuala Lumpur). Thailand Thai Airways, SriLankan Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Malaysia Airlines fly between Colombo and Bangkok. Australia Sri Lankan Airlines usually offers the cheapest fares to Sydney (around A $ 1,700 return). The cheapest prices to Perth are usually Emirates and SriLankan Airlines (between A $ 2,200 and A $ 2,300).
Since June 2011, the passenger and car ferry “Scotia Prince” has been operating between Tuticorin (in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu ) and Colombo. She should drive twice a week. It is planned to use another ferry.
Sri Lanka is one of the destinations of some cruise lines (e.g. Radisson Seven Seas Cruises and Cunard).
Best time to go to Sri Lanka
The best seasons to travel are the dry periods from December to March on the west and south coast and in the mountainous areas, and from May to September on the east coast. December to March is when most foreign tourists come.
Off-season travel has advantages – it’s less crowded, and many flights and accommodations are cheaper. Although it is wetter than the dry periods, it does not rain all the time. On reef-protected beaches like Hikkaduwa, it can also be pleasant during the monsoon.
July / August is the time of Kandy Esala Perahera, a 10-day festival in honor of the sacred Budda Zahn relic, and for the Kataragama festival in the south. In both cities it is difficult to find accommodation shortly before, during and immediately after the festivals. Hotel prices often double or triple. So book your room well in advance.
Travel in the country
Sri Lanka has two domestic airlines that regularly fly on the Colombo – Jaffna route: AeroLanka and Expo Aviation. Check-in takes at least 2.5 hours on this route.
After the ceasefire there were also flights to Trincomale, after the tsunami in 2004 there was a sharp drop in the number of tourists, this connection was closed again. However, it is likely that as tourism increases again, flights on this route will resume.
Air taxis are another way to travel in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Air Taxi offers charter flights across the country, especially on the Colombo – Ampara route.
When traveling by public transport, the main choice is between bus and train. Both are very cheap. Trains, but to an even greater extent, buses are often crowded. The trains are a little slower than buses, but a seat on the train is preferable to a standing room on the bus.
On the main roads from Colombo to Kandy, Negombo and Galle, buses cover around 40 to 50 km per hour. On highways through the plain it can be 60 to 70 km an hour. In the hilly country the average speed can decrease up to 20 km / h.
All public transport is crowded around the Buddhist Poya holidays (at every full moon) and the following weekend, traveling during this time can be quite exhausting.
Many cities in Sri Lanka are small enough to be explored on foot. In larger cities you can use buses, taxis or tricycles.
buses cover most of Sri Lanka’s road network. There are two types of buses in Sri Lanka – Central Transport Board (CTB) buses and private buses. CTB buses are usually painted yellow and run on most long-distance and local routes. Private bus companies use vehicles of various standards, from modern buses on long distances to ancient mini-buses on local routes. Private intercity buses with air conditioning operate on all major routes, for long-distance trips in Sri Lanka they are the most convenient choice.
Bus trips in Sri Lanka can be very varied. On longer routes you will find dealers who sell all kinds of goods, singers and beggars. Sometimes buses stop at temples to allow drivers and passengers to donate.
The first two places on CTB buses are always reserved for the “clergy” (Buddhist monks).
Finding the right bus in the chaotic bus stations of Colombo and Kandy can be difficult. Virtually all signs with their respective destinations are in Sinhala. There is also no central place at the bus stations where you can buy tickets, either in one of the small ticket booths or directly on the bus. The best way to find the right bus is to speak to locals at the bus station, sooner or later someone will guide you to the right bus.
In smaller cities, it is much easier to find the right bus, usually there is a separate stop for each destination.
In most cases, private bus companies operate the same routes as CTB buses. Intercity express buses cost around twice as much as CTB buses, but are much more convenient and usually faster. The prices for CTB buses and ordinary private buses are very low.
Most buses have very small trunk space and rarely carry luggage on the roof. So travel with little luggage. If you have a lot of luggage, you can book an additional ticket for your bag / backpack.
Local buses go to most places in the country, including smaller villages. The signs with the destinations are mostly in Sinhala or Tamil, so you have to find the right bus.
