Geography & Location

Tamil Eelam is a region and an independent state aspiration in South Asia. The name is derived from the ancient Tamil name for the island of Sri Lanka - Eelam. The area is home to indigenous Tamil people and some other ethnic groups. During the Tamil region's history, it has been an independent country, subordinate to different empires and a part of Sri Lanka for a certain amount of time. Existing as a separate nation for centuries, invasions of the island by European foreign powers transferred sovereignty of the region. A peaceful struggle for a reconstitution of Tamil sovereignty began shortly after the island gained independence from Britain in 1948. An armed quest of Tamil miltancy in the 1980s followed. Today the Tamil territories are administered under ► Sri Lanka. These include the entire districts of Kilinochchi, Mullaiththeevu, Mannar, Batticaloa, Vavuniya, Trincomalee and Amparai districts of the province.

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam

The parts of northern and eastern Sri Lanka which were formerly under the control of the LTTE were run as a de facto state with its own government in these areas. The Tamil Tigers military included land and naval (the Sea Tigers) forces and an air wing (Tamil Eelam Air Force)., LTTE ran a judicial system complete with local, supreme and high courts. The US state department alleged that the judges had very little standards or training and acted as agents to the LTTE; it also accused the LTTE of forcing Tamils under their control to accept their judicial system. Furthermore, within areas controlled by the LTTE the Tigers performed state functions, including the operation of a civil police force, Human Rights organizations, offices for the coordination of humanitarian assistance board, health boards and education boards. It also ran a Bank (Bank of Tamil Eelam), a radio station (Voice of Tigers) and a Television station (National Television of Tamil Eelam).

Districts of Tamil Eelam

Jaffna District, Kilinochchi District, Mannar District, Mullaitivu District, Vavuniya District, Amparai District, Batticaloa District. Trincomalee Distric, Puthalam district.

Jaffna District is one of the 25 districts of Sri Lanka, the second level administrative division of the country. The district is administered by a District Secretariat headed by a District Secretary appointed by the central government of Sri Lanka. The capital of the district is the city of Jaffna.

Year Tamil[b] Sinhalese Muslim[c] Other Total
No.
No. % No. % No. % No. %
1881 Census 261,902 98.61% 80 0.03% 2,648 1.00% 953 0.36% 265,583
1891 Census 275,227 98.55% 131 0.05% 3,049 1.09% 877 0.31% 279,284
1901 Census 296,805 98.66% 226 0.08% 3,078 1.02% 742 0.25% 300,851
1911 Census 321,908 98.53% 403 0.12% 3,485 1.07% 916 0.28% 326,712
1921 Census 324,874 98.29% 1,042 0.32% 3,748 1.13% 877 0.27% 330,541
1946 Census 413,264 97.29% 4,546 1.07% 5,620 1.32% 1,358 0.32% 424,788
1963 Census 597,920 97.50% 5,630 0.92% 8,600 1.40% 1,080 0.18% 613,230
1971 Census 673,043 95.56% 20,402 2.90% 10,312 1.46% 593 0.08% 704,350
1981 Census 812,247 97.73% 4,615 0.56% 13,757 1.66% 493 0.06% 831,112
1997 Estimate n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 466,937
1998 Estimate n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 457,264
1999 Estimate n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 491,007
2000 Estimate n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 502,356
2001 Estimate[d] 541,133 99.95% 49 0.01% 201 0.04% 0 0.00% 541,383
2002 Estimate n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 574,164
2003 Estimate 590,299 99.74% 40 0.01% 1,241 0.21% 248 0.04% 591,828
2004 Estimate 583,064 99.73% 88 0.02% 1,384 0.24% 131 0.02% 584,667
2005 Estimate 595,651 99.69% 75 0.01% 1,705 0.29% 69 0.01% 597,500
2006 Estimate 650,339 99.72% 54 0.01% 1,725 0.26% 66 0.01% 652,184
2007 Enumeration 559,188 99.92% 67 0.01% 350 0.06% 14 0.00% 559,619
2008 Estimate 559,665 99.91% 29 0.01% 452 0.08% 50 0.01% 560,196
2009 Estimate 623,841 99.87% 26 0.00% 777 0.12% 0 0.00% 624,644
2011 Enumeration 564,455 99.51% 746 0.13% 1,874 0.33% 154 0.03% 567,229
2012 Census 577,745 99.03% 3,366 0.58% 2,139 0.37% 128 0.02% 583,378


