SriLanka

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SRI LANKA

CURRENT SITUATION

The 25-year civil war (1983-2009) was fought by the LTTE Tamil Tigers against the Government of Sri Lanka with one key goal–an independent or sovereign Tamil state. Tamil miliancy grew out of deep frustration with Government inaction on several key issues, including designation of Sinhalese as the national language.

Today, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa (of the Buddhist Sinhalese majority) is attempting to ensure long-term peace and security by implementing programs aimed at reducing the Tamil majority in the northern and eastern provinces.  Diluting the Tamil voting blocks with reducing the voice of the Tamil people while maintaining a democratic system of government. Tamil leaders vehemently oppose these efforts to dilute their political voice, and continue to call for greater decentralization of political power and for accountability for alleged war crimes committed against the Tamil people by Sri Lankan soldiers during the civil war.

While the Sinhalese Buddhist population is a majority within Sri Lanka, there is a large Tamil population across the ocean in southern India. Looking at this broader regional context, some Sinhalese view themselves fearfully as an at-risk minority.

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It always seems impossible until its done. — Nelson Mandela