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Sec3 chapter4 conflict in multi-ethnic societies (sri lanka)_slideshare


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This set of slides traces the origins of the Sri Lankan conflict and provides an overview of its underlying causes.

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Sec3 chapter4 conflict in multi-ethnic societies (sri lanka)_slideshare

  1. 1. Chapter 4Conflict In Multi-Ethnic Societies:Case Studies of Sri Lanka andNorthern Ireland
  2. 2. Conflict in Multi-Ethnic Societies There are many countries in the world today where people of different races live side by side. Sometimes they live harmoniously. Sometimes conflicts arises because of differences.
  3. 3. Buzz Break 1 Discuss with your partner about what would be some of these reasons.
  4. 4. Lesson Today You will learn:  What are the reasons for conflicts in multi- ethnic societies?  Case Study of the causes of the Singhalese- Tamil conflict in Sri Lanka.
  5. 5. Review People of different races and religions disagree for many reasons:  Unhappy when they can’t practice their traditional way of life.  Unhappy over education and language policies that are unfair to them.  Disagreeover job opportunities and sharing of economic resources.
  6. 6. Multi-ethnic societies People who see themselves as different from other groups. Different in:  culture, religion, physical features or language  beliefs, values and customs. Differences add to cultural diversity However can cause misunderstanding and ultimately tear apart societies.
  7. 7. Chapter Focus: Case Studies: Sri Lanka Northern Ireland Each have different groups of people living together. With:  Each resident group having a different view on how the country should be governed. Different views have led to violence. Why?
  8. 8. Brief History of Sri Lanka• The Sinhalese arrived in late 6th century B.C., probably from northern India.• Buddhism introduced beginning about 3rd century B.C.• Portuguese in the 16th century and by the Dutch in the 17th century. Ceded to the British in 1796.• It became independent in 1948; its name was changed to Sri Lanka in 1972.• Ethnic tensions erupted into war in 1983. Still fighting after 3 decades.
  9. 9. British colonial period (1796 -1948) Introduced tea cultivation on a major scale. Local population too small to provide adequate workforce. Brought in hundreds of manual workers from Southern India (Tamil workers)
  10. 10. British Administration of Ceylon British had been in India longer and had trained the Indians there for administration British felt that they could rely on the Indians (South Indian Tamils) for administration in Ceylon. As well make use of them for manual labor.
  11. 11. Who are the Sri Lankans? Demographic composition: Sinhalese majority (largest number) Tamil majority (Second largest) Natives to the island (Singhalese) Immigrants to the island (Tamils) Ceylon was made up of two nations
  12. 12. Why are the Sinhalese and Tamils in conflict? Tension between the Tamils & Sinhalese went back to the British colonial era. After independence, the new government which was dominated by the Sinhalese. Introduced policies which were biased in favor of the Sinhalese.
  13. 13. Reasons for conflict in Sri Lanka The roots of the conflict lies with the policies adopted by the Sri Lankan government to:  Try and make Singhalese the main culture & language.  Force minority races to accept the position of Singhalese
  14. 14. Policy 1 – Citizenship RightsWhat was the policy? Upon gaining independence in 1948, the Sri Lankan government passed the Ceylon Citizenship Act of 1948. The Act granted citizenship ONLY to those who were either born in Sri Lanka or those whose forefathers were born there.
  15. 15. Policy 1 – Citizenship RightsImplications of the policy Result: Many Indian Tamils found themselves stateless. Stateless:  They were not citizens of any country.  Being stateless - denied basic rights that citizens are entitled to eg. housing, education, jobs, voting
  16. 16. Policy 1 – Citizenship RightsWhy did it matter? Tamils lived in Sri Lanka for many years Despite being denied citizenship privileges, they continued to work on the tea plantations and Contributed significantly to the Sri Lankan economy.
  17. 17. Policy 1 – Citizenship RightsHow did the conflict worsened? In 1964, India decided to allow a certain number of Tamils to return to India. The rest were to be granted Sri Lankan citizenship Not fully carried out, it was interrupted due to the outbreak of ethnic violence. 100,000 Indian Tamils remain stateless.
  18. 18. Policy 1 – Citizenship RightsResolution? 2003, Sri Lanka passed the Grant of Citizenship to Persons of Indian Origin Bill. Bill gave citizenship to:  Any person of Indian origin who had permanently lived in Sri Lanka since 1964. or  Any person descended from someone who had permanently stayed in Sri Lanka since that date.
  19. 19. Policy 2 – ‘Sinhala Only’ PolicyWhat was the concern? Under British colonial rule, English-educated Tamils entered colonial service & were promoted. They occupied some of the most powerful jobs in the Service although they were the minority in the country. The Sinhalese majority were disadvantaged because they could not read or write English well
  20. 20. Policy 2 – ‘Sinhala Only’ PolicyWhat was the policy? However, in 1956, Sinhala was declared the as the country’s official language under the Official Language Act Replaced English as the official language.
  21. 21. Policy 2 – ‘Sinhala Only’ PolicyImplications of the policy ONLY Sinhala was used as the language of administration in Sri Lanka All minorities had to learn to speak and use it.
  22. 22. Policy 2 – ‘Sinhala Only’ PolicyWhy does it matter? Tamils in the government service were given 3 years to learn Sinhala or be dismissed. The Tamils were upset because they found it difficult to find jobs or be promoted.
