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Culture

LTTE: A History Lesson Before You Watch the Family Man Season 2

Origin of the Sri Lankan Civil War. Tamil Tigers, What of LTTE, Women in LTTE, Role of India and the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. Family Man S2 is here.

Creators Raj and DK presented the narrative of Srikant Tiwari, a middle-class family man who is also a world-class spy, in the first season of the Amazon Prime Video series The Family Man, ably portrayed by Manoj Bajpayee. They didn't, however, confine the story to the on-and-off-the-field life of the covert intelligence agent. The show also looked at the origins of Islamist terrorism and Kashmir's geopolitical position. It took a risk by highlighting the lack of trust that exists between law enforcement and the residents of the Valley.

The much-anticipated online series The Family Man 2 starring Manoj Bajpayee and Samantha Akkineni will premiere on Amazon Prime Video on June 4th. The show's trailer was released on Wednesday, ahead of its premiere. While the teaser won many hearts, it also sparked controversy in the South as it depicted them as "terrorists." The trailer depicts Tamil separatists fighting for their rights in Sri Lanka collaborating with ISIS to undermine the country. This does not sit well with many who have labeled the web show as "anti-Tamil."

Before you watch the show this weekend here's a small history lesson you might need to understand better.

Origin of the problem

74.9 percent of Sri Lankans are Sinhalese, while 11.2 percent are Sri Lankan Tamil, during the British rule. Within these two communities, the Sinhalese are Buddhists and the Tamils are Hindus, with substantial linguistic and religious differences. The conflict between the grounds is said to have started far earlier in Sri Lanka's ancient settlement history.

The origins of the Sinhalese people in Sri Lanka are a bit hazy. Historians think the Tamils came to the island as both conquerors and traders from India's Chola Kingdom. These genesis legends show that tensions between the Sinhalese and Tamil communities have existed since the beginning. It is not because of cultural incompatibility, but because of power struggles.

Tensions between the two tribes intensified throughout British imperial authority. The CIA said in 1985 that the Sinhalese community was endangered by the Tamil population's wealth. A part of it was because of the British favoring of Tamils during the British colonization of Sri Lanka.

Divide and Rule under the British

Since the British took control of Sri Lanka (then called Ceylon) in 1815, Tamils, who made up 22% of the population, have had disproportionate access to English education and governmental services.

Sri Lankan Tamils profited from broader economic networks and a greater range of opportunities. Tamil populations existed in numerous other British colonies, including India, South Africa, and Singapore, which benefited them.

English language schools were frequently established in largely Tamil areas by British colonial authority, providing Tamils with more civil service and professional prospects than their Sinhalese counterparts. Sinhalese people felt isolated and oppressed as a result of Tamil partiality.

Post Decolonisation

Following Sri Lanka's independence in 1948, the Tamils began to demand greater autonomy, and the idea of establishing a Tamil Eelam grew increasingly enticing. The newly formed Sinhalese administration soon began disenfranchising formerly politically favored Tamils, establishing a political system based on majority ethnic political parties.

Sinhalese candidates began campaigning on "Sinhalese-only" platforms, promising to "return Buddhism to its due place in society." Sinhalese was made the official language, which drove Tamils out of the civil service. The Ceylon Citizenship Act of 1948 effectively barred Indian Tamils from holding citizenship, which was only amended in 2003.

What is LTTE?

The island's current situation is haunted by memories of the island's decades-long civil war, which began in 1983 and ended just over ten years ago. The conflict primarily pitted the Sinhalese-dominated Sri Lankan government against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) or Tamil Tiger, an insurgent group that aimed to create a separate state for the Tamil minority.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), often known as the Tamil Tigers, was a guerrilla group. They aimed to establish a separate Tamil homeland, Eelam, in northern and eastern Sri Lanka.

LTTE establishment and rise to power

Velupillai Prabhakaran founded the LTTE in 1976 as the successor to an organization he had founded earlier in the 1970s. The LTTE evolved into one of the most sophisticated and well-organized rebel organizations in the world. Several guerrilla actions were carried out by the organization during the 1970s.

Large-scale ethnic violence occurred in Colombo and other cities, in 1983, LTTE assassinated 13 soldiers which prompted retaliatory attacks by the Sri Lankan military. By 1985, the gang had taken control of Jaffna and the majority of Sri Lanka's Jaffna Peninsula.