Sri Lanka’s railways are a great way to travel around the country. Although the trains are slow and often late, the short distances rarely cause long delays. A train journey is almost always more relaxing than a bus journey.
There are three main lines. The coastline runs south of Colombo, past Aluthgama and Hikkaduwa to Galle and Matara. The main route runs east of Colombo into the Hill Country through Kandy, Nanu Oya and Ella to Badulla. The northern route begins in Colombo and extends to Anuradhapura and Vavuniya. One junction of the northern route reaches Trincomalee on the east coast, while another junction leads to Polonnaruwa and Batticaloa.
The Puttalam route runs along the coast north of Colombo, with train buses running between Chilaw and Puttalam.
There are three classes on trains in Sri Lanka. Third grade is very cheap and always crowded, but with a little luck you will find a bench seat. The second class has padded seats and fans that sometimes work. It is usually less crowded than the third class. There are no sleeping places in 2nd class, only folding beds in a common room. In the first class you will find air conditioning and sleeping places.
Car and motorcycle
It is possible for self-drivers to rent cars in Sri Lanka, but it is common to rent a car with a driver for a day or more. When planning your trip, expect an average speed of around 35 km / h in Hill Country and 55 km / h in the rest of the country.
Motorcycling in Sri Lanka is also an option. The distances are manageable and some of the roads off the main roads are good for motorbikes. The streets in the less traveled Hill Country offer some wonderful views and the side streets along the coast and in the plains are relatively quick to drive. There are motorcycle rental agencies in Hikkaduwa and Kandy. In addition to a cash deposit, you must provide your passport number and leave flight tickets as security.
The official displacement limit for imported motorcycles is 350cc.
Self-drive rental cars are available in Colombo from Ameri Rent-A-Car and Quickshaws Tours. Both companies have air-conditioned cars on offer, it will be cheaper if you rent them for a week or more. In general, driving the car in national parks, nature reserves, the jungle or on unpaved roads is not allowed.
These vehicles, known in other parts of Asia as tuk-tuks, bajajs or auto rickshaws, can be found everywhere. Negotiate the price before departure.
Tricycles and taxis in front of tourist hotels and in tourist locations charge higher prices than usual.
Trained cyclists will enjoy Sri Lanka, apart from the slopes of the Hill Country and the large arterial roads from Colombo. When you leave Colombo, it is best to take a train to one of the suburbs before you start cycling.
It’s best to start early in the day to avoid the heat and have plenty of water and sun protection with you.
If you want to bring your own bike, you should also have enough tools and spare parts with you, as the bike suffers from the poor road conditions. Always keep an eye on your bike and use a good bike lock.
Most rental bikes in Sri Lanka have no gears. The condition is usually not very good, most of which are Indian or Chinese imports.
In some Colombo stores, you can buy bicycles for a few hundred dollars. Here, too, most of the bikes come from Indian or Chinese production. The bikes from China have a better reputation in Sri Lanka than the models from India.
Currency: 1 Sri Lankan rupee corresponds to 100 cents
Currency abbreviation:. LKR (ISO code), Rs – ABBREVIATIONFINDER.ORG
banknotes to be used with a value of 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, 1,000 and 2,000 Rs. Coins are issued in amounts of 25 and 50 cents as well as 1, 2 and 5 rupees. Coins with a value of 1, 2, 5 and 10 cents are less common in Sri Lanka.
Larger banknotes (Rs 500 and up) should be changed to smaller banknotes before shopping on the market or in smaller shops, since the dealers can hardly ever change here. Dirty or torn banknotes are rarely accepted outside banks.
Cash in the usual international currencies (euro, US dollar, pound sterling) can be exchanged in banks and exchange offices. It is also possible to exchange Sri Lankan rupees back into hard currencies. Exchange offices can be found in larger cities and tourist locations. Normally no exchange fees are charged here, the exchange rates are comparable to those of the banks.
