Who is considered to be Sri Lanka's greatest leader

Sri Lanka Country Information Sheets

PublisherSwitzerland: State Secretariat for Migration (SEM)
Publication DateNovember 1, 1995
Cite as Switzerland: State Secretariat for Migration (SEM), Sri Lanka Country Information Sheets, 1 November 1995, available at: https://www.refworld.org/docid/4670e87c2.html [accessed 20 May 2021]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

1. Constitution

1.1. State name

Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

1.2. State symbol and national coat of arms

The state symbol is the sword-bearing lion.

1.3. Form of government

A presidential constitution has been in force since August 17, 1978, which gives the president extensive powers. This is elected by the people for six years. He appoints and dismisses the Prime Minister and the Cabinet. He is also the commander in chief of the armed forces. The National Assembly is elected on a proportional basis. The legislative period lasts six years. All citizens over the age of 18 are entitled to vote. According to the constitution, Sri Lanka is a free, sovereign, independent and democratic republic. It grants the usual basic rights and obliges the republic to make progress on the way to a socialist democracy, an even distribution of the national product and the development of collective forms of property.

2. Social and culture

2.1. population

According to official figures, Sri Lanka has 17.4 million inhabitants. The population density is 279 inhabitants per km². The rural population predominates with 78.5%. The climatically humid and fertile southwest of the island is the most densely populated. The country is generally considered to be overpopulated. However, at an estimated 1 to 1.5%, the birth rate is significantly lower than in the surrounding countries. The population of Sri Lanka is ethnically mixed. Several thousand of the original inhabitants, the Wedda, still live in the country today. They and their way of life are threatened with extinction. The rest of the population is mainly a mixture of Indo-Aryan and Dravidian origins, whose roots are lost in the millennia-old immigration from the Indian subcontinent. Today we differentiate between the following ethnic groups:

Sinhalese 74%

Tamils ​​18.6%

Moors 7%

Remaining 0.5%

The Sinhalese live mainly in the south and west of the country. In the east they make up about a third of the population. Among the Tamils, a distinction is made between the so-called Sri Lankan or Jaffna Tamils, who make up 12.6% of the population, and the Indian Tamils, who make up 6% of the population. Despite the ethnic kinship, there are hardly any relationships between the two groups. The settlement area of ​​the Sri Lankan Tamils ​​is mainly the north and the east of the country. A considerable concentration of over 300,000 Tamils ​​also live in the greater Colombo area, which corresponds proportionally to almost a third of the population. The Indian Tamils ​​are descendants of the plantation workers brought from South India by the English. They live in the central highlands, where they are mainly employed in the tea plantations. Although their nationality was regulated by law in 1988, they are still considered second-class citizens today. (For the population distribution, see also the sketch in Chapter 9.) Although the Moors (Muslims) usually speak Tamil, they see themselves as an independent ethnic group. They were evicted from the north in 1990 by the LTTE. In the east they reach a share of the population of about a third. The remaining ethnic groups each consist of roughly equal parts of the Burghers (Sri Lankan / Dutch mixed race) and the Malays.

2.2. language

The official language is Sinhala (Sinhala). National languages ​​are Sinhala and Tamil. The language of administration is Sinhala, except for legal texts and decrees that are drawn up in the national language of the respective area. Laws are also translated into English. In general, forms, signposts, place and name signs are written in Sinhala, Tamil and English. Tamils ​​and Sinhalese often speak in English, as this is also the common language in business dealings.

2.3. religion

Religious freedom prevails in Sri Lanka, but the cultivation of Buddhism is a special state responsibility. According to the 1981 census, the percentage distribution of religious affiliation is as follows: Buddhists: 69.3% (mainly Sinhalese) Hindus: 15.5 (mainly Tamils) Muslims: 7.6% (mainly Moors) Christians: (Catholics , Methodists, Presbyterians) 7.5% Others: 0.1% The caste system is important in both Buddhist-Sinhala and Hindu-Tamil society. The latter in particular is still strongly characterized by a caste awareness, which, for example, makes it largely impossible to mix members of different castes through marriage. The inherited belonging to a caste symbolizes the degree of purity within the social hierarchy and assigns everyone the corresponding possible area of ​​activity during his life. In connection with the developments and changes in recent years, however, the caste hierarchy is increasingly being called into question.

