With the end of the Cold War, several domestic conflicts have exploded throughout the world as well as a proliferation in the number of negotiations attempting to settle these conflicts. Many scholars investigating this new phenomena have concluded that there has been a transition from interstate wars to non-interstate wars. This conflict map will discuss one of these non-interstate wars, the case of Sri Lanka. .
Like many other nations, Sri Lanka has a heterogeneous culture, with two separate and distinct ethno-linguistic groups, the Sinhalese and the Tamils, five communities (Indian Tamils, Sri Lankan Tamils, Muslims, Burghers and Malays) and four great religions: Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam. For centuries, Sri Lanka was ruled by several kingdoms, each claiming their own region, traditions and values. The two main ones were the Tamil Kingdom, or Jaffna Kingdom, and the Sinhalese Kingdom, or Kandyan Kingdom. They are referred to as two separate nations due to their particular historical past, the national-ethnic differences, the occupation of separate homelands and the possession of a separate distinct national consciousness. Historical documents show that both kingdoms have experienced ethnic rivalry dating centuries back, but that due to geographical and physical separation, both kingdoms were able to prosper and develop peacefully.
Like most other Asian countries, Sri Lanka (then known as Ceylon) was colonized by European powers: the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British, of which the latter governed it for the longest duration and greatly influenced many aspects of society that are still evident today. When independence was granted in 1948, the main aim was to create a homeland for all, which included unity and cooperation between all ethnic groups. However, as soon as the Ceylonese people could control their destiny, nationalism and personal conquest became the priority.