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(03/29/03) -

Sinhalese Majority Opposed to Sri Lanka / Tamil Deal

(CPOD) Mar. 29, 2003 – A power sharing agreement between the government of Sri Lanka and the rebel Tamil Tigers would not have the support of the majority Sinhalese, according to a poll conducted by the Center for Policy Alternatives. Only 29 per cent of Sinhalese respondents support the proposed deal, compared to 76 per cent of Tamils and 60 per cent of Muslims.

(CPOD) Mar. 29, 2003 – A power sharing agreement between the government of Sri Lanka and the rebel Tamil Tigers would not have the support of the majority Sinhalese, according to a poll conducted by the Center for Policy Alternatives. Only 29 per cent of Sinhalese respondents support the proposed deal, compared to 76 per cent of Tamils and 60 per cent of Muslims.

Sinhalese constitute 14 million of Sri Lanka’s 18.6 million population. Tamils and Muslims comprise of 3.2 million and 1.3 million respectively.

The rebel Tigers have fought for a separate state for Tamils since 1976, claiming discrimination by the Sinhalese majority. The government and the rebels—with Norway as a mediator—are currently negotiating a power-sharing structure to end the conflict, which has killed 65,000 people in 31 years.

The United States is reportedly considering the removal of the Tamil Tigers from its list of terrorist organizations, and significant humanitarian and economic aid to Sri Lanka may follow.

Polling Data

Do you agree with the proposed power-sharing deal being negotiated between the government of Sri Lanka and the Tamil Tigers?
(Only “Yes” answers listed)

Yes

Sinhalese

29%

Tamils

76%

Muslims

60%


Source: Center for Policy Alternatives.
Methodology: Interviews to 1,397 Sri Lankan adults, covering most parts of the island, but excluding some areas under rebel control, conducted in March 2003. Margin of error is 3 per cent.