Thursday, July 12, 2007
MAJORITARIANISM & ACCOMODATION
POWER SHARING-IN BELGIUM & SRILANKA
oIsland nation in the south of india
Tamils-Natives-'Srilankan Tamils'-13% ; Rest-Whose forefathers had come from India as plantation workers-'Indian Tamils'
Sinhalese-Buddhist,74%, formed the majority govt. after independence in 1948.
Tamils-Hindus-Muslims, 7% are chirstians who are both Tamil & sinhalese.
Sinhalese enjoyed majority and can impose its will on the entire country.
oPopulation-less than crore
oFrench community-in majority in capital-Brussels,are rich and powerful.and not liked by Dutch,so tension between the two.
Majoritarianism in Srilanka
Independence in 1948.
Leaders of Sinhala community tried to dominate and took some ‘majoritarian measures’
1.1956-Act was passed-it declared sinhala as the official language.
2.Preferential policy-favouring Sinhalas for university education and government jobs.
3.State shall protect and foster Buddhism.
These measures created feeling of alienation among Srilankan Tamils.They felt that these
policies denied them equal political rights and opportunities.
Relations were strained.
Srilankan Tamils launched parties and stuggles and demamded—
a)recognition of Tamil as an official language
c)equality of opportunity in education and jobs. Though all these demands were denied.
In 1980’s several political organizations started demanding separate state—TAMIL EELAM
Distrust developed and CIVILWAR started……….Its results:
Thousands of people got killed
Many families were forced to leave the country as refugees.
Many more lost their livelihood.
Excellent record of Srilanka’seconomic development, education and health received a
ACCOMODATION IN BELGIUM
Belgian leaders took a different path : recognized the existence of regional differences and
cultural diversities.Between 1970-1993 amended their constitution four times to work out
an arrangement suitable to everyone. The CONSTITUTION say that:
a)Dutch and French speaking ministers shall be equal in central government.Special laws
will require support of majority of members from each group.
b) Many powers of the central govt. have been given to the state govt. of two regions and
state govt.s are not subordinate to the central govt.
c)In Brussels both communities have equal representation.
d)Community government:elected by the people belonging to one language community, no matter where they live.This govt. has a power regarding cultural, educational & language issues.
These arrangements have worked very well for Belgium so far,as it has helped in…
Avoid civic tensions between the communities.
Avoided possible division of the country on liguistic lines.
When EUROPEAN UNION was formed Brussels was chosen as its headquaters.
Q1.What majoritarian measures were taken by the Sinhala government? OR What gave Srilankan Tamils
a feeling of alienation?
Q2.How did Srilankan Tamils show their resentment?