“A U.N. panel probed the last phase of the war [and] has estimated that around 40,000 died while other independent reports estimated the number of civilians dead to exceed 100,000.”

–Time Magazine

 

The Sri Lankan Civil Wa, often known as the Tamil War, was an armed struggle between the Tamil Eelam and the Sri Lankan dominated by the Sinhalese community. The armed struggle started because of the Tamil grievances against the state in 1983 and continued until 2009. Under the British rule, Sri Lanka which was known as Ceylon at that time was considered as the most mature nation ready to embrace the idea of democracy. The demographics of the country favoured the Sinhalese community who were a majority in the country. However, despite being a minority in the country, the Tamil people were the most educated people of the country constituting a larger portion of the administrative services of Ceylon.  In 1948, the constituent assembly of Sri Lanka passed the Ceylon Citizenship Act which made the citizenship for Tamil as virtually impossible. This act forced many Tamils to go back to Tamil Nadu, an Indian state. In 1956, the then Prime Minister Bandaranaike introduced the Sinhala language as the official language of the country. This step was against the interests of the Tamils. The state sponsored discrimination against Tamils forced Tamils to take up arms against the Sinhalese. The insurgency ended in 2009 after the encounter with LTTE’s leader Velupillai Prabhakaran.