Exchange rate Sri Lankan rupee
Currency converter at OANDA
ATMs: The Commercial Bank in Sri Lanka has an extensive network of ATMs that accept Visa, Mastercard and Cirrus / Maestro cards. Other options are at People’s Bank, Sampath Bank, Bank of Ceylon, Hatton National Bank, HSBC, NationsTrust Bank and Seylan Bank. ATMs can be found in cities and major regional centers, but you shouldn’t rely on them to work.
Credit cards: Mastercard and Visa are the most commonly accepted cards. Other major cards such as American Express and Diners Club are also accepted in Sri Lanka.
Travelers checks are not used very often in Sri Lanka. They can be redeemed at larger banks. American Express, Visa and Thomas Cook travelers checks are most commonly accepted. Typically fees of around Rs 150 are charged for redemption.
Bank opening times: Mon – Fri 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Sri Lanka has a large number of different sights to offer.
So you shouldn’t miss Anuradhapura. Anuradhapura was the first residence of the kings of Sri Lanka. Above all, the city was an important political and religious center of the country for over a thousand years.
The city was founded in the 5th century BC. The first Buddhist monastery complex was built there in the third.
Anuradhapura was almost destroyed in 1017 by attacks from southern India. It was not until 1871 that the city regained its importance as the British had an administrative seat there. During this time, the ruins of the city’s historic buildings were restored.
Colombo is also worth a visit. Colombo is the capital of Sir Lanka. It was founded in the 14th century. From here, the Portuguese were able to control Asian maritime trade in the 16th century. In 1656 the city was taken over by the Dutch. However, it was not until over a hundred years later that Colombo was able to achieve its current reputation through the British takeover.
The city of Polonnaruva is something special. It is the second capital of Sir Lanka. Polonnaruva became the royal residence from 1017. In the twelfth century, the city boomed and blossomed. Most of the city’s ruins date from this time of high season in Polonnaruvas. At the end of the twelfth century the ruler moved to another city and Polonnaruva was forgotten. Only in the nineteenth century through the restoration of the British did the city experience a new high point.
Another city worth seeing is Kandy. The city became the new residence of the king in the fifteenth century. However, when the country’s last king was overthrown in 1803, the city also lost its status. In the subsequent ages, the city played a major economic role. Today Kandy is known to be an important center for education and administration.
The massive clock tower in Colombo is definitely worth seeing. It was built by the British in 1857. Ten years later, it was turned into a lighthouse. A clock was not added until 1914.
A special architectural masterpiece is the three-hundred-year-old Bogoda bridge near Badulla. It is covered and made entirely of wood. The bridge is special because not a single nail was used to build it.
Museum lovers should not miss the Maritim Museum in Colombo. The museum opened in 2003 and shows a large number of replicas of various ships from the fifth century.
In the Dutch Period Museum in Colombo you can learn something about Dutch colonial rule in Sri Lanka.
The National Museum in the same city is certainly impressive. It is arguably the most important in the country. Here you can learn everything about the history of the country and also the art.
A visit to the Jetava Museum in Anuradhapura will certainly be interesting. Various exhibits from the second and third centuries are shown here. First and foremost, these are old pieces of jewelry, gold ornaments, smaller statues, as well as coins and ceramics.
Other interesting places to see in Sri Lanka are the ruins of the Royal Palace, the Abhanyiri Museum, the archaeological museum, the Sigiriya rock fortress, the Alut Maligawa Museum, the Tea Museum and the old Dutch fort.
There is definitely a lot to see in Sri Lanka. Sacred buildings have plenty to offer Sir Lanka, be it temples, churches, mosques or monasteries. The most interesting are the three Hindu temples Ganesha Kovil, New Kahtiresan Kovil and Old Katirensan Kovil. The Wolfendhal Church is also worth a visit, as is the Devatagaha Mosque. The sacred buildings already mentioned are just a small selection of what Sri Lanka has to offer.
There is also an abundance of natural beauty in the country. There are 77 national parks in Sri Lanka. If you are interested in nature, you should not miss the Gordon Garden in Colombo. It was created in honor of Queen Victoria and has a fantastic flora.