By 1987, the LTTE had destroyed most of its rival Tamil factions on Prabhakaran's orders. The organization used illicit activities (such as bank robberies and drug smuggling) and extortion of Tamils in Sri Lanka and internationally to fund its operations. It also received significant voluntary financial support from Tamils residing abroad. Violence escalated LLTE used car bombs, suitcase bombs, and even landmines against Sri Lankan military and civilians. The Sri Lankan army responded by torturing Tamil youths.

LTTE: A History Lesson Before You Watch the Family Man Season 2
Areas controlled by LTTE | LTTE: A History Lesson

Women in LTTE

The LTTE's propaganda appealed to women who wanted to help their Tamil nation while also empowering themselves. “Woman, you spark the flames of liberation!” read posters picturing active, militarised female bodies. You are being summoned. Take up the torch of liberty and fight, because our nation–Tamil Eelam–is forming with each pulse!

From the beginning of their campaign, the LTTE promoted equal rights for women, claiming that it was the only way to secure female emancipation while also striving toward an independent nation.

The Women's Front's goals were to (1.) secure the right of ‘Tamililam' to self-determination and establish an independent democratic state of Tamililam; (2.) abolish oppressive caste discrimination and division, as well as feudal customs like the dowry system; (3.) eliminate all discrimination and secure social, political, and economic equality.”

Indian Support to LTTE

In the 1980s, India and Sri Lanka were divided into two Cold War camps, with the former siding with the now-divided Soviet Union and the latter siding with the United States. Though India under Indira Gandhi did not have a negative relationship with the Sri Lankan Government, it was a tense relationship.

The Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), India's foreign intelligence agency, assisted to train and arm the LTTE in the 1970s, but when the group's terrorist actions expanded in the 1980s—including partnerships with separatist groups in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu—RAW stopped its support.

Sri Lankan policy under late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was a jumble of inconsistencies. Rather than simply Indian strategic imperatives, it mirrored Cold War calculations. Indira's mistake was assuming she could manage the conflict without allowing it to spiral out of control. The LTTE's battle to create a separate state for Tamils known as Eelam proved a useful instrument for her to pull India into a role in Sri Lanka.

She took an active role in resolving Sri Lanka's ethnic conflict while also providing training to rebel Tamil youths. To find a solution to the ethnic strife, the Indian government arranged a meeting of both parties in Thimpu, Bhutan. It also allowed the LTTE and other terrorist organizations to establish bases in Tamil Nadu while playing big brother. Private sources of funds and weapons were also used by Tamil separatists.

Rajiv Gandhi Assassination Case and LTTE involvement

IPKF

In July 1987, under the Indo-Lanka Peace Accord signed by then-Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Sri Lankan President JR Jayawardene, the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) was dispatched to Sri Lanka. Between 1987 and 1990, the IPKF was stationed in Sri Lanka's troublesome north and east. It was dispatched to maintain peace between Sri Lankan government forces and the Tamil Eelam Liberation Tigers (LTTE). The IPKF was tasked with disarming the insurgents.

Planning

One of Rajiv Gandhi's first acts as Prime Minister was to dispatch Indian troops to Sri Lanka. This was done in order to put an end to the rebellion there. The Indian High Commission in Colombo, military commanders, and intelligence agencies had cautioned the Prime Minister against embarking on such a dangerous and ambitious trip. Many Indian soldiers died, and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were unable to be defeated. The army was summoned back, but the LTTE had become Gandhi's sworn enemy by that time.

Across the Palk Straits, the LTTE leadership convened in the forest hideouts of Jaffna in north-eastern Sri Lanka to examine the situation. The group agreed that Congress(I) president Rajiv Gandhi's chances of re-election were now almost probable. This indicated a likely re-induction of the IPKF (Indian Peace Keeping Forces) in Sri Lanka and a definite crackdown on the complex LTTE network created in Tamil Nadu for the extremist organization fighting for Tamil Eelam.

LTTE: A History Lesson Before You Watch the Family Man Season 2
On the day of the Assassination | LTTE: A History Lesson

On the day of the Assassination

Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu, on May 21, 1991, by a suicide bomber from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, Dhanu/Thenmozhi Rajarathinam. Gandhi was set to speak at an election rally and campaign for Maragatham Chandrasekar, the Congress's candidate.

