The Supreme Court declares unlawful the 1987 merger of the Northern and Eastern provinces to form a single Tamil dominated North Eastern Province under the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord.
Timeline of events under "Sinhala nationalism" issue
The People’s Alliance and the JVP jointly campaign against any interim administration for North East, claiming it would be a first step towards a separate Tamil state.
The official name of the country is changed from Ceylon to Sri Lanka and Buddhism is made the official state religion.
The ‘district quota’ system is introduced for university entrance, improving the prospects for rural and provincial populations. The system is perceived to be at the expense of Tamil students from urban areas, mainly from Colombo and Jaffna.
Sirimavo Bandaranaike returns to power. From 1970 onwards, Bandaranaike pursues a kind of ‘socialist agenda’, through inter alia nationalisation of large companies.
The Privy Council rules in favour of Kodeeswaran in the case of Kodeeswaran vs Attorney General. The Privy Council directs the Supreme Court to address the constitutional question of whether the Official Language Act of 1956 which made Sinhala the official language was in violation of Section 29 of the constitution, which prohibits discrimination.
‘Sinhala Only Act’ comes into force: Sinhala becomes the sole official language.
Bandaranaike is assassinated by a Buddhist monk. State of emergency imposed. The founder of the Eksath Bhikku Peramua is later accused of leading the conspiracy.
The ‘Bandaranaike-Chelvanayagam pact’ document is symbolically torn up amid protests by a faction of Buddhist monks (Eksath Bhikku Peramua) and other nationalistic groups.
J.R. Jayewardene organises a march from Colombo to Kandy in protest against the 'Bandaranaike-Chelvanayakam Pact'.
Official Language Act No. 33 of 1956, popularly known as the "Sinhala Only Act", is passed in parliament by 66 votes to 29.
Federal Party conducts its sathyagraha protest on Galle Face Green against intended legislation to make Sinhala the official language. Protests spark communal violence in Colombo. Violence spreads to Ampara and the Gal-Oya Valley. An estimated 150 deaths, mainly Tamil, result.
Solomon W.R.D. Bandaranaike is elected as prime minister, in a landslide victory of the Sri Lankan Freedom Party (SLFP).
PACT's overall purpose is to examine the root causes and contributory factors of conflict in Sri Lanka and to promote discussion on these themes. Many commentators are calling for the root causes of conflict to be addressed in a meaningful way. They argue that even if the LTTE is defeated militarily, the underlying conflict will continue until the addressal of these critical issues. Indeed, these issues existed long before the LTTE emerged as an armed militant group. What are these root causes, are they still relevant and what should be done about them? PACT's current feature seeks to unpack some of these issues