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Case 151 - The Tamil-Sinhalese Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka: A Case Study in Efforts to Negotiate a Settlement, 1983-1988

Case 151 - The Tamil-Sinhalese Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka: A Case Study in Efforts to Negotiate a Settlement, 1983-1988

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Singer, Marshall R.

This three-part case study focuses on the internationalization of the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. What began as a national ethnic conflict between two groups that live on the island--the majority, predominantly Buddhist and Sinhalese, and the minority, predominantly Hindu Tamils--became international. Part A analyzes the background to the hostility and discusses each of the major actors in the dispute--including the foreign actors. Part B describes the efforts at conflict resolution that have taken place since 1983, leading to the Indo-Sri Lankan Accords of July 1987 and the introduction of Indian troops into the island. Part C analyzes how those accords were implemented between July 1987 and January 1988. This case can be used as a role-play scenario by assigning groups of students to play specific actors whose positions are laid out in the materials.