2.4. Schools and education

The school system has largely been adopted by the English. School is compulsory. The literacy rate is correspondingly high at 85%. School attendance usually lasts from the 5th to the 14th year of life: there are those from the first to the fifth grade primary schools, from the sixth to the ninth grade die junior secondary schools and for the last two years the senior secondary school. Lessons in the predominantly state institutions are free from kindergarten to university. However, many private schools that educate the elite do charge fees. The schools teach in the respective national language of the individual regions. English is also a compulsory language.

2.5. Medical infrastructure

Medical care in Sri Lanka is good compared to other developing countries. The average life expectancy is 70 years. The country has a relatively dense supply network of hospitals, clinics and dispensaries. State medical care is free. Accordingly, longer waiting times have to be accepted from time to time. In contrast, private medical care is usually more efficient, but often unaffordable for large parts of the population for financial reasons. Overall, doctors and nursing staff are available in sufficient numbers and the supply of all important medicines is guaranteed. Colombo University Hospital is able to meet complex medical requirements. In addition to Western medicine, traditional Buddhist medicine, the so-called Ayurvedic medicine, gained in importance again in recent years. Acupuncture, which went out of use in the last century, is also experiencing an upswing. Voluntary health workers are trained in a project supported by the UN. These are mainly active in the villages for mother counseling, but are also able to carry out simple treatments.

3. Wife and family

In 1960, Sri Lanka had Sirimavo Bandaranaike, the world's first female prime minister. Since 1994, her daughter Chandrika Kumaratunga has headed the state. Although a dynastic principle is primarily expressed here, this may certainly also help to further strengthen the self-confidence of women and their position in society. Especially women of the middle and upper class from the urban milieu already occupy equal positions in many areas. The organizations that advocate women's issues are also recruited from these circles. However, conservative, rural and patriarchal ideas are still effective in practice, which is expressed above all in civil and family law. The place of women is seen here in the home and with the family. Out of consideration for the various religions and ethnic groups, different regional law is applied in this area (Kandyan Law, Thesavalamai, Islamic law, in addition to the non-codified, traditionalist practice). In all of these legal applications, the position of the man is consistently favored. Finally, more and more women are entering the labor market. Above all, the tourism industry or the gradually developing industry offer employment opportunities. Even more women than men are employed in the so-called free trade zones. The proportion of women is also high among those employed abroad (Gulf States). On average, however, Sri Lankan women are still paid less than their male counterparts.

4. Media

Sri Lanka has a diverse media landscape. After the reprivatisation in 1977, the press took a great boom. During the rule of the UNP there was always a certain tendency to intimidate the critical media. The change of government in 1994 brought progress towards greater freedom of the press. However, since September 1995 reporting on the war in the north and east of the country has been subject to censorship.

4.1. News agencies

There are four national news agencies operating: Cesmos Economic News Agency; Lankapuvath (National News Agency of Sri Lanka); Press Trust of Ceylon and Sandesa News Agency In addition, all important international agencies have an office in Colombo.

4.2. newspapers and magazines

Newspapers and magazines are mainly controlled by the following four major publishing houses: AssociatedNewspapers of Ceylon Ltd., Express Newspapers (Ceylon) Ltd., Independent Newspapers Ltd. and Upali Newspapers Ltd. They all publish publications in Sinhala, Tamil and English. There is still a censorship authority. On the other hand, an independent and critical press has been able to establish itself in recent years, for example the daily newspaper in the English-speaking area The Sun or the monthly magazine Counterpoint. Since the change of government in 1994, part of the formerly government-compliant press has been acting as critical. The LTTE publishes its own newspapers and magazines in Tamil and English in the north. The title of the English-language edition is Inside report.

