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SS Chap 4 Sri Lanka_2012


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Conflicts in a Multi-Ethnic Society - Sri Lanka

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SS Chap 4 Sri Lanka_2012

  2. 2. Why do people of Different Races and Religions Disagree?• Forced to adopt different customs & traditions• Language and education policies do not consider their interests• Law unfair to minority groups• Power struggle• Disagreement on ruling of country• Competition for Job Opportunities or Economic Resources
  3. 3. How do people Resolve Disagreements?• Tolerance• Peaceful protest & marches• Hunger strikes• Violence
  4. 4. SRI LANKA SRI LANKACauses of Conflicts Consequences Citizenship rights Armed Conflict Sinhala Only Foreign InterventionUniversity Admission Unemployment Resettlement Fall in Tourists
  5. 5. HistoricalBackground1798 to 1948A British ColonyKnown as CeylonModel country for theworldFeb 1948Gained independenceSinhalese GovtMay 1972Officially known as SriLanka
  6. 6. How does the multi-ethnic make-up result in conflicts in Sri Lanka?Source:
  7. 7. Moors SinhaleseMinority 8% Majority 81.9% Tamils 2nd Majority 9.4%
  8. 8. SINHALESE • Largest race (81.9%) • Speak Sinhala • Majority Buddhists
  9. 9. TAMILS• 2nd largest race (9.4%)• Speak Tamil• Hindus2 Types of Tamils7) Sri Lankan Tamils (11%) Descendants of Tamils who have been living in Sri Lanka for centuries2) Indian Tamils (7%) Descendants of tea plantation workers brought in from India by the British
  10. 10. MOORS• 3rd largest race (8%)• Muslims• Descendants of Arab or Indian Muslim traders
  11. 11. WHERE DO THETAMILS LIVE? Sri Lankan Tamils Northern (Jaffna Peninsular) andEastern (Batticaloa) Indian TamilsHighland districts – tea plantations
  12. 12. WHERE DO THESINHALESE LIVE? Sinhalese Found in largenumbers everywhere except Jaffna and Batticaloa In the south, they form almost the entire population
  13. 13. SRI LANKACauses of Conflicts Citizenship rights Sinhala OnlyUniversity Admission Resettlement
  14. 14. • Part 1 (Causes: Citizenship): http://
  15. 15. Why (1) Citizenship Rights became a cause of the Conflicts?Ceylon Citizenship ActCitizenship granted to: a. Those born in Sri Lanka b. Those whose fathers & grandfathers were born in Sri LankaThis excluded the Indian Tamils brought from India to work in tea plantation in Sri Lanka.They became stateless despite living in Sri Lanka for many years and contributing to its economy.They were denied basic rights such as education, jobs, housing, voting etc.
  16. 16. Outcome of Citizenship Rights?In 1964, after allowingsome Indian Tamils toreturn to India andgranting some thecitizenship, about 100,000still stateless.By 2003, Grant of Do you think thisCitizenship to Persons of Source showed that Citizenship Rights wasIndian Origin Bill gave tackled well?citizenship to those ofIndian descent. Source A: Tamil Refugees at the harbour, August 1983 Source:
  17. 17. What can you infer about the success of resolving Citizenship Rights after the Violence? Source B: An extract taken from 2010 Human Rights Report on Sri Lanka, published by the U.S. State Department website The 2003 Grant of Citizenship to Persons of Indian Origin Act recognized the countrys nationality of previously stateless persons, particularly hill-country Tamils. The government made limited progress towards naturalizing and providing citizenship documentation to stateless persons. By December approximately 20,000 hill-country Tamils in the country lacked identity cards and citizenship documents, compared with 30,000 at the beginning of 2009 and 70,000 in 2008. Those lacking identity cards were at higher risk of arbitrary arrest and detention, but there were no reports ofI such infer that the govt measures to resolve the Citizenship canRights has not been very successful and slow as many of the incidents during the year.Tamil Indians remain stateless as seen by “approximately 20,000hill-country Tamils in the country lacked identity cards and documents” even after the violence has ended.