As she leaned down to touch Rajiv Gandhi's feet, Dhanu activated an explosive-laden belt she was wearing. The bombing killed sixteen individuals, including Rajiv Gandhi and Dhanu, and badly injured roughly 45 others.

The LTTE’s three-decade campaign for Tamil sovereignty came to a bloody end in May 2009, as government troops crushed an insurgency that had cleaved the Indian Ocean island. Nine years later, the country’s north is picking up the pieces after being shattered by the lengthy war and its violent conclusion

End of the War

Post-Steptember 11, attacks on the United States and subsequent War on Terror, the funding and support for LTTE disappeared. The US supported the Sri-Lankan government in the war against LTTE despite their poor human rights record over the past years.

The Sri Lankan Civil War, which began from hostility between the majority Sinhalese and the minority Tamil populations, came to an end in May 2009, following two and a half decades of periodic violent fighting.

The end of the war was particularly brutal, with allegations of widespread human rights violations by both the Sri Lankan armed forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Approximately 7,000 ethnic Tamils were murdered in the final military assault, which lasted from January to early May 2009.

Government in Exile

Following the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE military )'s defeat in Sri Lanka in May, an exile branch of the separatist group revealed a grandiose plan to build "a provisional transnational government of Tamil Eelam." On the pro-LTTE Tamilnet website, Selvarasa Pathmanathan, the head of the LTTE's international affairs, published a news release.

In the closing days of the Sri Lankan army's final attack in May, all of the top LTTE leaders in the country were murdered, including LTTE chief V. Prabhakaran. The military attacks killed thousands of civilians and injured tens of thousands more. Nearly 300,000 Tamil people have been detained in detention camps after fleeing the conflict zone.

The Situation Now

Despite the end of the civil war in 2009, Sri Lanka's current status has only improved to a degree. A huge percentage of the Tamil population has been forced to flee their homes. Even though there are fewer political and civil rights challenges, torture and enforced disappearances continue to occur. Furthermore, the Sri Lankan government frequently monitors and tracks LTTE supporters.

The LTTE is a banned organization in every country in Europe as it has not given up on violence and terrorism. In 2019, the Indian government banned LTTE for another five years.

Although to a lower level than before the war, the Sri Lankan military continues to occupy largely Tamil districts classified as "high-security zones." The government's Anti-Terrorism Act (PTA) mostly targets Tamils. The Sri Lankan government continues to disenfranchise the Tamil people in a more sophisticated way.

For example, through a process known as "Sinhalization," Sinhalese culture has gradually supplanted Tamil culture. In largely Tamil districts, Sinhalese monuments, road signs, street and village names, as well as Buddhist places of worship, became more common. These efforts have harmed, and in some cases completely destroyed, the Tamil view on Sri Lankan history, as well as Tamil and Sinhala cultures.

Culture

LTTE: A History Lesson Before You Watch the Family Man Season 2

Origin of the Sri Lankan Civil War. Tamil Tigers, What of LTTE, Women in LTTE, Role of India and the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. Family Man S2 is here.

Creators Raj and DK presented the narrative of Srikant Tiwari, a middle-class family man who is also a world-class spy, in the first season of the Amazon Prime Video series The Family Man, ably portrayed by Manoj Bajpayee. They didn't, however, confine the story to the on-and-off-the-field life of the covert intelligence agent. The show also looked at the origins of Islamist terrorism and Kashmir's geopolitical position. It took a risk by highlighting the lack of trust that exists between law enforcement and the residents of the Valley.

The much-anticipated online series The Family Man 2 starring Manoj Bajpayee and Samantha Akkineni will premiere on Amazon Prime Video on June 4th. The show's trailer was released on Wednesday, ahead of its premiere. While the teaser won many hearts, it also sparked controversy in the South as it depicted them as "terrorists." The trailer depicts Tamil separatists fighting for their rights in Sri Lanka collaborating with ISIS to undermine the country. This does not sit well with many who have labeled the web show as "anti-Tamil."

Before you watch the show this weekend here's a small history lesson you might need to understand better.

Origin of the problem

74.9 percent of Sri Lankans are Sinhalese, while 11.2 percent are Sri Lankan Tamil, during the British rule. Within these two communities, the Sinhalese are Buddhists and the Tamils are Hindus, with substantial linguistic and religious differences. The conflict between the grounds is said to have started far earlier in Sri Lanka's ancient settlement history.