  23. 23. Policy 2 – ‘Sinhala Only’ PolicyHow did the conflict worsened? A peaceful demonstration against the Official Language Act was disrupted by supporters of the Sinhala language. Rioting occurred and over a hundred deaths resulted
  24. 24. Policy 2 – ‘Sinhala Only’ PolicyResolution? 1957 Sri Lankan government and Tamil leader signed a pact to make Tamil the language of a national minority. Used as language of administration in Northern & Eastern areas. Issue was resolved – but created bad feelings between Singhalese and Tamils.
  25. 25. Policy 3 – University Admission CriteriaWhat was the policy? Before 1970 university admission was based on merit and the examinations were in English. Policy benefited the English-educated Tamils and they scored well in the examinations.
  26. 26. Policy 3 – University Admission CriteriaWhat was the concern? Proportion of Tamils admitted to university was higher than their proportion in the population. Singhalese felt that this was unfair as they were the majority race.
  27. 27. Policy 3 – University Admission Criteria The number of Tamil and Sinhalese were almost equal in the more respected medical and engineering courses. But Tamils made up only 18% of the population
  28. 28. Policy 3 – University Admission CriteriaResolution? After 1970 new university admission criteria. Tamil students had to score higher marks than the Sinhalese students to enter the same courses in the universities. A fixed number of places in the universities were also reserved for the Sinhalese
  29. 29. Policy 3 – University Admission CriteriaImplications of the policy Admission no longer based solely on academic results. This system is still in place today. Not always the students with the best grades that were admitted – some got in because of their race. University qualifications were questioned.
  30. 30. Policy 4 – ResettlementWhat was the policy? To resettle poor Sinhalese peasants in the 1950s from densely populated southwestern and central areas to Tamil areas Provide land for these Singhalese to grow crops
  31. 31. Policy 4 – ResettlementWhy it matters Unequal distribution of the Sinhalese and Tamils throughout the island. Tamils heavily concentrated in highland districts as the majority of them are tea plantation workers.
  32. 32. Policy 4 – Resettlement Sri Lankan Tamils who make up 95% of the population in the Jaffna peninsula. The Sinhalese are found in large numbers everywhere except in the Jaffna and Batticola districts
  33. 33. Policy 4 – ResettlementImplications Resettlement also included the Buddhist monks and Sri Lankan Army officers & men as well as their families. Tamil upset over large-scale resettlement. Government forcibly evicted Tamils from their homes.
  34. 34. Recap (in groups) List two reasons why people in multi-ethnic societies disagree. List the four policies that resulted in the conflict in Sri Lanka? How far do you think the British colonial government was responsible for the conflict in Sri Lanka?
  35. 35. Consequences of Sri Lankan conflict Political consequence  Armed conflict  Tamils felt discriminated  Tried various ways to voice their unhappiness  1940s –made peaceful demands to be treated fairly  1950s –Tamil areas into a federation, within Sri Lanka  1976 – Demands still not met. Then asked for separate state. State to be called Tamil Eelam.  Sri Lankan govt. rejected Tamil Eelam proposal  Politically active Tamils formed Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)
  36. 36. Consequences of Sri Lankan Conflict Political Consequence  Violence against the state:  LTTE attacked Sinhalese and also anyone (incl. Tamils who supported the government).  Listed as a terrorist organization internationally  Sinhalese also carried out violence:  Mob attacks on Tamils and riots of July 1983  20 year conflict resulted in over 60,000 lives lost
  37. 37. Consequences of Sri Lankan Conflict Political consequence  Foreign intervention  Armed conflict attracted attention of another country – India.  Tried to act as mediator (neutral party which tries to bring conflicting parties together for discussion)  Mediation not successful  Sent aid to Tamil regions via warships & aircraft  Forced Sri Lanka to sign peace accord with India  Indian peacekeeping force in Sri Lanka to get LTTE to disarm. Clashed with them. Forced to leave Sri Lanka.
  38. 38. Consequences of Sri Lankan Conflict Economic consequence  Unemployment.  The Sri Lankan riots in July 1983 led to massive unemployment.  Workers reluctant to go to work because of fear of being attacked or becoming a victim of violence.  Some jobless workers – participated in vandalism
  39. 39. Consequences of Sri Lankan Conflict Economic Consequence  Loss of investments from other countries:  Foreign investments needed for country to develop.  When country is unstable – investors will turn away because they lack confidence.  Fear that they will lose their investments
  40. 40. Consequences of Sri Lankan Conflict Economic consequence  Fall in the numbers of tourists  Tourism = a major source of revenue for Sri Lanka  Many attractive places to visit and pleasant surroundings  Tourist arrivals steadily decreased since 1983.  Affected the economy as tourism related industries (travel agents, transport or tour operators) all affected with falling demand for these services.
  41. 41. Consequences of Sri Lankan Conflict Social Consequence  Sri Lankan Tamils driven out of their homeland:  1983 thousands of Tamils fled to Tamil Nadu  Sri Lankan Army (SLA) declared High Security Zones (HSZs). Access was restricted. People could not move freely between zones or regions.  Thousands of Tamils forced to flee from Jaffna as SLA took on the LTTE there.  Many displaced persons living in refugee camps with poor health standards and public hygiene.
  42. 42. Consequences of Sri Lankan Conflict Peace for our times  Sri Lanka finally defeated the LTTE in a major military operation in May 2009.  But are the seeds of conflict still present?  Share your thoughts about this.