Indian Tamils of Sri Lanka - Politics


See also: Politics of Sri Lanka
Community Development

The community was a closed community confining themselves to the plantations, while t actively contributed and contributes to the economic well-being of this country but the socio economic indicators of the community was amongst the worst in the country. The community in general was isolated, living in ghettoes within the central region as well as linguistically isolated from the majority Sinhalese villagers who live in the valleys. They were captive labor whose life in its entity was decided by the employers. Any social relationship or cultural ties were only among themselves or with South India. In the 1940s the trade union movement had galvanized the plantation workers into a militant working class. They joined hands with the Lanka Sama Samaja (or Socialist) Party, which carried the message of a working-class struggle for liberation from the exploitation by mostly British plantation companies.

Sri Lanka became independent in 1948 and the community believes that it became the first community marked out for discrimination by the new state of Ceylon in 1948. In the elections to the first parliament of Ceylon, seven Indian Tamil representatives were returned to Parliament. The plantation workers voted either for Indian Tamil candidates or for Lanka Sama Samaja Party candidates. Dr.N.M.Perera was the leader of the opposition in the 1st parliament and the Lanka Sama Samaja Party was the second largest party after the United National Party.

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