The origins of the Sinhalese people in Sri Lanka are a bit hazy. Historians think the Tamils came to the island as both conquerors and traders from India's Chola Kingdom. These genesis legends show that tensions between the Sinhalese and Tamil communities have existed since the beginning. It is not because of cultural incompatibility, but because of power struggles.

Tensions between the two tribes intensified throughout British imperial authority. The CIA said in 1985 that the Sinhalese community was endangered by the Tamil population's wealth. A part of it was because of the British favoring of Tamils during the British colonization of Sri Lanka.

Divide and Rule under the British

Since the British took control of Sri Lanka (then called Ceylon) in 1815, Tamils, who made up 22% of the population, have had disproportionate access to English education and governmental services.

Sri Lankan Tamils profited from broader economic networks and a greater range of opportunities. Tamil populations existed in numerous other British colonies, including India, South Africa, and Singapore, which benefited them.

English language schools were frequently established in largely Tamil areas by British colonial authority, providing Tamils with more civil service and professional prospects than their Sinhalese counterparts. Sinhalese people felt isolated and oppressed as a result of Tamil partiality.

Post Decolonisation

Following Sri Lanka's independence in 1948, the Tamils began to demand greater autonomy, and the idea of establishing a Tamil Eelam grew increasingly enticing. The newly formed Sinhalese administration soon began disenfranchising formerly politically favored Tamils, establishing a political system based on majority ethnic political parties.

Sinhalese candidates began campaigning on "Sinhalese-only" platforms, promising to "return Buddhism to its due place in society." Sinhalese was made the official language, which drove Tamils out of the civil service. The Ceylon Citizenship Act of 1948 effectively barred Indian Tamils from holding citizenship, which was only amended in 2003.

What is LTTE?

The island's current situation is haunted by memories of the island's decades-long civil war, which began in 1983 and ended just over ten years ago. The conflict primarily pitted the Sinhalese-dominated Sri Lankan government against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) or Tamil Tiger, an insurgent group that aimed to create a separate state for the Tamil minority.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), often known as the Tamil Tigers, was a guerrilla group. They aimed to establish a separate Tamil homeland, Eelam, in northern and eastern Sri Lanka.

LTTE establishment and rise to power

Velupillai Prabhakaran founded the LTTE in 1976 as the successor to an organization he had founded earlier in the 1970s. The LTTE evolved into one of the most sophisticated and well-organized rebel organizations in the world. Several guerrilla actions were carried out by the organization during the 1970s.

Large-scale ethnic violence occurred in Colombo and other cities, in 1983, LTTE assassinated 13 soldiers which prompted retaliatory attacks by the Sri Lankan military. By 1985, the gang had taken control of Jaffna and the majority of Sri Lanka's Jaffna Peninsula.

By 1987, the LTTE had destroyed most of its rival Tamil factions on Prabhakaran's orders. The organization used illicit activities (such as bank robberies and drug smuggling) and extortion of Tamils in Sri Lanka and internationally to fund its operations. It also received significant voluntary financial support from Tamils residing abroad. Violence escalated LLTE used car bombs, suitcase bombs, and even landmines against Sri Lankan military and civilians. The Sri Lankan army responded by torturing Tamil youths.

LTTE: A History Lesson Before You Watch the Family Man Season 2
Areas controlled by LTTE | LTTE: A History Lesson

Women in LTTE

The LTTE's propaganda appealed to women who wanted to help their Tamil nation while also empowering themselves. “Woman, you spark the flames of liberation!” read posters picturing active, militarised female bodies. You are being summoned. Take up the torch of liberty and fight, because our nation–Tamil Eelam–is forming with each pulse!

From the beginning of their campaign, the LTTE promoted equal rights for women, claiming that it was the only way to secure female emancipation while also striving toward an independent nation.

The Women's Front's goals were to (1.) secure the right of ‘Tamililam' to self-determination and establish an independent democratic state of Tamililam; (2.) abolish oppressive caste discrimination and division, as well as feudal customs like the dowry system; (3.) eliminate all discrimination and secure social, political, and economic equality.”