You should also visit the Dehiwala Zoo in the same city as Gordon’s Garden. The zoo has a wonderful bird house and an interesting aquarium. Also worth seeing are the Talangama Wewa, the Bodhi Tree, the Royal Goldfish Park, Adams Peak and the Diyaluma Waterfall.
The icing on the cake after a vacation in Sir Lanka is certainly a visit to the hot springs of Kanniyai. Here you can relax and enjoy the landscape there.
Colombo (Sri Lanka)
Colombo can be found on the west coast of Sri Lanka. The capital Colombo is very interesting. Old quarters are close to ultra-modern districts. The adjacent Indian Ocean makes Colombo a pleasantly airy city known for its good spices and delicious tea. The number of inhabitants can only be estimated, however, including the surrounding area, there should be almost 2 million people living in the Colombo area.
Colombo is also known for its various facets and the colorful mix between past and present: the former parliament building, ancient department stores for well-heeled customers, the elegant villas in the posh district of “Cinnamon Gardens”. In between the turbulent hustle and bustle on the market is extremely interesting. It’s good to have insiders or a local guide to lead you across the market. Places of worship of all faiths prove the diversity of religions in Sri Lanka. A lot has happened in Colombo in recent years – for example, many high-rise buildings have been built that make the skyline appear very modern.
But road traffic is just as diversetoo – it’s not uncommon to see a luxury European sedan next to a donkey cart. You need nerves when you get into traffic in Colombo – at the main time the buses are overcrowded, priority is given to those who cannot be disturbed or who have the loudest horn.
The inhabitants are very colorfully dressed, often you even meet traditionally dressed people (sarong for women, wrap skirt for men).
Colombo is dominated by a tropical climate. The altitude and the proximity to the coast show mild weather. From May to July and from December to January, the monsoon dominates the region, which also brings heavy rain. Recommendable to travel are the months from November to April.
Find out more
Colombo is in the center of 4 verschienen districts: 1. Fort, 2. Pettah, 3. Kollupitiya and . slave Iceland
The Clock Tower is the landmark of Fort, where there are already many buildings now that are higher. The main post office and the official residence of the state president stand out due to its Victorian facade and is therefore definitely worth seeing. Colombo’s oldest department store, built in 1845, also stands in Fort.
In the Pettah district, only gold is sold in some streets, and only tea, medicinal herbs or clothing in others. For a culinary delight, the night bazaar or the large fish market with freshly caught fish and tasty seafood is absolutely recommended.
It is common for women to be prevented from entering the Jami-Ul-Alfar mosque with its fairytale towers. Nevertheless, it is a worthwhile destination, because with its red and white patterned facade it is very reminiscent of the fairy tales of 1000 and one night.
There are 3 very beautiful Hindu temples on a street in Pettah. One of them is famous for its special characters.
The Dutch Period Museum is worth a detour. Not only the special architectural style but also the many diverse exhibits are well worth a visit.
The district of Kollupitiya stretches along the coast. There are endless hotels, as well as various embassies, such as the Indian or the German, some airlines, the Temple Trees (presidential palace) and many other important buildings.
If you want to take a step back in time, you should definitely visit the Galle Face Hotel visit. Here, in the hectic and noisy Colombo, you can find the peace you need in between. Gregory Peck or Aga Khan – just two of the most famous guests of this hotel – certainly felt like they had been set back 100 years ago.
Slave Island is the seat of large companies with many offices. A private hospital is also located in this area. Lake Beira forms the center of this zone. The Gangarama Temple seems to be swimming on Lake Beira – a wonderful procession with tame elephants takes place in front of this temple every February.
And now – discover for yourself the beautiful island of Sri Lanka with its lively capital Colombo. Even Marco Polo called it his “dream island”.
