The Tamil National Question

by Gail Omvedt, Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scientists, Jan.-March 1984

Olvedt Gail Tamil National Question 1984

Last year [1981] a major wave of guerilla struggle broke out in Sri Lanka, followed by widespread rioting. It
was just ten years after the youthful JVP insurrection shattered forever the peaceful image of an island which had
achieved its independence without any major mass struggles at all. Now once again a youth-led armed struggle is brewing, only the struggle now centers not for an immediate social revolution butfor the national liberation ofthe Tamil minority. As economic crisis, social clashes, and political repression intensify, over 30 years of discrimination and riots by the majority Sinhalese Buddhists against the Tamil Hindus have resulted in a growing movement for a separate Tamil nation of “Eelam” in the northern part ofthe island.

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