Indian Support to LTTE

In the 1980s, India and Sri Lanka were divided into two Cold War camps, with the former siding with the now-divided Soviet Union and the latter siding with the United States. Though India under Indira Gandhi did not have a negative relationship with the Sri Lankan Government, it was a tense relationship.

The Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), India's foreign intelligence agency, assisted to train and arm the LTTE in the 1970s, but when the group's terrorist actions expanded in the 1980s—including partnerships with separatist groups in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu—RAW stopped its support.

Sri Lankan policy under late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was a jumble of inconsistencies. Rather than simply Indian strategic imperatives, it mirrored Cold War calculations. Indira's mistake was assuming she could manage the conflict without allowing it to spiral out of control. The LTTE's battle to create a separate state for Tamils known as Eelam proved a useful instrument for her to pull India into a role in Sri Lanka.

She took an active role in resolving Sri Lanka's ethnic conflict while also providing training to rebel Tamil youths. To find a solution to the ethnic strife, the Indian government arranged a meeting of both parties in Thimpu, Bhutan. It also allowed the LTTE and other terrorist organizations to establish bases in Tamil Nadu while playing big brother. Private sources of funds and weapons were also used by Tamil separatists.

Rajiv Gandhi Assassination Case and LTTE involvement

IPKF

In July 1987, under the Indo-Lanka Peace Accord signed by then-Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Sri Lankan President JR Jayawardene, the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) was dispatched to Sri Lanka. Between 1987 and 1990, the IPKF was stationed in Sri Lanka's troublesome north and east. It was dispatched to maintain peace between Sri Lankan government forces and the Tamil Eelam Liberation Tigers (LTTE). The IPKF was tasked with disarming the insurgents.

Planning

One of Rajiv Gandhi's first acts as Prime Minister was to dispatch Indian troops to Sri Lanka. This was done in order to put an end to the rebellion there. The Indian High Commission in Colombo, military commanders, and intelligence agencies had cautioned the Prime Minister against embarking on such a dangerous and ambitious trip. Many Indian soldiers died, and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were unable to be defeated. The army was summoned back, but the LTTE had become Gandhi's sworn enemy by that time.

Across the Palk Straits, the LTTE leadership convened in the forest hideouts of Jaffna in north-eastern Sri Lanka to examine the situation. The group agreed that Congress(I) president Rajiv Gandhi's chances of re-election were now almost probable. This indicated a likely re-induction of the IPKF (Indian Peace Keeping Forces) in Sri Lanka and a definite crackdown on the complex LTTE network created in Tamil Nadu for the extremist organization fighting for Tamil Eelam.

LTTE: A History Lesson Before You Watch the Family Man Season 2
On the day of the Assassination | LTTE: A History Lesson

On the day of the Assassination

Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu, on May 21, 1991, by a suicide bomber from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, Dhanu/Thenmozhi Rajarathinam. Gandhi was set to speak at an election rally and campaign for Maragatham Chandrasekar, the Congress's candidate.

As she leaned down to touch Rajiv Gandhi's feet, Dhanu activated an explosive-laden belt she was wearing. The bombing killed sixteen individuals, including Rajiv Gandhi and Dhanu, and badly injured roughly 45 others.

The LTTE’s three-decade campaign for Tamil sovereignty came to a bloody end in May 2009, as government troops crushed an insurgency that had cleaved the Indian Ocean island. Nine years later, the country’s north is picking up the pieces after being shattered by the lengthy war and its violent conclusion

End of the War

Post-Steptember 11, attacks on the United States and subsequent War on Terror, the funding and support for LTTE disappeared. The US supported the Sri-Lankan government in the war against LTTE despite their poor human rights record over the past years.

The Sri Lankan Civil War, which began from hostility between the majority Sinhalese and the minority Tamil populations, came to an end in May 2009, following two and a half decades of periodic violent fighting.

The end of the war was particularly brutal, with allegations of widespread human rights violations by both the Sri Lankan armed forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Approximately 7,000 ethnic Tamils were murdered in the final military assault, which lasted from January to early May 2009.

Government in Exile

Following the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE military )'s defeat in Sri Lanka in May, an exile branch of the separatist group revealed a grandiose plan to build "a provisional transnational government of Tamil Eelam." On the pro-LTTE Tamilnet website, Selvarasa Pathmanathan, the head of the LTTE's international affairs, published a news release.

