'O' Level Sri Lanka Social Studies

Topics: Sri Lanka, Tamil language, South India Pages: 4 (1191 words) Published: July 4, 2012
What are the causes of the Sri Lanka conflict?

1. Citizenship Act

In 1948, the citizenship act was passed and those who are born in SL or whose father/grandfather is born in SL are granted citizenship, whereas tamils who have been living in Sri Lanka for a long time and working in tea plantations are not given citizenship, and are denied basic rights such as voting.

In 1964, the government sent many tamils back to India and granted citizenship to the remaining tamils. However, by the 1980’s, this was still not carried out fully. About 100,000 tamils who are contributing to the society is still stateless.

In 2003, a bill of origin of Indian persons was passed and allowed tamils who have been living in SL since 1964, or have descended from anyone living in Sri Lanka since then to be granted citizenship

2. University Criteria

Before 1970, the Sinhalese and Tamils share the same criteria when they enter university, and this resulted in unhappiness among Sinhalese as tamils take up many spaces in the university, and the ratio was disproportionate. For example, in the medical course, 50% of the students are tamils and 48% are tamils in the engineering course.

3. Resettlement
To ease the problem of overcrowding, the government relocated many Sinhalese from densely populated areas to occupy areas that are occupied by tamils. Whole villages were chased out, and poor Sinhalese pheasants were given land to live and farm. Buddhist monks and the Sinhalese army also occupied the lands that used to be occupied by tamils. These Sinhalese are also armed by the government.

4. Sinhala Only Policy

In the British colonial days, many tamils were highly educated and many of them were proficient in English, thus able to hold many senior positions in offices, whereas many Sinhalese were illiterate. So after independence, in 1950, the government introduced the “Sinhala only” policy by passing the official languages Act and made Sinhala the only...
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