Kilinochchi District is one of the 25 districts of Sri Lanka, the second level administrative division of the country. The district is administered by a District Secretariat headed by a District Secretary appointed by the central government of Sri Lanka. The capital of the district is the town of Kilinochchi.
Population of Kilinochchi District by ethnic group 1981 to 2012[2][13][14]
Year Tamil[a] Sinhalese Muslim[b] Other Total
No.
No. % No. % No. % No. %
1981 Census 89,197 97.33% 741 0.81% 1,567 1.71% 136 0.15% 91,641
1999 Estimate n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 156,428
2000 Estimate[c] n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 154,015
2001 Estimate n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 148,052
2002 Estimate n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 153,721
2003 Estimate n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 140,145
2004 Estimate n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 140,920
2005 Estimate 165,781 99.77% 2 0.00% 383 0.23% 0 0.00% 166,166
2006 Estimate 196,611 99.78% 2 0.00% 424 0.22% 0 0.00% 197,037
2007 Estimate 195,386 99.78% 2 0.00% 424 0.22% 0 0.00% 195,812
2008 Estimate 190,599 99.78% 2 0.00% 424 0.22% 0 0.00% 191,025
2009 Estimate 22,099 93.54% 1 0.00% 1,525 6.46% 0 0.00% 23,625
2011 Enumeration 102,779 99.10% 138 0.13% 774 0.75% 26 0.03% 103,717
2012 Census 111,210 98.52% 962 0.85% 678 0.60% 25 0.02% 112,875


Mannar District is one of the 25 districts of Sri Lanka, the second level administrative division of the country. The district is administered by a District Secretariat headed by a District Secretary appointed by the central government of Sri Lanka. The capital of the district is the town of Mannar.
Population of Mannar District by ethnic group 1881 to 2012[2][15][16]
Year Tamil[a] Muslim[b] Sinhalese Other Total
No.
No. % No. % No. % No. %
1881 Census 14,415 67.52% 6,635 31.08% 142 0.67% 156 0.73% 21,348
1891 Census 16,098 65.68% 7,643 31.18% 592 2.42% 178 0.73% 24,511
1901 Census 16,848 67.59% 7,715 30.95% 201 0.81% 162 0.65% 24,926
1911 Census 16,731 65.35% 8,092 31.61% 639 2.50% 141 0.55% 25,603
1921 Census 16,949 66.25% 8,002 31.28% 538 2.10% 93 0.36% 25,582
1946 Census 19,623 62.22% 10,410 33.01% 1,186 3.76% 319 1.01% 31,538
1963 Census 40,140 66.70% 17,260 28.68% 2,262 4.35% 160 0.27% 60,180
1971 Census 53,353 68.50% 20,878 26.81% 3,568 4.58% 83 0.11% 77,882
1981 Census 68,178 63.75% 28,464 26.62% 8,710 8.14% 1,588 1.48% 106,940
2000 Estimate n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 96,667
2001 Estimate[c] 92,911 94.84% 5,038 5.14% 16 0.02% 0 0.00% 97,965
2002 Estimate 86,153 93.52% 5,934 6.44% 31 0.03% 0 0.00% 92,118
2003 Estimate 92,129 93.24% 6,649 6.73% 35 0.04% 0 0.00% 98,813
2004 Estimate n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 102,135
2005 Estimate n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 103,936
2006 Estimate n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 103,671
2007 Estimate 95,560 92.16% 8,073 7.79% 55 0.05% 0 0.00% 103,688
2008 Estimate 67,503 89.11% 8,214 10.84% 38 0.05% 0 0.00% 75,755
2009 Estimate 80,781 85.97% 13,144 13.99% 36 0.04% 0 0.00% 93,961
2011 Enumeration 78,789 82.56% 16,130 16.90% 455 0.48% 56 0.06% 95,430
2012 Census 80,962 81.74% 16,087 16.24% 1,961 1.98% 41 0.04% 99,051


Mullaitivu District is one of the 25 districts of Sri Lanka, the second level administrative division of the country. The district is administered by a District Secretariat headed by a District Secretary appointed by the central government of Sri Lanka. The capital of the district is the town of Mullaitivu.
Population of Mullaitivu District by ethnic group 1981 to 2012[2][13][14]
Year Tamil[a] Sinhalese Muslim[b] Other Total
No.
No. % No. % No. % No. %
1981 Census 69,670 89.88% 3,948 5.09% 3,777 4.87% 117 0.15% 77,512
1999 Estimate n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 184,655
2000 Estimate n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 187,281
2001 Estimate[c] n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 180,401
2002 Estimate n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 144,959
2003 Estimate 140,556 99.92% 23 0.02% 49 0.03% 47 0.03% 140,675
2004 Estimate 152,724 99.83% 0 0.00% 237 0.15% 29 0.02% 152,990
2005 Estimate 157,410 99.77% 0 0.00% 365 0.23% 0 0.00% 157,775
2006 Estimate 214,713 99.75% 1 0.00% 547 0.25% 0 0.00% 215,261
2007 Estimate 220,117 99.91% 1 0.00% 193 0.09% 0 0.00% 220,311
2008 Estimate[d] 51,737 99.99% 0 0.00% 4 0.01% 0 0.00% 51,741
2009 Estimate[e] 36,741 100.00% 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 0 0.00% 36,741
2011 Enumeration 60,136 90.39% 3,966 5.96% 2,390 3.59% 34 0.05% 66,526
2012 Census 81,263 88.38% 8,851 9.63% 1,760 1.91% 73 0.08% 91,947


