Majoritarianism In Sri Lanka-Mahi-X B-23

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Mahi X-B 23 Majoritarianism in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka and its Composition :

Sri Lanka and its Composition Sri Lanka is an island nation, just a few kilometers off the southern coast of Tamil Nadu. It has about two crore people, about the same as Haryana,. Sri Lanka has a diverse population. The major social groups are the Sinhala Speakers (74 percent) and Tamil Speakers (18 percent).

Distribution of Tamil Speakers :

Distribution of Tamil Speakers Among Tamils there are two sub groups. Tamil Natives of the country are called ‘Sri Lankan Tamils.’ The rest, whose forefathers came from India as plantation workers during colonial periods, are called ‘Indian Tamils

Sri Lanka’s Majoritarianism:

Sri Lanka’s Majoritarianism Sri Lanka emerged as independent country in 1948. The Sinhala community sought to secure dominance over government by virtue of their majority. As a result, the democratically elected government adopted a series of Majoritarian measures to establish Sinhala Supremacy

Alienation Towards Tamils:

Alienation Towards Tamils In 1956, an Act was passed to recognize Sinhala as the only official language, thus disregarding Tamil. The governments followed preferential policies that favored Sinhala applicants for Sinhala applicants for university positions and government jobs. A new constitution stipulated that the state shall protect and foster Buddhism. All these government, measures, coming one after another, gradually increased the feeling of alienation among Sri Lankan Tamils. They felt that none of the major political parties led by the Buddhist Sinhala leaders was sensitive to their ;language and culture They felt that the constitution and government policies denied them equal political rights, discriminated against them in getting jobs and other opportunities and ignored their interests. As a result, the relations between the Sinhala and Tamils communities strained over time .

Effects of Majoritarianism:

Effects of Majoritarianism The Sri Lankan Tamils launched parties an struggles for the recognition of Tamil as an official language, for regional autonomy and equality of opportunity in securing education and jobs But there demand for more autonomy to provinces populated by Tamils was repeatedly denied. By 1980s several political parties were formed demanding an independent Tamil Eelam in northern and eastern parts of Sri Lanka.

Consequences of Majoritarianism:

Consequences of Majoritarianism The distrust between the communities turned into widespread conflict It soon turned into a Civil War As a result, thousands of people of both the communities were killed. Many families were forced to leave the country as refugees and many more lost their livelihoods The civil was has caused a terrible setback to the social, cultural and economic life of the country.

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