  18. 18. Link: How do you think the Citizenship Rights issue contributed to the Conflicts? Although efforts were continuously made to resolve the citizenship rights issue, the slow process caused great inconvenience, insecurity and resentment among the Indian Tamils, which could have made them oppose the Sinhalese Govt. Recall some of the answers discussed based on the 2 sources?
  19. 19. SRI LANKACauses of Conflicts Citizenship rights Sinhala OnlyUniversity Admission Resettlement
  20. 20. • Part 2 (Causes: Sinhala Only):
  21. 21. Why (2) ‘Sinhala Only’ Policy became a cause of Conflict?During British Rule  Indian Tamils brought in by the British Colonial Masters were educated in English  They worked in the British Government service and held some of the most powerful jobs although they were a minority  Sinhalese – majority in country but could not read or write EnglishAfter Independence (Sinhalese Govt)  1956: Made Sinhala the language of administration under Official Language Act  Tamils in govt service given 3 years to learn Sinhala or be dismissed
  22. 22. Outcome of ‘Sinhala Only’ Policy? Tamils upset as they found it difficult to find jobs or get promoted. Peaceful demonstration disrupted by Sinhalese Riots resulted in high no. of deaths Pact between Sri Lankan Govt and Tamil leader to allow Tamil to be used as language of admin in North and East Sri Lanka led to even higher fighting and deaths Then, Tamil was declared national and official language of Sri Lanka.
  23. 23. Does this source show that the Sinhala Only policy has been resolved?Source C: Official documents and dollar notes used in Sri Lanka all showedthe 3 different languages on them
  24. 24. What is the cartoon trying to show about the Sinhala Only Policy?Source D: A cartoon taken from www.tamilnation.orgThe cartoon is trying to show to the world that the Sri Lankan Govt and Army, which majorly comprises of the Sinhalese is trying to get rid of Tamils from Sri Lanka. This can be seen from the drawing of the smartly-dressed official andsoldier representing the Sri Lankan govt and army using a saw titled‘Sinhalese Colonialisation’ to cut off the eastern region dominated by mostly Tamils from the map of Sri Lanka.
  25. 25. Link: How do you think the Sinhala Only policy contributed to the Conflicts? As the discrimination caused the Tamils to be denied the right to use their language and forced to accept a different culture instead, they felt outraged and the urgent need to fight for their rights, resulting in violence and bloodshed.
  26. 26. SRI LANKACauses of Conflicts Citizenship rights Sinhala OnlyUniversity Admission Resettlement
  27. 27. Why (3) University Admissioncriteria became a cause of Conflict? Before 1970: • University admission based on merit and exams held in English • Number of Tamil and Sinhalese students in respected medical and engineering almost equal • Sinhalese were unhappy because the no. of Tamil students were higher than their proportion in the country.
  28. 28. Is the proportion of students in each course to their population size fair?Source E: Graph, which shows no. of Tamil and Sinhalese university students and their population size in the country, is taken from a Sinhalese website
  29. 29. Why (3) University Admissioncriteria became a cause of Conflict?After 1970•Compulsory for Tamil Course Students Minimum Marksstudents to score higher Arts Sinhalese 187marks than Sinhalese Tamils 170students•A fixed no. of places Engineering Sinhalese 227 Tamils 250also reserved forSinhalese. Medicine & Sinhalese 229•Admission was not Dentistry Tamils 250solely based onacademic results. Why do you think the Arts course requirement is higher•Still in place today. for Sinhalese students?
  30. 30. Link: How do you think the UniversityAdmission criteria contributed to the Conflicts?• Because of the unfair admission criteria, the number of Tamil students entering universities fell. They felt frustrated and helpless as this discrimination adversely affected their educational qualifications, job opportunities and standard of living. This encouraged the Tamil youths to join forces which could help them seek justice.
  31. 31. SRI LANKACauses of Conflicts Citizenship rights Sinhala OnlyUniversity Admission Resettlement
  32. 32. Why (4) Resettlement became a cause of Conflict?In 1950: Sinhalese But Tamils were peasants were unhappy because transferred from Buddhist monks and Sridensely populated Lankan Army also camesouth-western and to occupy their lands. central areas into Tamil areas Govt implemented this to provide fertile land for landless Sinhalese peasants to live and cultivate padi.
