Sri Lankan ethnic problem needs holistic approach to solve it!

Since ancient times Sri Lanka is inhabited by Sinhalese and Tamils who have distinct religions, language, culture, ethnic characteristics with recognized linguistic territories demarcated by boundaries!

Sri Lanka at independence in 1948 has a constitutional and legal framework provided for religious freedom without any preferential treatment on the basis of religion enshrined. However with rising ethno-religious nationalism caused amendments to be made in 1972 on the constitution, granted Buddhism a privileged constitutional status.

However, the failure of successive governments to address the genuine and growing disaffection of religious and ethnic minorities plunged the country into a prolonged period of religious repression and conflict led to a civil-war.

Long after, more than a decade ago in 2009 the civil-war was brought to finish; the North-East region of the country recognized as the distinct linguistic territories of the Tamils and demarcated by clear boundaries continues to remain till today as one of the most militarised regions. It was done by the rulers to resume their long-term plan started in 1948 to increase the number of Sinhala Buddhists in the region.

Earlier in their election campaigns, neither Presidential nor Prime Minister candidates were specific about their plans for a resolution of the country’s protracted ethnic conflict. Because they did not wish to present controversial political proposals prior to the elections and alienate their voter base at the elections; ploy worked well as both swept to power soon after in 2019.

Today, rulers have expand their reach, that threaten to destroy Sri Lankans’ shared national identity, and they are provoking a reactive extremism among Tamil speaking minority communities.

Sri Lanka on many earlier occasions at a fortuitous place, where the international community stood ready to assist the positive initiatives and though the government was willing to accept such assistance; imperatives of electoral politics intervened to detriment of the national reconciliation process.

In this sinario a joint delegation of Tamils from Sri Lanka and overseas, met top American officials, to sought a proactive USA role “in alignment with India” to address the “root cause of conflict and human rights violations, the denial of political rights to the Tamil people” to promote a holistic approach to ethnic reconciliation in Sri Lanka!