Ever since Sri Lanka gained independence from Britain in 1948, the rights of the Tamils have been under attack. The Sinhala ruling elites have used anti-Tamil racism to secure power and privilege and deflect discontent from below. The history of Sri Lanka is marked by a bloody series of government-instigated anti-Tamil programs and policy mandates.
The persecuted and besieged Tamils finally turned to armed struggle to secure independence in their traditional homelands. With the military defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), this phase appears to have come to an end.