Conflict in Sri Lanka


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Conflict in Sri Lanka

  3. 3. Why do people of different races and religions disagree? <ul><li>Not allowed to keep traditional way of life; forced to adopt different set of customs and traditions </li></ul><ul><li>Language and education policies which do not consider their interests </li></ul><ul><li>Law has been unfair to them </li></ul><ul><li>Fight for control of power </li></ul><ul><li>Disagreement on how the country should be ruled </li></ul><ul><li>Job opportunities or economic resources </li></ul>
  4. 4. How do people resolve these disagreements? <ul><li>Tolerance </li></ul><ul><li>Peaceful protest & marches </li></ul><ul><li>Hunger strikes </li></ul><ul><li>Taking up arms </li></ul><ul><li>Diplomatic negotiations to work out a peace settlement </li></ul>
  5. 5. Conflict in Multi-ethnic Sri Lanka
  6. 7. First, The scenic side of Sri Lanka…
  7. 9. How is Sri Lanka like these days?
  8. 10. Some parts in Colombo are marred by …
  9. 12. Tamil woman suicide bomber killed 23, wounded 60 Friday 05, July 1996 [Source :]
  10. 14. SRI LANKA The setting for a violatile situation
  11. 15. Map 2000 SRI LANKANS 3 major races SINHALESE TAMILS MOORS
  12. 16. <ul><li>SINHALESE SPEAK SINHALA; BUDDHISTS </li></ul><ul><li>TAMILS SPEAK TAMIL; HINDUS </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sri Lankan Tamils </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Descendants of Tamils who have been living in Sri Lanka for centuries </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Indian Tamils </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Descendants of tea plantation workers brought in from India by the British </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>MOORS MUSLIMS </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Descendants of Arab or Indian Muslim traders </li></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 17. Distribution of different racial groups in Sri Lanka, 1993 Indian Tamils Sri Lankan Tamils Sri Lankan Tamils 18% of population are Tamils
  14. 18. <ul><ul><li>1798 to 1948 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>British Colony </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>4 Feb 1948 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gained independence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Known as Ceylon </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>22 May 1972 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Officially became known as the Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka </li></ul></ul>SRI LANKA
  15. 19. SRI LANKA But why did conflict arise?
  16. 20. <ul><li>SRI LANKA </li></ul><ul><li>Racial Differences </li></ul><ul><li>Sinhalese vs Tamils </li></ul><ul><li>Conflicts over </li></ul><ul><li>Citizenship rights </li></ul><ul><li>Language policy </li></ul><ul><li>University Admission </li></ul><ul><li>Resettlement of Population </li></ul>
  17. 21. Political decisions that led to conflict …
  18. 22. Citizenship rights <ul><li>1948: Indian Tamils became stateless due to amendment in citizenship clauses </li></ul><ul><li>1964: Indian Tamils who were stateless received help from India to become citizens of India again </li></ul><ul><li>This did not legalize till late 1980s and thus, not improving on the situation of the stateless Indian Tamils </li></ul>
  19. 23. ‘Sinhala only’ policy <ul><li>Under the British rule, the minority English-educated Tamils were able to occupy some fo the most powerful jobs in the government service. </li></ul><ul><li>Eight years after independence, in 1956, Sinhala was declared as the country’s official language. </li></ul><ul><li>Sinhala, not English, was to be used as administrative language </li></ul>
  20. 24. impact <ul><li>Peaceful demonstration against the Official language Act took place. </li></ul><ul><li>Supporters of the Sinhala language disrupted the demonstration. </li></ul><ul><li>Rioting occurred and hundreds died. </li></ul><ul><li>- What action did the government do to appease the situation? </li></ul>
  21. 25. <ul><li>July 1958 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pact signed which made Tamil made language of national minority and used for administrative purposes in areas where there were Tamils </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consequence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>protests from Sinhalese which resulted in </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>withdrawal of pact in 1958 Violence escalated </li></ul></ul></ul>
  22. 26. <ul><li>In1978 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tamil declared national language in Sri Lankan Constitution and used mainly for administration in northern and eastern parts of the country as well as an official language. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>English used as medium of communication amongst the different groups. </li></ul></ul>
  23. 27. Second issue of contention…
  24. 28. University admission <ul><li>Before 1970 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Based on merit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Medium of instruction in exams: English </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sinhalese dissatisfied that there were almost as many Tamils as Sinhalese in the university medical and engineering courses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Did not reflect population proportion in the country </li></ul></ul>
  25. 29. <ul><li>After 1970, the government introduced new university admission criteria. </li></ul><ul><li>Measures taken to lessen Tamil students in university – what are these measures? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Consequence: significant fall in percentage of Tamil students as opposed to rise of Sinhalese students </li></ul></ul>
  26. 30. Third issue of contention…
  27. 31. <ul><li>Indian Tamils lived in highland districts </li></ul><ul><li>Sri Lankan Tamils located mainly in Jaffna & Batticaloa </li></ul><ul><li>Policy in 1950 to resettle poor Sinhalese peasants from densely populated central and southwestern parts to the Tamil-majority areas </li></ul>Resettling of Sinhalese
  28. 32. Population Resettlement <ul><li>Consequence: </li></ul><ul><li>Tamils who felt that the Sinhalese were ‘intruders in their territories’- </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sinhalese peasants </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Buddhist monks </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Soldiers who were mainly Sinhalese </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Whole villages were driven out by the Sri Lankan army to be occupied by Sinhalese settlers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The new settlers were also provided protection by the army </li></ul></ul>
  29. 33. impact <ul><ul><li>Unhappiness amongst Tamils felt marginalized and rejected by the large-scale government resettlement schemes into these traditional areas of Tamils </li></ul></ul>
  30. 34. Consequences of conflict..
