Tigers of Tamil, Part-2 Background

Judging from its ethnic composition, the Sri Lankan population consists of two main groups: the majority Sinhalese who are mostly Buddhists and ethnic Tamil minorities who are predominantly Hindus. The seeds of conflict between the two ethnic groups in the modern era began to emerge after the British as Sri Lankan ruler since the 19th century intends to establish a local parliament whose members are determined on the basis of ethnic composition.

When Sri Lanka gained independence in 1948, tensions between the two ethnic groups about the ideal parliamentary composition did not necessarily decrease but instead intensified. One of the reasons is that the new Sri Lankan dominance dominated by the Sinhalese began to adopt a variety of policies that tended to emulate Sinhalese ethnicity & ruled out ethnic Tamils. These policies include the establishment of Sri Lanka as a unitary state (not a federal state in accordance with what the Tamil community wants), the validation of Sinhalese as the national language of Sri Lanka, & the prohibition of import of print media and Tamil-language films from India.

Tensions between the Tamil and Sinhalese communities also resulted in a number of civilian conflicts in which the worst occurred in 1958. At that time, houses of ethnic Tamils ​​were looted and burned so that about 200 Tamils ​​had to die and 25,000 were homeless. The Tamils ​​then accused the Sri Lankan government of actually being behind the riots while declaring that the Sri Lankan government has a covert agenda to forcibly evict the Tamils ​​from their homeland.

Following unresolved ethnic problems and inter-ethnic conflicts, the movement supporting the separate “Tamil state” (Tamil Eelam) from Sri Lanka began to emerge in the 1970s. In this period also, Tamil extremist groups began to emerge with the aim of fighting for these ideals through the path of armed struggle.

One of these extremist groups was the Tamil New Tigers (TNT, the New Tigers of Tamil) formed by Velupillai Prabhakaran & Chetti Thanabalasingam in 1972. The formation of TNT began with a student movement in 1970. In the early 1970s, the United Front government of Sirimavo Bandaranaike introduced the policy of standardization of Sinhalese to be accepted into university in Sri Lanka. A student named Satiyaseelan formed Tamil Manavar Peravai (Tamil Students League) to counter this. It consisted of around 40 Tamil youth, including Ponnuthurai Sivakumaran (later, the leader of the Sivakumaran group), K. Pathmanaba (one of the founder members of EROS) and Velupillai Prabhakaran, an 18-year-old youth from single caste-oriented Valvettithurai (VVT). In 1972, Prabhakaran teamed up with Chetti Thanabalasingam, Jaffna to form the Tamil New Tigers (TNT), with Thanabalasingham as its leader. Following the death of Thanabalasingam at the hands of the Sri Lankan apparatus, TNT’s organizational structure was reorganized, Prabhakaran took over the helm. The LTTE was founded on 5 May 1976 as the successor to the Tamil New Tigers. Uma Maheswaran became its leader, and Prabhakaran its military commander

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