Vavuniya District is one of the 25 districts of Sri Lanka, the second level administrative division of the country. The district is administered by a District Secretariat headed by a District Secretary appointed by the central government of Sri Lanka. The capital of the district is the city of Vavuniya.
Population of Vavuniya District by ethnic group 1881 to 2012[2][12][13]
Year Tamil[a] Sinhalese Muslim[b] Other Total
No.
No. % No. % No. % No. %
1881 Census 13,164 84.55% 1,157 7.43% 1,133 7.28% 115 0.74% 15,569
1891 Census 13,030 84.06% 1,199 7.73% 1,139 7.35% 133 0.86% 15,501
1901 Census 12,726 83.95% 1,128 7.44% 1,069 7.05% 236 1.56% 15,159
1911 Census 14,059 81.10% 1,848 10.66% 1,241 7.16% 188 1.08% 17,336
1921 Census 14,978 80.07% 2,215 11.84% 1,345 7.19% 168 0.90% 18,706
1946 Census 17,071 73.44% 3,870 16.65% 2,153 9.26% 152 0.65% 23,246
1963 Census 51,410 75.05% 12,020 17.55% 4,900 7.15% 170 0.25% 68,500
1971 Census 73,010 76.42% 15,541 16.27% 6,665 6.98% 320 0.33% 95,536
1981 Census 73,133 76.26% 15,876 16.55% 6,640 6.92% 255 0.27% 95,904
1990 Estimate n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 129,895
1998 Estimate n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 129,655
1999 Estimate n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 132,737
2000 Estimate n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 145,159
2001 Estimate[c] 123,268 88.64% 12,159 8.45% 8,471 5.89% 42 0.03% 143,940
2002 Estimate 121,635 84.34% 13,196 9.15% 9,389 6.51% 0 0.00% 144,220
2003 Estimate 123,704 83.99% 14,386 9.77% 9,192 6.24% 0 0.00% 147,292
2004 Estimate 127,604 84.43% 14,699 9.73% 8,839 5.85% 0 0.00% 151,142
2005 Estimate n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 180,949
2006 Estimate n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a 182,808
2007 Estimate 157,917 86.27% 13,535 7.39% 11,594 6.33% 0 0.00% 183,046
2008 Estimate 152,927 86.67% 13,423 7.61% 10,090 5.72% 0 0.00% 176,440
2009 Estimate 179,850 86.93% 16,177 7.82% 10,858 5.25% 0 0.00% 206,885
2011 Enumeration 136,665 82.90% 16,555 10.04% 11,491 6.97% 141 0.09% 164,852
2012 Census 142,561 83.12% 17,191 10.02% 11,700 6.82% 59 0.03% 171,511


Ampara District is one of the 25 districts of Sri Lanka, the second level administrative division of the country. The district is administered by a District Secretariat headed by a District Secretary appointed by the central government of Sri Lanka. The capital of the district is the town of Ampara. The district was carved out of the southern part of Batticaloa District in April 1961.
Population of Ampara District by ethnic group 1963 to 2012[2][8]
Year Sri Lankan Moor Sinhalese Sri Lankan Tamil Indian Tamil Other Total
No.
No. % No. % No. % No. % No. %
1963 Census 97,621 46.11% 61,996 29.28% 49,185 23.23% 1,312 0.62% 1,618 0.76% 211,732
1971 Census 126,365 46.35% 82,280 30.18% 60,519 22.20% 1,771 0.65% 1,670 0.61% 272,605
1981 Census 161,568 41.54% 146,943 37.78% 77,826 20.01% 1,411 0.36% 1,222 0.31% 388,970
2001 Census 244,620 41.25% 236,583 39.90% 109,188 18.41% 715 0.12% 1,891 0.32% 592,997
2007 Enumeration 268,630 43.99% 228,938 37.49% 111,948 18.33% 58 0.01% 1,145 0.19% 610,719
2012 Census 282,484 43.59% 251,018 38.73% 112,750 17.40% 165 0.03% 1,640 0.25% 648,057


