ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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SRI LANKA-Constraints on a Solution

Constraints on a Solution SRI LANKA's ethnic conflict is thirty years old at least; it began in earnest only after the 'Sinhala Only' Act of 1956, which replaced Sinhala with English as the official language. The Tamils, deprived of an equal place in the national life, began their protests then. Sinhala chauvinists like to see the conflict as being centuries old; as being a relict from the first South Indian invasion of Sri Lanka. Thus they lionise their king Dutugemunu, the most famous 'Sinhalese* to defeat a Tamil' invader. All this is a selective and not entirely accurate interpretation of history. The Sinhala Buddhist identity as we know it today was a creation of the nineteenth century, part of the colonial legacy since it emerged inspired by and as a reaction to European nationalism.

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