Demanding sacrifice: War and negotiation in Sri Lanka
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The Tamils’ early desire for self-determination through federal government structure was violently suppressed by government. Sachithanandam Sathananthan argues that this reaction is to blame for the violent demands for secession witnessed more recently. The conflict is mischaracterised as an ethnic conflict when it is in fact an attempt at self-determination (“internal de-colonisation”), and the continued refusal by the Sinhalese-controlled government to concede national rights to Tamils is to blame for the continued violence. He ends by setting out the constitutional preconditions for a settlement.