Sri Lanka (Ceylon) history
The oldest inhabitants in Sri Lanka were probably the ancestors of the Veddas, indigenous people (around 3000) who now live in remote mountain regions. Their area was in the 6th century BC. Conquered by the Sinhalese, who originally came from India ; the Ramayana is an ancient Hindu epic that is likely reflected in this conquest. The arrival of Vijaya, the first Sinhalese king, in 483 BC. Chr. The Sinhalese settled in the north and developed a sophisticated irrigation system. They founded their capital, Anuradhapura, after the advent of Buddhism from India in the 3rd century BC BC, became one of the most important centers of world religion; a part of the tree under which the Buddha got enlightenment from Bodhgaya was planted there. The Temple of the Tooth in Kandy and Dalada Maligawa are sacred Buddhist sites. Buddhism stimulated the visual arts in Sri Lanka, which in its classic period lasted from the 4th to the 6th centuries.
There were many Tamil invasions from Sri Lanka to southern India. The Chola from southern India conquered Anuradhapura in the early 11th century and made Pollonarrua the capital. The Sinhalese came to power again, but in the 12th century a Tamil kingdom emerged in the north and the Sinhalese were expelled in the southwest. Arab traders, attracted by the island’s spices, came in the 12th and 13th centuries.
The Portuguese conquered the coastal areas in the early 16th century and introduced the Roman Catholic religion. Until the mid-17th century, the Dutch took over the Portuguese possessions and the good spice trade. In 1795 the Dutch possessions were taken over by the British, on the island which is known today as Ceylon. In 1798 the island became a royal colony. In 1815 the island was under one rule for the first time, although the central area, which was still under the rule of Kandy, was conquered. Tea, coffee and rubber plantations were established among the British, and schools, including a university, were opened. During the First World War, an independence movement emerged. The 1931 constitution granted universal suffrage, but calls for more independence emerged, and thus a liberal constitution was passed in 1946.
An independent nation
Ceylon was finally granted full independence on February 4, 1948. The use of English as the Sinhalese’s only official language was rejected by the Tamils and other minorities and led to Tamil protests and anti-Tamil attacks. Because of the demands, unrest broke out between the Sinhalese and the Tamil minority in 1958. The Tamils demanded the official recognition of their language and the establishment of a separate Tamil state within a Tamil federal system (which was negotiated but then abandoned by the government). The riots led to severe loss of life, mostly among the Tamil population. Prime Minister SWRD Bandaranaike was murdered in September 1959, and in 1960 his widow, Sirimavo Bandaranaike, became Prime Minister. The federal party convention of the Tamils was banned in 1961, followed by new unrest.
Some western businesses were nationalized (1962) and the country got into disputes over compensation with the United States and Britain. The radical policies of Mrs. Bandaranaike aroused opposition, and the elections in 1965 resulted in a parliamentary majority of moderate socialist United National Party (UNP) of Dudley Senanayake, the Prime Minister with a multi-party coalition. Under Senanayake, closer relations with the West were established and compromise agreements were made. However, economic problems and severe inflation persisted due to a growing population (the population almost doubled between 1946 and 1970).
In 1970, Ms. Bandaranaike and her anti-capitalist three-party coalition won a clear victory through a large-scale election campaign. She launched social programs, including rice subsidies and free hospitalization, but forgot the extreme left, which under the Marxist People’s Liberation Front tried to overthrow the government with an armed insurrection in 1971. With Soviet, British and Indian help, the uprising was put down after heavy fighting. In 1972 the country adopted a new constitution, the republic declared its membership of the national community, and changed its name to Sri Lanka. In the early 1970s, the government was faced with a severe economic crisis due to poor food supplies and foreign exchange reserves.
The suppression of the Tamil language fueled the demands of the Tamil minority for an independent state. The election of a new UNP government under JR Jayawardene in 1977 and the implementation of economic reforms for more growth did not do enough to prevent the resurgence of terrorist violence or the bloody anti-Tamil riots (1977, 1981, 1983). In the 1980s, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam launched a major guerrilla war against the army in the north and east, at the same time killing radical Sinhala students government officials who believed that they were too compliant with the Tamils. In response to a request from the Jayawardenes government, India sent 42,000 soldiers to northeastern Sri Lanka in 1987. The Indian troops fought an unsuccessful war with the Tigers and were asked by Jayawardenes successor Ramasinghe Premadasa to withdraw.
