Ethnicity in South Asia: The Sri Lankan Context


Author: Rajkumar Singh, B.N. Mandal University, India
Email: [email protected]
Published: October 29, 2018

Citation: Singh, R. (2018). Ethnicity in South Asia: The Sri Lankan Context. IAFOR Journal of Asian Studies, 4(1).


Ethnicity has gained prominence in South Asian politics today for two reasons. First, the growth of sectarian political parties throughout the region has amplified and redirected ethnic issues to the political limelight. These parties have arisen, or have been resurrected by parochial interests, because of the government's inadequacy or inability to remove ethnic grievances. These parties differ from national parties in that they have a narrow political base, represent the interests of only particular ethnic groups or segments thereof and are dedicated to achieving political ends through violence. Second, the ethnic factor in South Asian politics is sustained also by the international role of the regional countries. In general, it is not only as the case of South Asia, but this alike, most regions of the world are affected by the complexities of ethnicity in which the same catalysts, be they national, regional and global, play an active part. In each case, interaction among these forces make an ethnic group more conscious and accountable in today's context. The findings of the study and descriptions thereof are useful universally and would be helpful for future study that might be conducted in this sphere.


ethnicity, outside factors, Sri Lanka, grievance-formation, political bargaining