wk 4 sri lanka - Sri Lanka: One Island; Two Nations...

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Sri Lanka: One Island; Two Nations Background to the Conflict www.srilankancrisis.com
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Location www.srilankancrisis.com
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Location www.srilankancrisis.com
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Language Tamil Sinhala www.srilankancrisis.com
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History Three separate kingdoms 2 Sinhalese 1 Tamil 1505: Portuguese invaded 1658: Dutch invaded 1796: British took control www.srilankancrisis.com
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Evidence of separate kingdoms Two different nations from a very ancient period have divided between them the possession of the Island. First the Sinhalese , inhabiting the interior of the country in its Southern and Western parts, and secondly the Malabars (Tamils ) who possess the Northern and Eastern Districts. These two nations differ entirely in their religion, language and manners . www.srilankancrisis.com June 1799, Sir Hugh Cleghorn, First British Colonial Secretary wrote to the British Government…
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History 1796: British take control 1833: artificially amalgamate the three kingdoms into a homogenised state for convenience of administration 1948: British leave handing over political power to the majority - the Sinhalese www.srilankancrisis.com
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Post Independence 1948 1 million Tamils had their citizenship removed = no voting rights 1949 – Sinhalese colonisation in traditional Tamil homeland; demographic change in the East 1956 – Sinhala made sole official language = educated Tamils were made illiterate overnight = Tamils disadvantaged in the education and employment sector 1972 – “ ethnic standardisation ” slashes university admission to Tamils www.srilankancrisis.com
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Post Independence 1972 – constitution changed without Tamils’ participation Declaration of Sri Lanka as a republic and unitary state = constitutional safeguards that protects minorities removed Buddhism declared state religion Name change from Ceylon to Sri Lanka 1979 - Prevention of Terrorism Act = Tamil civilians, journalists, politicians, activists targeted Regular anti-Tamil pogroms (government backed riots) . www.srilankancrisis.com
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The Problem Three Fundamental Elements 1. Two historically distinct ethnic groups 2. Centralised unitary government Citizens not treated equally Rights of Tamils violated Gross human rights violations 3. Constitutionally entrenched Sinhala rule Sinhalese command absolute power …and, it was PERMANENT! www.srilankancrisis.com
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www.srilankancrisis.com
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Tamil Political Action Tamils’ response to state discrimination: NON VIOLENCE Peaceful protest Parliamentary democratic means Non-violent disobedience www.srilankancrisis.com
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Tamil Political Action www.srilankancrisis.com Protests Mass demonstrations Tamil Political Leaders protested against the “Sinhala only Act”, in front of the parliament (5 June 1956) School Girls Marching against ethnic based standardisation (1972) 1948-1976: 28 years of peaceful protests against discrimination
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Sri Lankan State Response STATE SPONSORED ANTI- TAMIL VIOLENCE Regular anti-Tamil pogroms Peaceful rallies responded to with violence by State
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This note was uploaded on 11/06/2011 for the course POLITICS 1102 taught by Professor Unknown during the Three '09 term at University of Sydney.

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wk 4 sri lanka - Sri Lanka: One Island; Two Nations...

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