Quote "Democracy may mean acceding to the rule of the majority,
but democracy also means governments by discussion and
persuasion. It is the belief that the minority of today may
become the majority of tomorrow that ensures the stability
of a functioning democracy. The practice of democracy in
Sri Lanka within the confines of a unitary state served to
perpetuate the oppressive rule of a permanent Sinhala
It was a permanent Sinhala majority, which through a series of
legislative and administrative acts, ranging from
disenfranchisement, and standardisation of University admissions,
to discriminatory language and employment policies, and state
sponsored colonisation of the homelands of the Tamil people,
sough to establish its hegemony over people of Tamil Eelam.
These legislative and administrative acts were reinforced from
time to time with physical attacks on the Tamil people with intent
to terrorise and intimidate them into submission. It was a course
of conduct which led eventually to rise of Tamil militancy in the
mid 1970s with, initially, sporadic acts of violence.
was met with wide ranging retaliatory attacks on increasingly
large sections of the Tamil people with intent, once again to
subjugate them. In the late 1970s large numbers of Tamil youths
were detained without trial and tortured under emergency
regulations and later under the Prevention of Terrorism Act
which has been described by the International Commission of
Jurists as a 'blot on the statute book of any civilised country'. In
1980s and thereafter, there were random killings of Tamils by
the state security forces and Tamil hostages were taken by the
state when 'suspects' were not found.
The preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
"Whereas it is essential if man is not compelled as a
last resort to rebellion against tyranny and
oppression, that human...