Indian troops retreated in late 1989, but resumed control in 1990. In 1993 Premadasa was murdered in a suicide bombing. He was followed by Dingiri Banda Wijetunga as Prime Minister and UNP leader. A year later, the People’s Alliance (PA) opposition party came into power, and Chandrika Kumaratunga, the daughter of Sirimavo Bandaranaike, became prime minister and then president. Their government negotiated a ceasefire with the Tamil Tigers, but after three months the violence broke out again. In late 1995, the government launched a major offensive the Tamil stronghold Jaffna captured; serious casualties have been reported, while bombings in Colombo have killed civilians. The war continued in the 1990s when government forces attacked rebels and terrorists carried out political murders (including several Tamil politicians) and suicide bombings. By the end of the century, more than 60,000 people had been killed in this ethnic conflict.
President Kumaratunga was injured, when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a campaign event in December 1999. A few days later, she was barely re-elected. Later attempts by Kumaratunga to negotiate a new constitution to give the Tamils a degree of autonomy were unsuccessful and the fight continued. In October 2000, the PA remained the largest party after the general election, but six seats were missing from the absolute majority, so they formed a coalition with a Muslim party. When this party withdrew, Kumaratunga dissolved the parliament (July to September 2001) until it was able to form a coalition with the left, the nationalist People’s Liberation Front (JVP). Members of her own party left the party, but ultimately forced them to dissolve the parliament and start new elections in December 2001.
After an opposition victory, Ranil Wickremesinghe became prime minister of the UNP, and created a politically divided government. He promised to work with the president and agreed to enter into a ceasefire and negotiations with the Tamil rebels. The ceasefire led to a formal ceasefire brokered by Norway and was signed in February 2002. Further peace talks began the following September.
In November 2003, the President took control of the Defense, Home Affairs, and Ministries of Information, accusing the Prime Minister of giving in too much in the negotiations with the Tamil rebels. A state of emergency was also briefly declared. The power struggle led to a constitutional crisis in Sri Lanka and paralyzed the government and its unsuccessful negotiations with the Tamils.
The crisis continued in 2004 and in January Kumaratunga insisted for another year in office (Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court rejected this claim in 2005). The following month, the president called for new elections to be held in April. The PA-led coalition won a majority of seats in parliament and Mahinda Rajapakse was appointed prime minister.
Meanwhile, the Tamil guerrillas split in March when the smaller eastern forces broke away, but the following month the main northern forces ruled the east. The rebels overthrew the government and refused to restart the peace talks.
Sri Lanka’s coastlines, particularly in the south and east, were devastated in December 2004 by a tsunami in the Indian Ocean caused by an earthquake off northwest Sumatra. More than 35,000 people died and more than 800,000 fled. Only Sumatra itself reported a greater loss of life.
An agreement between the government and the rebels to share disaster relief significantly weakened the government coalition, and the JVP left the government. Attacks by the Tamils increased in mid-2005 and the Foreign Minister was murdered in August. The government declared a state of emergency and called for renegotiation of the ceasefire agreements with the Tamil rebels.
In the 2005 presidential election, Prime Minister Rajapakse formed an alliance between the JVP and Buddhist nationalists and denied Tamil autonomy, while his main opponent, Wickremasinghe, was supported by the UNP, Muslim and Tamil parties. Rajapakse narrowly won, partly supported by violence and intimidation by the Tamil Tigers, which prevented Tamil voters in the north and east from voting. Rajapakse appointed Ratnasiri Wickremanayake, a Sinhala nationalist, as prime minister.
The ceasefire with the Tamils was repeatedly broken until the end of 2005. A new round of peace talks supported by Norway started in February 2006, but even this continued was the subject of difficult negotiations. In April, ceasefire violations escalated and the Tamil Tigers withdrew from the talks. With this development , the country returned to a civil war, but efforts were made to restart the negotiations. At the end of 2006, the rebels finally ended the ceasefire and the government again took counterterrorism measures. Fighting in Eastern Sri Lanka that started in July 2006 led to a government offensive which continued in the following years. The rebel area was recaptured. In January 2008, the government officially ended the ceasefire with the rebels.