4.3. radio

The one founded in 1967 Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corp., which is subordinate to the Ministry of Broadcasting and Information, are subordinate to all broadcasting stations. Broadcasts are in Sinhala, Tamil and English. Mission broadcasting has been in operation since 1978 Trans World Radio a broadcasting station in Colombo. In 1991, 3.5 million radio receivers were counted in Sri Lanka. The LTTE has its own radio station in the north.

4.4. watch TV

The Independent Television Network (ITN) began experimental broadcasting operations for the greater Colombo area in 1979 and was taken over by the government after a short time. Sends six hours a day. State television Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corpn has only had regular television operations since 1982. The reception of foreign TV stations is possible. In 1992 there were 865,000 television receivers in Sri Lanka (in 1990 it was 441,000).

5. Economy

5.1. National economy

Despite the ongoing conflict in the north and east of the country, the economy has held its own relatively well. In the other parts of the country, there has even been a noticeable upturn in recent years. Economically, Sri Lanka is one of the leading developing countries with the highest national product per capita in South Asia. The government in office since August 1994 wants to continue the principle of the free market economy and the opening towards the world market. However, the country is only weakly industrialized. For this reason, foreign manufacturing companies are to be settled in so-called free trade zones by means of fiscal and trade policy privileges and the availability of cheap labor. However, around half of the population is still active in the agricultural sector. The main export goods are tea, rubber and coconuts. Efforts are being made to stabilize the level of self-sufficiency with basic foodstuffs (rice) that was only achieved a few years ago with improvements in agriculture. The core of this development is the large-scale dam and irrigation project on the Mahaweli, which is largely financed with loans and aid from Western donor countries. This project aims to provide a livelihood for other sections of the population in the east. Tourism is a key pillar of the Sri Lankan economy for the future and has contributed significantly to the boom in the south and west of the country in recent years. The country's debt, which is largely related to the ongoing war in the north-east of the country, remains problematic. To this end, the situation of internal refugees (displaced persons) must be clarified, the number of whom is estimated at around 600,000. The onset of inflation could exacerbate existing social tensions.

5.2. Employment situation

Unemployment is estimated to be 14%. Government-sponsored investment can create 60 to 70,000 new jobs every year. However, 120,000 new jobs would be needed. This number could well be reached after a political solution to the ethnic conflict in connection with reconstruction projects. Unemployment is the main reason for the high willingness to migrate in large parts of the population. The creation of jobs combined with the corresponding future prospects for the youth will be of decisive importance for the further development of the country.

5.3. currency

The currency unit is the rupee, which is equal to 100 cents. 1 CHF = 36 Rs. (October 1994).

6. Mobility

6.1. Means of communication

International passenger traffic with Sri Lanka takes place almost exclusively by air. The only international airport Katunayake near Colombo is considered a major international transport hub. There are also domestic airfields in Jaffna, Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Amparai, Hambantota and Mt. Lavinia. International freight traffic is mainly carried out by ship. Corresponding ports are in Colombo, Galle and Trincomalee. Ferry traffic from Talaimannar to India has practically come to a standstill since the outbreak of the civil war. Inland navigation is only available to a significant extent on the canals between the lakes and lagoons on the west coast. The railway network is more than 1,000 km. It is mostly single-lane and connects most of the country with Colombo. The connection to Jaffna has been interrupted since 1990 and only extends as far as Vavuniya. The road network covers over 25,000 km and is relatively well developed. More than half of it is in the south-west of the country. The other areas are difficult to develop due to their nature (jungle, mountains). The main road connection to the north via the Elephant Pass has been interrupted due to the war. Travelers to and from Jaffna must use the LTTE-controlled ferry service across the Jaffna lagoon near Kilali. Since the summer of 1994 it has also been possible to get from Trincomalee to Jaffna by ship. In Sri Lanka there are 3,945 post offices and over 100,000 telephone connections with increasing demand. The mail traffic to and from Jaffna is currently ensured by the ICRC.

