Author: K M De Silva
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0140270655
This volume is a critical analysis of the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka
In the eighties, Sri Lanka, once considered the model colony, was torn apart by ethinic strife between the predominantly Buddhist Sinhalas, constituting almost three-quarters of the island’s inhabitants, and the numerically fewer Tamils, who were a mix of Hindus, Christians and Muslims, massacres occurred after the riots of May 1983, and over time about 1,25,000 Tamils entered India as refugees, fleeing from a virtual civil war which still afflicts the north of the island.
The author, a renowned Sri Lankan analyst of global ethnic conflict, discusses the historical reasons behind the ethnic violence, especially the growth of the Sinhalas feeling of being a beleagured minority despite their numerical strength.
Analyzing the present conflict, he shows how the language policy of Sinhala Only, followed by the government in the sixties, supplanted religion as a divisive factor and how rivalry over educational and employment opportunities fuelled the schism.
Bringing the story up to the present, de Silva examines the role played by Indian and Tamil Nadu politicians, and President Kumaratunga’s efforts towards a devolution of power to the Tamil provinces. But given the LTTE’s acceptance of nothing less than Eelam, he sees little hope of an early end to the violence that has racked Sri Lanka for almost two decades now.
List of Maps
SRI LANKA: AN ANATOMY OF ETHNIC CONFLICT
1.An Anatomy of Ethnic Conflict
SOWING THE WIND: LANGUAGE, RELIGION AND ETHNICITY
The Politics of Language Policy
3.Religion and Politics in Modern Sri Lanka
4.Ethnic Politics, Political Violence and Tamil Separatism, 1951-1977
REAPING THE WHIRLWIND: THE INTERNATIONALIZATION
OF SRI LANKA’S ETHNIC CONFLICT
5.Policies of Reconciliation:
Success and Failure 1977-1983
6.India and the Internationalization of
Sri Lanka’s Ethnic Conflict,1983-1990
CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE: SRI LANKA’S
7.The Islamic Facto
8.The Indian Tamil Community