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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 79

Sri Lanka Tamil population drop from second to the last.....

[b]Sri Lanka Tamil population drop from second to the last in the latest census -- World Factbook [/b]

Based on the latest census figures the World Factbook states that the Sri Lankan Tamils who were the second largest community (12%) has come down to 3.9 % in the census figures of 2001. The Sri Lankan Moors have shot up from the third position to No: 2 -- i.e .7.2%. The Indian Tamils is at 4.6%. The Sinhalese as expected topped the list with 73.8%. These figures indicate that the Sri Lankan Tamils have dropped to the bottom of the ladder with all other communities climbing over it.

Sri Lankan Tamils constituted around 1.2 million in the pre-Eelam war period. The decline in the population of the Sri Lanka Tamils is mainly due to the post-1983 politics of violence.

Mass migration of the Sri Lankan Tamils began in the post-1983, after the ethnic riots. This migration consisted of both political and economic refugees. While pockets of Tamil migrants increased abroad their population decreased in Sri Lanka. The LTTE in particular welcomed this trend as these pockets were seen as sources of revenue. But the flip side of it was the drop in population which can have serious political implications for the separatists.

The Tamil diaspora boasts that their total population in Canada is around 150,000. In UK its around 100,000. Europe too accounts for another 100,000. Australia around 50,000. The Tamil diaspora is also spread around other parts of the world including some refugees in India. The LTTE claims that nearly half of the Tamils killed in the decades of war were Tamils. These factors should account for the drop in the demographics of the Sri Lankan Tamils.

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