In the closing days of the Sri Lankan army's final attack in May, all of the top LTTE leaders in the country were murdered, including LTTE chief V. Prabhakaran. The military attacks killed thousands of civilians and injured tens of thousands more. Nearly 300,000 Tamil people have been detained in detention camps after fleeing the conflict zone.

The Situation Now

Despite the end of the civil war in 2009, Sri Lanka's current status has only improved to a degree. A huge percentage of the Tamil population has been forced to flee their homes. Even though there are fewer political and civil rights challenges, torture and enforced disappearances continue to occur. Furthermore, the Sri Lankan government frequently monitors and tracks LTTE supporters.

The LTTE is a banned organization in every country in Europe as it has not given up on violence and terrorism. In 2019, the Indian government banned LTTE for another five years.

Although to a lower level than before the war, the Sri Lankan military continues to occupy largely Tamil districts classified as "high-security zones." The government's Anti-Terrorism Act (PTA) mostly targets Tamils. The Sri Lankan government continues to disenfranchise the Tamil people in a more sophisticated way.

For example, through a process known as "Sinhalization," Sinhalese culture has gradually supplanted Tamil culture. In largely Tamil districts, Sinhalese monuments, road signs, street and village names, as well as Buddhist places of worship, became more common. These efforts have harmed, and in some cases completely destroyed, the Tamil view on Sri Lankan history, as well as Tamil and Sinhala cultures.

Culture

LTTE: A History Lesson Before You Watch the Family Man Season 2

Origin of the Sri Lankan Civil War. Tamil Tigers, What of LTTE, Women in LTTE, Role of India and the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. Family Man S2 is here.

Creators Raj and DK presented the narrative of Srikant Tiwari, a middle-class family man who is also a world-class spy, in the first season of the Amazon Prime Video series The Family Man, ably portrayed by Manoj Bajpayee. They didn't, however, confine the story to the on-and-off-the-field life of the covert intelligence agent. The show also looked at the origins of Islamist terrorism and Kashmir's geopolitical position. It took a risk by highlighting the lack of trust that exists between law enforcement and the residents of the Valley.

The much-anticipated online series The Family Man 2 starring Manoj Bajpayee and Samantha Akkineni will premiere on Amazon Prime Video on June 4th. The show's trailer was released on Wednesday, ahead of its premiere. While the teaser won many hearts, it also sparked controversy in the South as it depicted them as "terrorists." The trailer depicts Tamil separatists fighting for their rights in Sri Lanka collaborating with ISIS to undermine the country. This does not sit well with many who have labeled the web show as "anti-Tamil."

Before you watch the show this weekend here's a small history lesson you might need to understand better.

Origin of the problem

74.9 percent of Sri Lankans are Sinhalese, while 11.2 percent are Sri Lankan Tamil, during the British rule. Within these two communities, the Sinhalese are Buddhists and the Tamils are Hindus, with substantial linguistic and religious differences. The conflict between the grounds is said to have started far earlier in Sri Lanka's ancient settlement history.

The origins of the Sinhalese people in Sri Lanka are a bit hazy. Historians think the Tamils came to the island as both conquerors and traders from India's Chola Kingdom. These genesis legends show that tensions between the Sinhalese and Tamil communities have existed since the beginning. It is not because of cultural incompatibility, but because of power struggles.

Tensions between the two tribes intensified throughout British imperial authority. The CIA said in 1985 that the Sinhalese community was endangered by the Tamil population's wealth. A part of it was because of the British favoring of Tamils during the British colonization of Sri Lanka.

Divide and Rule under the British

Since the British took control of Sri Lanka (then called Ceylon) in 1815, Tamils, who made up 22% of the population, have had disproportionate access to English education and governmental services.

Sri Lankan Tamils profited from broader economic networks and a greater range of opportunities. Tamil populations existed in numerous other British colonies, including India, South Africa, and Singapore, which benefited them.

English language schools were frequently established in largely Tamil areas by British colonial authority, providing Tamils with more civil service and professional prospects than their Sinhalese counterparts. Sinhalese people felt isolated and oppressed as a result of Tamil partiality.

