The 26-year conflict between the sri Lankan army and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) ended when the Tigers' fearsome chief Velupillai Prabhakaran died in battle. Ruthless and relentless, Prabhakaran pioneered the use of suicide bombers, and the LTTE was classified as a terrorist organization by many governments. But while the war is over, the minority Tamils are still fighting for their rights amid the majority Sinhalese. With Prabhakaran gone, the next step for Sri Lanka is to win the peace by creating a just, inclusive society for all.
Pratap is a former CNN South Asia bureau chief and TIME correspondent