More than 70,000 people have been killed in a quarter century of conflict between government troops and Tamil Tiger rebels fighting for a separate homeland.
• Hundreds of thousands uprooted
• Thousands of child soldiers
• At least 1 million mines laid

The military declared victory over the rebels in May 2009, putting the entire island nation under government control for the first time since 1983. Asia's longest modern war has its roots in ethnic tension between the Buddhist Sinhalese majority and the mainly Hindu Tamil minority who accuse the government of discrimination.
I The fighting pitted government troops against Tamil Tiger rebels demanding an independent state in the north and east of the island. Hundreds of thousands of

Sri Lankans have been displaced across the island due to the war. Some were uprooted again during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

Landmines and explosive debris have left large areas uninhabitable. The fighting has also laid waste to agricultural land, contributing to child malnutrition. The use of child soldiers, some as young as nine, by both sides in the conflict has added to the tragedy. A ceasefire was agreed in 2002 and the rebels dropped their demand for an independent state, settling for regional autonomy. But violence surged at the end of 2005 and the Tigers reverted to their original demand for all-out independence. A relentless military offensive has since retaken the 15,000 sq km the rebels ran as a separate state in the north and east.

Tens of thousands of civilians who were until recently trapped between troops and rebels in the final war zone in the northeast of the island are now living in government-run camps where aid agencies are helping to feed and shelter them.

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Full name: Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Population: 20.2 million (UN, 2009)
Capital: Colombo (commercial), Sri Jayawardenepura (administrative)
Major religions: Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity
Major languages: Sinhala, Tamil, English

This risk profile is an analysis of the mortality and economic loss risk for three weather-related hazards: tropical cyclones, floods and landslides.
COLOMBO, 1 March 2010 (IRIN) - This time last year, Arulamma Thambiraja, 99, was among tens of thousands of civilians trapped in Sri Lanka's north by fighting between government forces and the since-defeated Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
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