This study is focused on the political vicissitudes of Sri Lanka since the initiation in December 2001 of a ceasefire that sought to end the violent confrontation between the 'Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam' and the security forces of the government of Sri Lanka. The aim was to pave the way for a negotiated settlement between the Sinhalese and the Sri Lankan Tamils-75 per cent and 12 per cent respectively of the national population-which originated in the early years of independence from the British rule. More than a detailed account of events and trends, this work is an exercise in both synthesis and analysis. Its interpretations converge on the theme that the belief in the possibility of achieving peace through negotiation with the LTTE has all along been an illusion. The book shows that the ceasefire did not mark a cessation of hostilities but only a dip in the intensity of the battle-field violence.