6.2. Travel documents

The old passport is black with the national coat of arms in gold on the front in the middle. The writing is also in gold color: Below the state name in the three languages ​​Sinhala, Tamil and English. Above the term 'Passport' in the three languages. The new passport is burgundy and smaller in size, but has the same gold-colored lettering on the outside. The period of validity is five years and can be extended for a further five years. The right to a passport is basically open to every Sri Lankan citizen. Officially, the applicant needs a taxpayer who is willing to provide a guarantee of up to 15,000 rupees, two photos and a few hundred rupees for the processing fee. The passport will be issued approximately seven days after completing the application form. The procedure can also be shortened for a corresponding surcharge. It is officially advised to apply for the passport at least one month before a planned trip abroad. Passports are dated Controller of Immigration & Emigration published in Colombo. As a rule, applicants should visit there personally. In exceptional cases, however, the applicant can be represented by another person. It is possible to apply for the passport at the relevant authorities in the provinces or at the diplomatic missions abroad. The documents are then forwarded to the headquarters in Colombo. The identity card (National Identity Card - NIC), yellow with a lion pattern, is released from the age of 16. This is the issuing office Registration of Persons Department in Colombo. The application for an ID to be issued is usually made by the Gramasevaka Niladari (Contact person for the district), who must confirm the correctness of the information about the person to this office. But there is also the possibility, for example for the residents of the Colombo district, to get directly to this office. In order to be able to travel around Sri Lanka unmolested and to pass the numerous roadside checks, it is essential to have your ID card on you. At least three different types of Sri Lankan identity cards have been issued to date. Of all of these, a significant number of counterfeits are in circulation. The current type, recognizable by the gold-colored coat of arms, as well as equipped with transmitted light protection and micro-lettering, has existed in this form since autumn 1986.

7. Government

7.1. Head of state

On November 9, 1994, the people elected Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga from the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) to the presidency for six years. She solved it Dingiri Banda Wijetunge by the United National Party (UNP) following the assassination of Ranasinghe Premadasa (UNP) assumed this office on May 1, 1993.

7.2. State government

After the parliamentary elections on August 16, 1994, there was a change of power from the UNP government to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe to a cabinet led by the SLFP Chandrika Kumaratunga. After she was elected President on November 9, 1994, she appointed her own mother, Frau Sirima Bandaranaike, as the new Prime Minister. The Tamil and Moors ethnic minorities are also represented in the cabinet.

8. Parliament

The National Assembly consists of 225 members. These are elected by the people in 22 electoral districts using proportional representation, but at least 5% of the votes cast must be achieved. Recognized political parties and independent groups can take part in the election. A legislative period lasts six years. The President can, however, dissolve parliament early and schedule new elections. (See also Chapter 10: Elections).

9. Administration

Sri Lanka is divided into 24 administrative units, so-called districts, which are administered centrally. Each district is a government representative Governor in front. However, the chief administrative officer of a district is the one appointed by the state president Government Agent (GA). There are several in each case Assistant Government Agents (AGA) subordinated. There are 274 in total AGA divisions. These in turn are in so-called Gramasevakas Vasamas divided, which roughly corresponds to the division of our community. The Gramasevaka (Village chief) is appointed by the GA. There have always been efforts to make the country more federal. Only in 1982 were so-called District Development Councils introduced whose members are elected by the people. There is also a corresponding depending on the size UrbanCouncils,Municipal Councils and Town Councils for urban communities, respectively Pradeshiya Sabhas or Village Councils for rural communities. Since 1988 there is also Provincial Councils (Provincial Councils), which are elected by the people and give the nine provinces (northern and eastern provinces counted separately) a little more freedom of self-determination.

