Identity Conflict in Sri Lanka

A Case of Tamil Tigers

by Sehar Mushtaq, International Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, August 2012

Identity has been basic source of resentment during various ethnic conflicts. Political and economic
discrimination based on Identity is a key factor underlying these conflicts. Sri Lanka being religiously and
ethnically heterogeneous country faced an identity conflict after it became independent in 1948. Tamils were
largely discriminated against by Sinhalese majority in terms of political and economic resources. This
discrimination forced Tamils to arm themselves in the form of extremist group LTTE (Liberation of Tigers Tamil Elam) and demand secession. However, this thirty year conflict ended with LTTE defeat in 2009. Although the conflict is over but its roots still persists in Sri Lanka. This paper will deal with certain research questions, i.e. what factors contributed to the emergence of conflict? What were LTTE’s strategies and the Sri Lankan’s government’s response? Finally, why the LTTE was defeated and what are the future prospects of the conflict?

Identity Conflict in Sri Lanka_


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