Post Decolonisation

Following Sri Lanka's independence in 1948, the Tamils began to demand greater autonomy, and the idea of establishing a Tamil Eelam grew increasingly enticing. The newly formed Sinhalese administration soon began disenfranchising formerly politically favored Tamils, establishing a political system based on majority ethnic political parties.

Sinhalese candidates began campaigning on "Sinhalese-only" platforms, promising to "return Buddhism to its due place in society." Sinhalese was made the official language, which drove Tamils out of the civil service. The Ceylon Citizenship Act of 1948 effectively barred Indian Tamils from holding citizenship, which was only amended in 2003.

What is LTTE?

The island's current situation is haunted by memories of the island's decades-long civil war, which began in 1983 and ended just over ten years ago. The conflict primarily pitted the Sinhalese-dominated Sri Lankan government against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) or Tamil Tiger, an insurgent group that aimed to create a separate state for the Tamil minority.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), often known as the Tamil Tigers, was a guerrilla group. They aimed to establish a separate Tamil homeland, Eelam, in northern and eastern Sri Lanka.

LTTE establishment and rise to power

Velupillai Prabhakaran founded the LTTE in 1976 as the successor to an organization he had founded earlier in the 1970s. The LTTE evolved into one of the most sophisticated and well-organized rebel organizations in the world. Several guerrilla actions were carried out by the organization during the 1970s.

Large-scale ethnic violence occurred in Colombo and other cities, in 1983, LTTE assassinated 13 soldiers which prompted retaliatory attacks by the Sri Lankan military. By 1985, the gang had taken control of Jaffna and the majority of Sri Lanka's Jaffna Peninsula.

By 1987, the LTTE had destroyed most of its rival Tamil factions on Prabhakaran's orders. The organization used illicit activities (such as bank robberies and drug smuggling) and extortion of Tamils in Sri Lanka and internationally to fund its operations. It also received significant voluntary financial support from Tamils residing abroad. Violence escalated LLTE used car bombs, suitcase bombs, and even landmines against Sri Lankan military and civilians. The Sri Lankan army responded by torturing Tamil youths.

LTTE: A History Lesson Before You Watch the Family Man Season 2
Areas controlled by LTTE | LTTE: A History Lesson

Women in LTTE

The LTTE's propaganda appealed to women who wanted to help their Tamil nation while also empowering themselves. “Woman, you spark the flames of liberation!” read posters picturing active, militarised female bodies. You are being summoned. Take up the torch of liberty and fight, because our nation–Tamil Eelam–is forming with each pulse!

From the beginning of their campaign, the LTTE promoted equal rights for women, claiming that it was the only way to secure female emancipation while also striving toward an independent nation.

The Women's Front's goals were to (1.) secure the right of ‘Tamililam' to self-determination and establish an independent democratic state of Tamililam; (2.) abolish oppressive caste discrimination and division, as well as feudal customs like the dowry system; (3.) eliminate all discrimination and secure social, political, and economic equality.”

Indian Support to LTTE

In the 1980s, India and Sri Lanka were divided into two Cold War camps, with the former siding with the now-divided Soviet Union and the latter siding with the United States. Though India under Indira Gandhi did not have a negative relationship with the Sri Lankan Government, it was a tense relationship.

The Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), India's foreign intelligence agency, assisted to train and arm the LTTE in the 1970s, but when the group's terrorist actions expanded in the 1980s—including partnerships with separatist groups in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu—RAW stopped its support.

Sri Lankan policy under late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was a jumble of inconsistencies. Rather than simply Indian strategic imperatives, it mirrored Cold War calculations. Indira's mistake was assuming she could manage the conflict without allowing it to spiral out of control. The LTTE's battle to create a separate state for Tamils known as Eelam proved a useful instrument for her to pull India into a role in Sri Lanka.

She took an active role in resolving Sri Lanka's ethnic conflict while also providing training to rebel Tamil youths. To find a solution to the ethnic strife, the Indian government arranged a meeting of both parties in Thimpu, Bhutan. It also allowed the LTTE and other terrorist organizations to establish bases in Tamil Nadu while playing big brother. Private sources of funds and weapons were also used by Tamil separatists.

Rajiv Gandhi Assassination Case and LTTE involvement

IPKF

In July 1987, under the Indo-Lanka Peace Accord signed by then-Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Sri Lankan President JR Jayawardene, the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) was dispatched to Sri Lanka. Between 1987 and 1990, the IPKF was stationed in Sri Lanka's troublesome north and east. It was dispatched to maintain peace between Sri Lankan government forces and the Tamil Eelam Liberation Tigers (LTTE). The IPKF was tasked with disarming the insurgents.

