This research is a dual case study of the Tamil nationalist movement led by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the Sinhala-Buddhist campaign of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) to examine the prevalence of caste and the anti-caste agitation in the Sri Lankan Tamil and Sinhala-Buddhist communities respectively. The anti-caste agitation was a starting point of the Tamil nationalist movement that morphed into a violent rebellion against the Sri Lankan state. This study also examines the interconnection of caste with ethnicity, territorialisation, language and dialect within the Sri Lankan Tamil society. Although caste remains deeply entrenched for Sri Lankan Tamils, caste practices and caste discrimination is substantially different in the Sinhala-Buddhist society.

  • Funded by: NIL
  • Time period: 2023-2028
  • People Involved: Prof. Dr. Tine Vekemans (main supervisor) & Prof. Dr. Bert Suykens (co-supervisor)