Civil War in Sri Lanka

Citation to Article

"Sri Lanka Country Profile - Overview - BBC News." BBC News. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 May 2015.

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Overview of Article

Due to the immense amount of ethnicity, conflict and tensions between the Sinhalese and Tamil minority began to develop.   These ethnic tensions caused the Tamil Tiger Rebels to go against the government to create their own independent state.  The majority of the people called Buddhist Sinhalese became angry with the control of the Tamils.  The growth of Sinhala nationalism after independence increased ethnic division, which ultimately caused civil war to break out between the two countries.  Violence of the war killed more than 70,000 people, including innocent civilians.  With such immense amounts of deaths, international concern was raised about the dignity of civilians trapped in war territory.  In 2011, a UN report stated that both sides, Sinhalese and Tamil, were committing war crimes against civilians.

Who are the main opponents?

The Tamil Tiger Rebels, brutal terrorist group who fight for Tamil rights, are the biggest opponents in the Civil War in Sri Lanka.  They fight and rebel to create an independent Tamil state.

Other country involvement?

Britain brought in Tamil laborers to work the coffee and plantations for tea in Sri Lanka's highlands.  Because of all these tea plantations, the island is then called Ceylon.  Sinhalese became angered with the British favoritism towards the Tamils.

How are conflicts being conducted?

Most of the civil war was fought in the Northern part of Sri Lanka.  Tamil Tiger Rebels, brutally, turned towards the tactic of suicide bombings in the capital Colombo in the 1990s. According to TIME Magazine,"They invented the suicide vest and, according to the FBI, are the only terrorist group to have assassinated two world leaders. The rebels, based in northern and eastern Sri Lanka, have been waging a violent offensive against the central government on and off for more than 20 years."  These Tamil Tiger Rebels are people you do not want to mess with.  

Cause of the Conflict

As far as I can tell, the main root cause to this civil war was the ethnic tensions and politics between the Sinhalese and the Tamils.  Different religions (Sinhalese are Buddhist and Tamils are Hindu), different language, and different interpretation of the past allowed the two sides to not get along.  

A solution?

Sri Lanka's President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, took efforts to stop the violence of the Tamil Tiger Rebels by simply asking them to lay down their arms.  Rajapaksa wanted to take non violent action to represent that his country would not fall into a terrorist organization.

In some ways, Rajapaksa's efforts were effective: he made a statement to resist overall violence in the country.  However, Sri Lankan civilians are still at risk for their lives.  I do not believe that just a simple command to stop using weapons will change the mind-set of one of the most dangerous terrorist groups in the world.  A more effective way to this problem would be to agree on certain parts of land in the country.  I would say dividing the two sides into equal land would help diminish the violent conflicts.

Map of Sri Lanka

Tamil Tiger Rebel Song

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