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Majoritarianism in Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, 74 per cent speak Sinhala and 18 per cent speak Tamil. Among the Tamils, there are two groups, Sri Lankan Tamils and Indian Tamils. Sinhala speakers are Buddhists and Tamil speakers are Hindus or Muslims. The Sinhalese community was a bigger majority and could impose its will on the entire country.


The Sri Lankan Government adopted series of majoritarian policies to establish Sinhala supremacy. This created a feeling of alienation among the Tamils. This resulted in protests, conflicts and finally in the demand for a separate state. This demand caused a civil war.

Belgium and Sri Lanka both are democracies, yet they dealt with the question of power-sharing differently.


In Belgium, the leaders have realised that the unity of the country is possible only by respecting the feelings and interests of different communities and regions.


Sri Lanka shows us a contrasting example. It shows us that if majority community wants to force its dominance over others and refuses to share power, it can undermine the unity of the country.


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