10. Elections

According to official information, the elections of August 16, 1994 resulted in the following distribution of the 225 seats in parliament: People's Alliance (PA) 105 United National Party (UNP) 94 Independent Group Jaffna 9 Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) 7 Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF ) 5 Democratic People's Liberation Front (DPLF) 3 Sri Lanka Progressive Front (SLPF) 1 Independent Group Nuwara Eliya 1 The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had called for an election boycott and prevented it from being carried out in the areas they controlled in the north. In Jaffna, of the 600,000 registered voters, only 13,000 could actually cast their votes. The Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP), which is listed under the name "Independent Group Jaffna", benefited from this. The ‘Democratic People's Liberation Front '(DPLF) is the political wing of the‘ People's Liberation Organization of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE).

11. Law and Justice

11.1. Law

The generally applicable law(General Law) is a legacy of the colonial past. The Penal Code was adopted practically unchanged by the English colonial rulers. The General Law is significantly shaped by Roman Dutch Law and from English law. The Roman Dutch Law, which has been abolished in the Netherlands in the last century is (as modified by statute law and case law) as Common law. It complements that General Law, if this has gaps. Since that Roman Dutch Law except in Sri Lanka is only significant in South Africa, the South African jurisprudence is often consulted in open legal questions. In connection with the ethnic conflict were Exceptional provisions (Prevention of Terrorism Act; Emergency Regulations) entered into force.

11.2. Ordinary courts

The Supreme Court and the final court of appeal is the Supreme Courtwho is responsible for constitutional issues and the protection of fundamental rights. The Court ofAppeal is the first instance of appeal. The courts of first instance are the High court for criminal cases as well as the District Court for civil cases. Further courts of first instance are the Magistrates' Court and the Primary Court.All judges of the courts of first instance with the exception of the High Court and the employees of all courts are appointed by the Judicial Service Commission appointed. This consists of the Chief Justice and two other judges of the Supreme Court. For its part, the Judicial Service Commission is appointed by the President of the Republic.

11.3. Special dishes

No special dishes are used.

11.4. Military courts

The military jurisdiction has no meaning beyond the immediate disciplinary area in military service.

12. Military and security forces

12.1. military

Military service is voluntary. In connection with the ongoing ethnic conflict, the strength of the army has now grown to over 100,000 people. Around 10,000 of these are assigned to the Navy and the Air Force. Morale is generally poor and the number of deserters is correspondingly high. The fighting strength of the army is essentially based on a few elite units, which are also trained in guerrilla warfare.

12.2. Police and gendarmerie

The police are structured hierarchically. At the top nationwide is the Inspector General of Police (IGP). Below that follows the Deputy Inspector General (DIG), who heads as the highest police chief of a province, etc. down to the chief of a police station, the so-called Station House Officer (SHO) and his subordinates, the uniformed patrolmen. The fight against crime and terrorism is incumbent upon them CrimeDetective Bureau (CDB) as well as the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). The Special Task Force (STF) is an independently organized elite police unit. On the one hand, it is used in the Colombo area to ward off LTTE infiltration and personal protection, and on the other hand, it also has a military combat mission in the east for the area south of Batticaloa and Ampara.

12.3. Militias

In connection with the civil war in the east are so-called Home Guards (Vigilante groups) have been formed. Above all, members of the Sinhala and Muslim civilian population are armed in order to support the local security forces. The Tamil organizations PLOTE, TELO and EPDP also have armed units of a few hundred men. They are also involved in the fight against the LTTE. They generally have a bad reputation for their criminal machinations and have little support from the Tamil population.

12.4. Secret services

For news gathering this is National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) responsible. In addition, the various security organs maintain their own secret and intelligence services. The notorious Death Squads, which were used to suppress the JVP uprising at the end of the 1980s, were recruited from these circles. In the summer of 1995, several members of an STF unit in Colombo were arrested. They are charged with the extrajudicial execution of at least thirty young Tamils ​​this year.

