Self-revision notes for SS (Case Study of Sri Lanka)Content: (1) Background Information (2) Causes of the Sinhalese-Tamil Conflict (3) Consequences of the Sinhalese-Tamil ConflictBACKGROUND INFORMATION: (a) Who Lives In Sri Lanka Sinhalese Moor Indian Tamil Sri Lankan Tamil% of Population 82% 8% 4.3% 5.1%Main Language Sinhala Sinhala & Tamil Tamil Tamil & EnglishReligion Buddhism Islam Hinduism HinduismOrigins Indigenous to Sri Descendants of Descendants of Descendants of Lanka Arab traders who Tamils who Tamils who migrated to Sri migrated to Sri migrated to Sri Lanka between Lanka around Lanka around the 8th and 15th 800BC 300BC century. (b) Brief History 1798 – 1948: British Government Established a series of cinnamon, sugar & coffee cultivation followed by tea & rubber plantations and Graphite Mining1948:Gained Independence on 4th February 1948Sinhalese Government New government made up of mainly Sinhalese. The new government introduced policies that favoured the Sinhalese instead.1972:Renamed Sri Lanka which means beautiful island in Sinhala
CAUSES OF THE SINHALESE-TAMIL CONFLICT: Factor What is it about?Citizenship Rights - 1948: Indian Tamils became stateless due to amendment in citizenship clauses - 1964: Indian Tamils who were stateless received help from India to become citizens of India again - This did not legalize till late 1980s and thus, not improving on the situation of the stateless Indian Tamils - Citizenship Right Many Tamils Stateless No basic rights such as education, jobs housing & voting Still continued to work on tea plantations Significant contribution to Sri Lankan Economy “Sinhala Only” - Under the British rule, the minority English-educated Tamils were able to occupy Policy some of the most powerful jobs in the government service. - Eight years after independence, in 1956, Sinhala was declared as the country‟s official language. - Sinhala, not English, was to be used as administrative language - “Sinhala Only” Policy Tamils lose jobs or transferred to low-end jobs Tamils felt discriminated & threatenedRiot/ Join or supported LTTE. Impact:- Peaceful demonstration against the Official language Act took place.- Supporters of the Sinhala language disrupted the demonstration.- Rioting occurred and hundreds died. What did the government do? - July 1958 Pact signed which made Tamil made language of national minority and used for administrative purposes in areas where there were Tamils Consequence: Protests from Sinhalese which resulted in withdrawal of pact in 1958 Violence escalated- Year 1978Tamil declared national language in Sri Lankan Constitution and used mainly for administrationInthe northern and eastern parts of the country as well as an official language.English used as medium of communication amongst the different groups.
Factor What is it about? University - Before 1970Admission Criteria Based on merit Medium of instruction in exams: English Sinhalese dissatisfied that there were almost as many Tamils as Sinhalese in the university medical and engineering courses Did not reflect population proportion in the country - After 1970 - The government introduced new university admission criteria. Measures taken to lessen Tamil students in university - Compulsory for Tamil students to score higher marks than the Sinhalese students to be able to enter the same university course. - Fixed number of places in University reserved for Sinhalese students - Admission no longer based purely on results - This made it difficult for Tamil youths to enter university. - Consequence: - Significant fall in percentage of Tamil students as opposed to rise of Sinhalese students. - 1948: 48% Tamil Students - 1975: 14.2% Tamil Students - Tamils were very unhappy as they felt that they were treated unfairly. Resettlement - Indian Tamils lived in highland districts - Sri Lankan Tamils located mainly in Jaffna &Batticaloa - Policy in 1950 to resettle poor Sinhalese peasants from densely populated central and southwestern parts to the Tamil-majority areas - Consequence: - Tamils who felt that the Sinhalese were „intruders in their territories‟- - Sinhalese peasants - Buddhist monks - Soldiers who were mainly Sinhalese - Whole villages were driven out by the Sri Lankan army to be occupied by Sinhalese settlers - The new settlers were also provided protection by the army - Unhappiness amongst Tamils felt marginalized and rejected by the large-scale government resettlement schemes into these traditional areas of Tamils
CONSEQUENCES OF SINHALESE- TAMIL CONFLICT Type of Example What is it about?consequence - Peaceful demands made initially Armed Conflict 1950: Federal party requested for recognition of federation of Tamil areas in the country. Political - 1976: Tamil United Liberation Front formed to fight for independent state for the Tamils - Separate state to be known as Tamil Eelam Rejection by government to the demands - In 1976, the militant group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) or Tamil Tigers was formed to pressure the government to give in to their demands - Sinhalese also showed hostility towards Tamils through violence. Between 1981-1983 anti-Tamil riots broke out - During the 1983 riots, 13 Sinhalese soldiers were killed by the Tamil Tigers - The riots sparked a long armed conflict between government forces and Tamil Tigers in the struggle for self-rule in the north and east of the country. - The internal war has been on-going for 20 years, and cost more than 60,000 lives. - India initially played the role of mediator in response to 1983 riots Foreign Mediator: neutral party who acts as peacemaker to resolve Intervention conflicts - However, peace talks between Sinhalese and Tamils (initiated by India) FAILED - June 1987: Indian government decided to send food supplies and petroleum to help the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka. - BUT Sri Lankan navy turned them away - Indian Air Force decided to send their supplies through air, resulting in violation of Sri Lankan airspace - July 1987: To resolve conflict with India over the abovementioned incident, peace accord was signed. It included: Ceasefire between Tamil Tigers and Sri Lankan forces Tamil Tigers to surrender all their arms to Indian peacekeeping troops Merging of northern and eastern parts of Sri Lanka where Tamils are dominant group Peace Keeping was not Successful: - Tamil Tigers failed to abide to the agreement to surrender their weapons - Indian troops took over Tamil-dominated Jaffna - Confrontations are between Indian troops and Tamil Tigers from then onwards
Factor Example What is it about? - Riots of July 1983 left many factory workers, plantation and self- employed jobless Unemployment E.g. destroying their workplaces by vandalism or burning them down - Crime rate in the country rose as a large number of Sinhalese took part in vandalism, looting and burning of their workplacesEconomic Loss of - Investments play a vital role in the economic growth of Sri Lanka investment - However, riots in the country led to fall in investments due to the from other instability countries - Tourism is another major component of the economy in Sri Lanka Fall in tourist - Riotsloss of jobs fall of economy Numbers After the riots, there was a large fall in tourism in the country which resulted in loss of jobs and fall in the economy. - Sri Lankan Tamils driven out of their homeland Social Loss of - Large-scale displacement of Tamils (in July 1983, many Tamils fled homeland to Tamil Nadu) - In 1990s, High Security Zones (HSZ) were set up by Sri Lankan army to contain LTTE - In 1995, many Tamils fled their homes when the Sri Lankan army moved into Jaffna to take on the LTTE. - Today, many Tamils still live in overcrowded conditions in refugee camps or with relatives and friends