Sri Lanka: January 25, 2004

Archives

while the rest of the LTTE (mainly in the north), controls another 9,000. 

Peace talks with the Tamil rebels are stalled because the Sinhalese majority is deadlocked over how much autonomy to give the minority Tamils. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's United National Party and Muslim allies have 129 seats in the 225-seat parliament, (including the support of 15 Tamil legislators). With that control of parliament, they negotiated a ceasefire last April. But the LTTE is demanding partition of the island into Tamil and Sinhalese portions. The majority of Sinhalese oppose this, as does the Moslem minority, who mainly live in Tamil areas. Most Tamils are Hindu, and the Moslems fear persecution under Tamil rule.

Opposing the Prime Minister is President Chandrika Kumaratunga, whose party has 77 seats and is not willing to let the Tamils partition the island of Sri Lanka, or give the Tamils much autonomy at all. She accuses the LTTE of building up their fighting forces during the ceasefire and believes that the Norwegians, who have brokered the peace talk, are pro-Tamil. The President is elected separately and she can dismiss cabinet ministers and call new elections. She has threatened to call new elections, and will probably do so if she feels public opinion would put her party back into the majority (thus giving her control over who will be Prime Minister.)

No one wants a return to fighting, but too many Sinhalese are violently opposed to partition.

 

Article Archive

Sri Lanka: Current 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close