1972-1983 History of Ceylon Since 1994

Sri Lanka, 1983-1994

Administration . Escalating violence in the Tamil north caused parliament to pass a constitutional amendment which outlawed separatism. The Tamil United Liberation Front, which held 18 seats in parliament, was banned.
The presidential elections of 1988 were won by Ranasinghe Premadasa (UNP), hitherto PM. He was assassinated in 1993.

Foreign Policy . The civil war influenced the country's foreign policy. Sri Lanka in 1984 received advisors from the U.K. and Israel in order to train her police commando units in anti-terrorist strategy. The Republic of India, from 1983, attempted to mediate in the conflict; negotiations in 1985 in Thimpu, Bhutan, failed.
in 1987 India offered conditions for a truce and subsequent peace, and sent troops, designated as peacekeepers; as several Tamil groups rejected the conditions of the truce, Indian forces attempted to suppress the rebellion; they were withdrawn in 1990.

Inter-Ethnic Relations . A number of policies, (1) the government strategy to deny 'recent arrivals' among the Tamil community citizenship and to push for 'repatriation' to the Indian mainland, (2) the declaration of Sinhala to be the (only) national and official language, which permitted the system to discriminate against Tamils, and (3) the privileged status granted to Buddhism, to which the majority of the Sinhalese adhered (as opposed to Hinduism, with which most Tamils were associated), had caused friction among ethno-religious lines to develop over decades.
The Sinhalese-Tamil conflict had begun with occasional riots, and via the stage of occasional Tamil terrorist acts and countermeasures by the government (state of emergency etc.) by 1983 reached the stage of a guerilla war. The banning of the TULF did deprive peace-minded Tamil separatists of the democratic option.
In 1987 India's president Rajiv Gandhi sent Indian troops supposed to take the function of peace keepers; the LTTE accused them of siding with the Sri Lankan government forces. In 1990, the Indian forces were withdrawn; 1991, while campaigning for the Indian presidency, Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by a Tamil Tiger.

Other Social History . The ongoing civil war caused internal displacement .
The marxist, pro-Chinese JVP organized a second maoist rebellion in 1987-1989.

The Economy . The outbreak of the civil war in 1983 had resulted in the tenfold increase of defebnse spending (Britannica BoY 1986). The economy was further affected by disrupting transport and causing the number of tourists to decline, although the tourist centers were concentrated on the island's south, far from the Tamil majority north and northeast. In 1986 Sri Lanka came close to achieving a goal it had striven for since independence - self-sufficiency in rice production; rising military spending and low prices for Sri Lanka's export products caused a massive budget deficit, which partially was covered by foreign loans, partially by the printing of banknotes, causing inflation.
In 1985 the Colombo Stock Exchange was incorporated.

KMLA Students' Paper Kim, Kyung Mook : History of the Civil War in Sri Lanka, since 1983
Timeline Sri Lanka, from BBC News
Article Janatha Vimukhti Peramuna, from Wikipedia
Article History of Sri Lanka, from Wikipedia
The Remains of the Kingdom of Kotte, by J.F.R. de Fonseka
History of the Colombo Stock Exchange, from Wikipedia
The Economy and Economic History of Sri Lanka, by Thayer Watkins
CASCON Case SRI : Sri Lankan Civil War, 1950-, by L.P. Bloomfield, L. Moulton
DOCUMENTS World Statesmen : Sri Lanka, by Ben Cahoon
Estimates of Death Toll in Sri Lankan Civil War, posted by Matthew White, scroll down for Sri Lanka
REFERENCE Patrick Peebles, The History of Sri Lanka, Westport CT : Greenwood 2006, KMLA Lib. Call Sign 954.93 P373h
Valli Kanapathipillai, The Repatriation of Indian Tamil Plantation Workers from Sri Lanka to India, pp.326-330 in : Robin Cohen, The Cambridge Survey of World Migration, Cambridge : UP 1995, KMLA Lib.Sign. 304.809 C678c
Article : Ceylon (Sri Lanka), in : Britannica Book of the Year 1984 p.633, 1985 pp.513, 783, 1986 pp.507-508, 782, 1987 pp.477, 750, 1988 pp.434-435, 702, 1989 p.434, 702, 1990 pp.451, 718, 1991 pp.433-434, 703, 1992 pp.406, 703, 1993 pp.408, 718, 1994 pp.409, 718 [G]
Article : Sri Lanka, in : The Statesman's Year-Book 1983-1984 pp.1113-1120, 1984-1985 pp.1110-1117, 1985-1986 pp.1111-1118, 1986-1987 pp.1111-1118, 1987-1988 pp.1116-1123, 1988-1989 pp.1120-1127, 1989-1990 pp.1227-1234, 1990-1991 pp.1127-1134, 1991-1992 pp.1130-1137, 1992-1993 pp.1222-1228, 1993-1994 pp.1224-1230 [G]
Article : Sri Lanka, in : Americana Annual 1988 pp.499-500, 1989 p.508, 1990 p.498, 1992 p.502, 1993 p.513 [G]
Article : Sri Lanka, in : The World in Figures 4th ed. 1984 pp.197-198 [G]
Entry : Sri Lanka, in : The Commonwealth Yearbook 1989 pp.339-348 [G]
IHS : International Historical Statistics : Africa, Asia & Oceania 1750-2000, edited by B.R. Mitchell, Basingstoke : Palgrave MacMillan 4th ed. 2003

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2002, last revised on May 6th 2007

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