13. Detention and the execution of sentences

According to the law, an arrested person should be brought before the judge within 24 hours. In practice, however, this deadline is rarely met. Based on the exception regulations, people can be detained for a longer period of time on the basis of mere suspicion. The security organs are required to keep a list of the arrested persons, which has to be checked monthly by a judge. In addition, a commission set up by the government is supposed to review the prisoner's eligibility. Since the ICRC has been able to review the conditions of detainees on the ground, the general situation has improved. However, there are still human rights abuses against prisoners. The situation for prisoners in the war zones in the north and east of the country is particularly problematic. A common problem is the slow pace of legal proceedings. People from the lower class who cannot afford their own lawyer may have to remain in custody for comparatively minor matters for an unduly long period of time. The prisons are generally overcrowded and the inmates are largely left to their own devices. In terms of reintegration, there are also so-called Rehabilitation camps, where prisoners can also receive training and further education.

14. General human rights situation

The constitution guarantees universal human rights. However, these have been considerably called into question by the practice of the Emergency Regulations, which have existed since 1983. Especially during the suppression of the JVP uprising between 1988 and 1990, human rights violations in Sri Lanka reached a sad climax with the "disappearance" of tens of thousands of people. Since then, the human rights situation has improved noticeably, both in terms of quantity and quality. In September 1994, the new government of Chandrika Kumaratunga restricted the scope of the emergency ordinances to the disputed areas in the north and east of the country. It has also set up a judicial commission, which is supposed to examine every single case of the persons imprisoned under emergency law within three months. Where there is no evidence, either the release must be ordered or a charge must be brought. However, the Anti-Terrorism Act remains (Prevention of Terrorism Act ‘PTA ') still in force. This also enables arbitrary arrests of people for longer periods of time: According to the PTA, someone can be detained for up to 18 months without a trial. The control mechanisms with regard to an unlawful detention order are, however, much more efficient compared to the emergency ordinances. The new government has also set up a commission to investigate human rights violations committed in recent years. Several criminal proceedings against members of the law enforcement officers had already been opened in connection with incidents in 1989. The victims should be compensated by the state. Finally, the government also announced that it would ratify the international convention against torture and that an independent, permanent human rights commission should be established. This endeavor of the politically responsible is supported by numerous human rights organizations in the country. A major merit for the actual improvement of the human rights situation comes from the work of the ICRC and other international organizations that can exercise an efficient control function. Despite everything, the human rights situation, especially in the war zone, is still precarious. Depending on the course of events, setbacks, which could lead to a deterioration in the human rights situation, cannot be ruled out. Awareness of human rights issues is still hardly developed in large parts of the security organs. Abuse of prisoners is still a common practice. The situation of the prisoners in the LTTE's sphere of influence must be classified as very bad. Their number is estimated at several thousand. External control is not guaranteed. However, it must be assumed that some of them have been subjected to severe abuse.

15. Political and religious movements

There are well over a hundred different parties and groups that are politically active. However, only two of them are able to gain a majority nationwide UNP and the SLFP. These have replaced each other in power several times since independence:

– United National Party (UNP): The party was founded in 1946 and ruled the country after it was given independence by the British in 1948. The UNP last held power from 1977 to 1994. During this time she initiated a policy of economic liberalization and opening up to the world market. Their political orientation is national-conservative and pro-western. Ultimately, excessive corruption and internal party power struggles contributed significantly to the 1994 election defeat. So tried, for example, the two influential politicians Lalith Athulathmudali and Gamini Dissanayake in the fall of 1991 their party comrades and state president Premadasa overturning in an impeachment proceeding. The two were expelled from the party and founded the DemocraticUnited National Front (DUNF). Athulathmudali was assassinated in April 1993. Dissanayake returned to the party after his adversary Premadasa had been murdered and was elected party leader and presidential candidate in the summer of 1994. However, he too fell victim to an attack at an election rally in October 1994. His wife succeeded him as a presidential candidate, but had no chance in the elections. In November 1994 became the former prime minister Ranil Wickremasinghe appointed as the new party leader.

– Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP): The party was founded in 1951 by Solomon W.R.D. Bandaranaike founded as a spin-off from the UNP. His wife Sirimavo R.D. Bandaranaike is the incumbent party president. But the effective party leader is the daughter Chandrika Kumaratunga. The party originally pursued a strictly socialist course, which it has since given up in favor of the free market economy. The SLFP took over governance in August 1994 as the dominant force of the People's Alliance (PA).

–People's Alliance (PA): (Sinhala: Bahejana Nidahas Pakshaya) The People's Alliance was founded in 1993 as a collective movement of predominantly left-wing opposition parties. However, the heavyweight division is formed by the SLFP. The PA has been the government since August 1994. The Trotskyist still belong to the People's Alliance Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP), the Communist Partyof Sri Lanka (CPSL), the Desha Vimukhti Janatha Party (DVJP) as well as the Sri Lanka Mahajana Party (SLMP) at.

The ethnic contrast between Sinhalese and Tamils ​​has given rise to a number of political organizations in the latter, which claim to represent the interests of their national community. The following Tamil organizations are currently active:

– Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF): The party went out of the former in 1976 TUF (Tamil United Front) emerge. In it the Tamil establishment was represented with the corresponding conservative basic orientation. She advocates more autonomy for the Tamil areas in Sri Lanka. The TULF was expelled from parliament after the unrest of 1983 because it refused to take an oath on the continued existence of the unified state. This gap in parliamentary representation gave rise to a number of revolutionary and militant Tamil movements. The TULF supported the Indo-Sri Lankan peace agreement of 1987 and has been represented in parliament again since 1989. However, it was unable to regain its previous strength. Many of its members have been murdered by the LTTE. So, among others, the two leaders Amirthalingam and Yogeswaran in 1989. The current party president is called Murugesu Sivasithamparam.

– Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF): The organization split under this name in 1983 from the now marginalized Eelam Revolutionary Organization (EROS) from. She enjoyed the greatest support from India for the implementation of the Indo-Sri Lankan peace agreement of 1987 and participated Varadarajah Perumal the chief minister of the newly created northeast province.The EPRLF was driven from Sri Lanka by the LTTE until March 1990. In June 1990 became the Secretary General K. Pathmanabha Murdered along with twelve other LTTE cadres in Madras. The severely weakened party has since returned to the political process in Sri Lanka and has stayed away from the armed conflict between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE. The party is from Suresh Premachandra guided.

– Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC): The organization has existed since 1950. It is both a trade union and a party. Usually the trade unions in Sri Lanka are assigned to certain parties. The CWC represents the interests of the Indian-born Tamils, who are mainly employed in the tea plantations in the central province. The longtime president S. Thondaman bases its political influence on the vote bank of its workers. He already held a ministerial post in the UNP government. After the elections of August 1994, he changed camp and was allowed to keep his ministerial post.

– Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE): The origins of the movement go back to 1974. The goal is the "liberation of the Tamil people from Sinhalese oppression" and the creation of an independent Tamil state called "Tamil Eelam". The means to achieve this is armed struggle. The then mayor of Jaffna was murdered as early as 1975. In the course of time, numerous other assassinations followed, which among others fell victim to exponents of the Sri Lankan government parties, the army, but also the other Tamil organizations. Like the other Tamil militant organizations, the LTTE received significant support from India. With its ruthless action against other Tamil organizations, the LTTE rose to become the strongest political and military force in the Tamils ​​after 1983. In 1987 it was the only Tamil organization to oppose the Indo-Sri Lankan peace agreement and until March 1990 waged a war against the Indian intervention army, the so-called Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF). In June 1990 the LTTE launched a new war against the Sri Lankan government. India blames the LTTE for the murder of Rajiv Gandhi and therefore declared the organization illegal in May 1992.

In large parts of the north of Sri Lanka, the LTTE exercises its rule with its own administration, which controls all areas of life. The organization can now also rely on a worldwide logistical network of relationships. The structure is hierarchical to the leader Velupillai Prabhakaran aligned towards. This bases its power to a large extent on an efficient surveillance and secret service, headed by Pottu Ammanwho is responsible for eliminating internal and external opponents. Among other things, in August 1993 the two leaders of the People's Front of the Liberation Tigers (PFLT), of the LTTE political wing, Mahathaya and Yogi switched off.

