Language and Minorities

Language and Minorities

If the many conflicts worldwide over minority rights, one of the most enduring, intractable, and lethal is the struggle in Sri Lanka between Tamil separatists and the Sinhalese majority. In thirteen years of civil war, a country with no external enemies, a prosperous, literate population, and a long history of peaceful relations between different ethnic groups has become a symbol of uncontrollable violence. These days, one hardly ever reads of Sri Lanka in the world press except when there has been an especially grisly event: a passenger plane downed, abductions by security forces followed by disappearances, a massacre that wiped out an entire village, or a bank blown up at the height of the business
day.

Missing from virtually all the press coverage of Sri Lanka is any mention of the grievances that led to the conflict. Indeed, one wonders how important those questions remain to the perpetrators of the violence. Do they themselves recall how they got to this point

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Lima