Planning

One of Rajiv Gandhi's first acts as Prime Minister was to dispatch Indian troops to Sri Lanka. This was done in order to put an end to the rebellion there. The Indian High Commission in Colombo, military commanders, and intelligence agencies had cautioned the Prime Minister against embarking on such a dangerous and ambitious trip. Many Indian soldiers died, and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were unable to be defeated. The army was summoned back, but the LTTE had become Gandhi's sworn enemy by that time.

Across the Palk Straits, the LTTE leadership convened in the forest hideouts of Jaffna in north-eastern Sri Lanka to examine the situation. The group agreed that Congress(I) president Rajiv Gandhi's chances of re-election were now almost probable. This indicated a likely re-induction of the IPKF (Indian Peace Keeping Forces) in Sri Lanka and a definite crackdown on the complex LTTE network created in Tamil Nadu for the extremist organization fighting for Tamil Eelam.

LTTE: A History Lesson Before You Watch the Family Man Season 2
On the day of the Assassination | LTTE: A History Lesson

On the day of the Assassination

Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu, on May 21, 1991, by a suicide bomber from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, Dhanu/Thenmozhi Rajarathinam. Gandhi was set to speak at an election rally and campaign for Maragatham Chandrasekar, the Congress's candidate.

As she leaned down to touch Rajiv Gandhi's feet, Dhanu activated an explosive-laden belt she was wearing. The bombing killed sixteen individuals, including Rajiv Gandhi and Dhanu, and badly injured roughly 45 others.

The LTTE’s three-decade campaign for Tamil sovereignty came to a bloody end in May 2009, as government troops crushed an insurgency that had cleaved the Indian Ocean island. Nine years later, the country’s north is picking up the pieces after being shattered by the lengthy war and its violent conclusion

End of the War

Post-Steptember 11, attacks on the United States and subsequent War on Terror, the funding and support for LTTE disappeared. The US supported the Sri-Lankan government in the war against LTTE despite their poor human rights record over the past years.

The Sri Lankan Civil War, which began from hostility between the majority Sinhalese and the minority Tamil populations, came to an end in May 2009, following two and a half decades of periodic violent fighting.

The end of the war was particularly brutal, with allegations of widespread human rights violations by both the Sri Lankan armed forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Approximately 7,000 ethnic Tamils were murdered in the final military assault, which lasted from January to early May 2009.

Government in Exile

Following the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE military )'s defeat in Sri Lanka in May, an exile branch of the separatist group revealed a grandiose plan to build "a provisional transnational government of Tamil Eelam." On the pro-LTTE Tamilnet website, Selvarasa Pathmanathan, the head of the LTTE's international affairs, published a news release.

In the closing days of the Sri Lankan army's final attack in May, all of the top LTTE leaders in the country were murdered, including LTTE chief V. Prabhakaran. The military attacks killed thousands of civilians and injured tens of thousands more. Nearly 300,000 Tamil people have been detained in detention camps after fleeing the conflict zone.

The Situation Now

Despite the end of the civil war in 2009, Sri Lanka's current status has only improved to a degree. A huge percentage of the Tamil population has been forced to flee their homes. Even though there are fewer political and civil rights challenges, torture and enforced disappearances continue to occur. Furthermore, the Sri Lankan government frequently monitors and tracks LTTE supporters.

The LTTE is a banned organization in every country in Europe as it has not given up on violence and terrorism. In 2019, the Indian government banned LTTE for another five years.

Although to a lower level than before the war, the Sri Lankan military continues to occupy largely Tamil districts classified as "high-security zones." The government's Anti-Terrorism Act (PTA) mostly targets Tamils. The Sri Lankan government continues to disenfranchise the Tamil people in a more sophisticated way.

For example, through a process known as "Sinhalization," Sinhalese culture has gradually supplanted Tamil culture. In largely Tamil districts, Sinhalese monuments, road signs, street and village names, as well as Buddhist places of worship, became more common. These efforts have harmed, and in some cases completely destroyed, the Tamil view on Sri Lankan history, as well as Tamil and Sinhala cultures.

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