The LTTE also has its own school, student, women's and aid organizations. The number of effective fighters who are under the command of Balraj is estimated at around 6,000. These are equipped with a potassium cyanide capsule to avoid arrest by suicide. The average age of the fighters is now around 17 years. The women, who are represented with their own combat units, also play an important role here. The LTTE has its own navy, the so-called Sea tigers. These control, among other things, the connection route from Jaffna to the south via the Jaffna lagoon near Kilali. The suicide units, the so-called ones, are particularly feared Black Tigers, who are specifically glorified as martyrs in LTTE propaganda.

– Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO): The origins of the organization go back to 1972, but the name TELO was not used until 1980. The leaders Tangadorai and Kuttimani were murdered by fellow prisoners in Welikada Prison in July 1983. The organization then rose under the leadership of Sri Sabaratnam to one of the strongest militant Tamil organizations. After the murder of Sri Sabaratnam and several hundred of his followers by the LTTE in April 1986, the TELO lost a lot of weight. She actively supported the Indian intervention army and then the Sri Lankan security forces in the fight against the LTTE. Their work is limited to the Eastern Province and the Mannar and Vavuniya districts. Your leader is called Ananda Selvam.

– People's Liberation Organization of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE): The organization was founded in 1979 by Uma Maheswaran, who lost to Prabhakaran in the dispute over LTTE leadership. PLOTE maintained contacts with George Habash's Palestinian Organization. In the end, it was largely decimated by internal party disputes. In July 1989 Uma Maheswaran was murdered by the LTTE. The PLOTE supports the Sri Lankan security forces in the fight against the LTTE. She is, under the guidance of Siddhartan, active in the districts of Vavuniya and Mannar as well as in the Eastern Province. The political wing of the organization is called Democratic People's Liberation Front (DPLF).

– Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP): The organization founded in the 1980s by Douglas Devanandan was founded is a spin-off from EPRLF. It maintained close relations with the UNP government and was used by them as an instrument in the fight against the LTTE. The EPDP has strong positions on the islands off the Jaffna Peninsula and is also present in Trincomalee.

As ethnocentric parties on the side of the Sinhalese and the Muslims, the following organizations are worth mentioning:

– Janatha Vimukhti Peramuna (JVP): The party was founded in 1965 as an extreme left organization. After a failed attempt at revolution in 1971 against the then government of Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike, the JVP was banned for six years. The leader Rohana Wijewera ran for the presidential election in 1982, but only got 4% of the votes cast. After the ethnic unrest of 1983, the JVP was again banned until May 1988. She accused the government of having betrayed the national interests of the Sinhala people with the Indo-Sri Lankan agreement. Your front organization ‘Patriotic Front ' (Deshapremi Janatha Vijaparaya - DJV) launched an unprecedented terror campaign against the state and its representatives. President Premadasa responded with a renewed ban, with emergency law and with death squads, which carried out an even greater counter-terror. In November 1989 Wijewera and with him practically the entire Central Committee was liquidated by the security forces. The organization has not gained any importance since then and is also involved in internal factional battles. As a leader will Somawansa Amarasinghe viewed. He is the only survivor of the former Central Committee. However, Wijeweera's brother-in-law also claims a leadership position, Dr.Subash Chandra Fernando. The JVP has called itself the 'National Rescue Front' (National Salvation Front - NSF) Participated in the parliamentary elections of August 1994 and also under the party name Sri Lanka Progressive Front (SLFP) With Galappatti Arachchige Nihal put up its own candidate for the subsequent presidential elections.

– Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC): The SLMC was founded in 1980 as an interest group for Muslims in the East. It received the status of a political party in 1987 and has taken part in parliamentary elections ever since. The president is called M.M.H.M. Ashraf. He is Minister for Shipping, Ports, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction in the PA government.