Batticaloa District is one of the 25 districts of Sri Lanka, the second level administrative division of the country. The district is administered by a District Secretariat headed by a District Secretary appointed by the central government of Sri Lanka. The capital of the district is the city of Batticaloa. Ampara District was carved out of the southern part of Batticaloa District in April 1961.
Population of Batticaloa District by ethnic group 1881 to 2012[2][11][12]
Year Tamil[a] Muslim[b] Sinhalese Other Total
No.
No. % No. % No. % No. %
1881 Census 61,014 57.80% 37,255 35.29% 5,012 4.75% 2,277 2.16% 105,558
1891 Census 69,584 56.71% 44,780 36.50% 6,403 5.22% 1,932 1.57% 122,699
1901 Census 79,857 55.01% 54,190 37.33% 7,575 5.22% 3,539 2.44% 145,161
1911 Census 83,948 54.53% 60,695 39.43% 5,771 3.75% 3,529 2.29% 153,943
1921 Census 84,665 53.35% 63,146 39.79% 7,243 4.56% 3,655 2.30% 158,709
1946 Census 102,264 50.33% 85,805 42.23% 11,850 5.83% 3,267 1.61% 203,186
1953 Census 130,381 48.20% 106,706 39.45% 31,174 11.52% 2,232 0.83% 270,493
1963 Census[c] 141,110 71.93% 46,038 23.47% 6,715 3.42% 2,326 1.19% 196,189
1971 Census 181,527 70.71% 60,889 23.72% 11,548 4.50% 2,757 1.07% 256,721
1981 Census 237,787 71.98% 78,829 23.86% 11,255 3.41% 2,462 0.75% 330,333
2001 Census[13] n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
2007 Enumeration 381,984 74.05% 128,964 25.00% 2,397 0.46% 2,512 0.49% 515,857
2012 Census 382,300 72.80% 133,844 25.49% 6,127 1.17% 2,871 0.55% 525,142


Trincomalee District is one of the 25 districts of Sri Lanka, the second level administrative division of the country. The district is administered by a District Secretariat headed by a District Secretary appointed by the central government of Sri Lanka. The capital of the district is the city of Trincomalee.
Population of Trincomalee District by ethnic group 1827 to 2012[1][9][10]
Year Muslim[a] Tamil[b] Sinhalese Other Total
No.
No. % No. % No. % No. %
1827 3,245 16.94% 15,663 81.76% 250 1.30% 0 0.00% 19,158
1881 Census 5,746 25.89% 14,304 64.44% 935 4.21% 1,212 5.46% 22,197
1891 Census 6,426 24.96% 17,117 66.49% 1,105 4.29% 1,097 4.26% 25,745
1901 Census 8,258 29.04% 17,060 59.98% 1,203 4.23% 1,920 6.75% 28,441
1911 Census 9,700 32.60% 17,233 57.92% 1,138 3.82% 1,684 5.66% 29,755
1921 Census 12,846 37.66% 18,580 54.47% 1,501 4.40% 1,185 3.47% 34,112
1946 Census 23,219 30.58% 33,795 44.51% 11,606 15.29% 7,306 9.62% 75,926
1953 Census 28,616 34.10% 37,517 44.71% 15,296 18.23% 2,488 2.96% 83,917
1963 Census 40,775 29.43% 54,452 39.30% 39,925 28.82% 3,401 2.45% 138,553
1971 Census 59,924 31.83% 71,749 38.11% 54,744 29.08% 1,828 0.97% 188,245
1981 Census 75,039 29.32% 93,132 36.39% 85,503 33.41% 2,274 0.89% 255,948
2001 Census[c] n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
2007 Enumeration 151,692 45.37% 96,142 28.75% 84,766 25.35% 1,763 0.53% 334,363
2012 Census 152,854 40.42% 122,080 32.29% 101,991 26.97% 1,257 0.33% 378,182


Puttalam is a district situated near to the west coast of Sri Lanka. It has an area of 3,072 km2 (1,186 sq mi). Along with the Kurunegala District, it formulates the North Western Province of Sri Lanka. The district capital is Puttalam, which borders the Kala Oya and Modaragam Aru in the north, Anuradhapura District and Kurunegala District in the east, Ma Oya in the south, and the Indian Ocean in the west. Puttalam is well known for its picturesque lagoons, popular for shallow sea fishing and prawn farming activities. The town of Kalpitiya, and the Kalpitiya Peninsula, is located in this district.