Ethnic Composition of Sri Lanka
Most of the Sinhalese speakers follow Buddhism, while the majority of Tamils are Hindus or Muslims. About 7% of Christians are both Tamil and Sinhalese. The term ethnic refers to a social division based on a shared culture.
Sinhalese were in the majority in Sri Lanka. After Sri Lanka gained independence, an act was passed in 1956 to recognize Sinhala as the official language. The policies of the government were in favour of the Sinhalese people.
Thus, Tamils felt neglected and thought that no political party led by Sinhalese leaders was sensitive to their language and culture. They founded political parties and fought for the recognition of Tamil as an official language. Soon a civil war broke out between the two, which ended in 2009.