  33. 33. What can you learn about the Resettlement and Violence in Sri Lanka?Source F: Account extracted from ‘Son of Soils’ published by Stanford University•Tamil leader, Chelvanayakam warned that the government’s resettlement policywas even more dangerous to the Tamil people than the Sinhala-language policy.His political party claimed that the resettlements were “calculated to overwhelmand crush the Tamil-speaking people in their own national areas.” The aftermathof the Sinhala-only riot resulted in 87 injuries, but no deaths. However, therioting due to resettlement somewhere killed between 20 and 200 people.•The threat of losing majority status in one’s homeland might have driven someTamils into violence. Participating in these violent activities were Tamil irrigationworkers, construction workers and truck drivers, who might not have beendirectly concerned about the language issue. The gradual displacement ofTamils became a full-scale retreat. Tamil refugees escaped to the forests to thewest and up north to the Jaffna peninsula, many joining rebel bands. The SriLankan government continued to support Sinhala settlement in Tamil areaseven though its officials understood its provocative implications.
  34. 34. Link: How do you think the Resettlement contributed to the Conflicts? • Because of the injustice of being driven out of their lands, threatened security and being treated as minority in their own areas, the Tamils felt outraged by the government deliberate plans to discriminate them. This had motivated many Tamils to carry out violence and seek help from rebel militants, the LTTE.
  35. 35. Political Economic SocialArmed Conflict Unemployment Driven out of homeland Foreign Loss of Intervention Investments Fall in Tourists
  36. 36. • Part 3 (Consequences: Armed Conflict & LTTE):• Part 4 (Consequences: Tamils welcome LTTE, Foreign Intervention, Peace Accord) :• Part 5 (Consequences: Unemployment):• Part 6 (Consequences: Fall in Tourist, Massacre) :
  37. 37. How did the Conflict result in (1) Armed Conflict? Tamils made peaceful demands for 1950s, Tamils requested that fair treatment by Sri Lankan Govt. Tamil areas be recognized as a federation within Sri Lanka. No violence. Why were the Tamil Tigers Angry and dissatisfied, Tamils known as also terrorists? (including youths) form the militantgroup, LTTE (Liberation Tigers of the 1976, Tamils asked for a separate Tamil Eelam), which used violence independent state in North and East to demand for Tamils’ rights. of Sri Lanka, which will be called Tamil Eelam. Tamils believed on a separation could ensure their rights. All demands not met and idea of separate state rejected.
  38. 38. What can you infer about the actions of LTTE in fighting for the Tamils’ freedom?Source G: An LTTE bus bomb kills 25 Colombo commuters, in April 2008. The bombings by the LTTE are inappropriate and immoral acts because innocent lives, both Sinhalese and Tamils, were lost.Furthermore, the bombings will not help in getting the Sinhalese to grant their demands.
  39. 39. Tamil woman suicide bomber killed 23, wounded 60 Friday 05, July 1996
  40. 40. Because of LTTE, is it fair to say thatthe Tamils are the more violent race in the Conflict? Source H: Extract from Madras Hindu, a Tamil newspaper on Mr. Kuttimani, one of the 52 Tamil political prisoners, 10 August 1983 . •Kuttimani, a nominated member of Sri Lankan parliament... was forced to kneel in his (maximum security prison) cell by his assailants and ordered to pray to them. When he refused, he was taunted by his tormentors about his last wish... He had willed that his eyes be donated to someone so that at least that person would see an independent Tamil Eelam. The assailants then gouged his eyes... He was then stabbed to death and his testicles were wrenched from his body.
  41. 41. Link: How do you think the ArmedConflict was a serious consequence? As the armed conflict escalated the use of violence, tens of thousands of innocent lives, both Sinhalese and Tamils, are lost. The security of the nation is threatened as the people are living in constant fear and violence. Also, much wastage results from the spending on weapons and reconstruction of infrastructure. Lastly, the repercussions of the armed conflict spill over into other areas of impact.