  31. 35. Political consequences of the Sinhalese-Tamil conflict
  32. 36. Tamils embarked on armed conflict <ul><li>Peaceful demands made initially </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1950: Federal party requested for recognition of federation of Tamil areas in the country. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>1976: Tamil United Liberation Front formed to fight for independent state for the Tamils </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Separate state to be known as Tamil Eelam </li></ul></ul>
  33. 37. <ul><li>Rejection by government to the demands </li></ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul><ul><li>Sinhalese also showed hostility towards Tamils through violence. Between 1981-1983 anti-Tamil riots broke out </li></ul>
  34. 38. <ul><li>During the 1983 riots, 13 Sinhalese soldiers were killed by the Tamil Tigers </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>The internal war has been on-going for 20 years, and cost more than 60,000 lives. </li></ul>
  35. 39. Intervention from India <ul><li>Initially played the role of mediator in response to 1983 riots </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mediator: neutral party who acts as peacemaker to resolve conflicts </li></ul></ul><ul><li>However, peace talks between Sinhalese and Tamils (initiated by India) FAILED </li></ul><ul><li>In June 1987, Indian government decided to send food supplies and petroleum to help the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka </li></ul>
  36. 40. Map of Sri Lanka
  37. 41. <ul><li>BUT Sri Lankan navy turned them away </li></ul><ul><li>Indian Air Force decided to send their supplies through air, resulting in violation of Sri Lankan airspace </li></ul>
  38. 42. <ul><li>July 1987: to resolve conflict with India over the abovementioned incident, peace accord was signed. It included: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ceasefire between Tamil Tigers and Sri Lankan forces </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tamil Tigers to surrender all their arms to Indian peacekeeping troops </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Merging of northern and eastern parts of Sri Lanka where Tamils are dominant group </li></ul></ul>
  39. 43. Peacekeeping: successful? <ul><li>NO! Why? </li></ul><ul><li>Tamil Tigers failed to abide to the agreement to surrender their weapons </li></ul><ul><li>Indian troops took over Tamil-dominated Jaffna </li></ul><ul><li>Confrontations are between Indian troops and Tamil Tigers from then onwards </li></ul>
  40. 44. Economic consequences of the Sinhalese-Tamil conflict
  41. 45. Unemployment <ul><li>Riots of July 1983 left many factory workers, plantation and self-employed jobless </li></ul><ul><li>E.g. destroying their workplaces by vandalism or burning them down </li></ul><ul><li>crime rate in the country rose as a large number of Sinhalese took part in vandalism, looting and burning of their places of work occurred </li></ul><ul><li>, </li></ul>
  42. 46. Investment loss from other countries <ul><li>Investments play a vital role in the economic growth of Sri Lanka </li></ul><ul><li>However, riots in the country led to fall in investments due to the instability </li></ul>
  43. 47. Fall in tourism <ul><li>Tourism is another major component of the economy in Sri Lanka </li></ul><ul><li>Riots=>loss of jobs=> fall of economy </li></ul><ul><li>Fall in tourismwhich resulted in loss of jobs and decline in the economy </li></ul>
  44. 48. Social consequences of the Sinhalese-Tamil conflict
  45. 49. <ul><li>Sri Lankan Tamils driven out of their homeland </li></ul><ul><li>Large-scale displacement of Tamils (in July 1983, many Tamils fled to Tamil Nadu) </li></ul><ul><li>In 1990s, High Security Zones (HSZ) were set up by Sri Lankan army to contain LTTE </li></ul>
  46. 50. <ul><li>In 1995, many Tamils fled their homes when the Sri Lankan army moved into Jaffna to take on the LTTE. </li></ul><ul><li>Today, many Tamils still live in overcrowded conditions in refugee camps or with relatives and friends </li></ul>
  47. 51. <ul><li>2005 Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadingamar a Tamil was assassinated His campaign against a separate Tamil state angered LTTE, a setback to peace </li></ul><ul><li>A string of attacks ensued </li></ul><ul><li>Tamil Tigers vowed to use available resources to obtain independence </li></ul><ul><li>Peace talks to commence in 2006 </li></ul>
  48. 54. Women and children massacred by LTTE in Kotiyagala in Monaragala District in Sri Lanka, Dec 1995 Sr
  49. 55. Is peace possible? <ul><li>2002 Peace talks on ceasefire pact </li></ul><ul><li>LTTE dissatisfied </li></ul><ul><li>First Suicide bomb since 2001 </li></ul><ul><li>Devastation was large - 30,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Foreign aid not given to both </li></ul>
  50. 56. Was the formation of the LTTE (Tamil Tigers) a help or hindrance to the Tamil cause?