Sri Lanka: Pressure Groups Material

Scope and Content

Pamphlets, press releases, conference reports and declarations, 1979 onwards, issued by the Association of Tamils for a United Sri Lanka, the Movement for Inter Racial Justice and Equality (Sri Lanka), the National Peace Council of Sri Lanka and the Sri Lanka Foundation.

Administrative / Biographical History

The majority of the materials held here are concerned with the ethnic strife between Sri Lanka's Sinhalese majority and its Tamil minority. The latter considered itself discriminated against by language and university admisson policies introduced in the 1950s and 1970s respectively, as well as by the encouragement of Sinhalese settlement in the traditionally Tamil northern and eastern areas of the island, and in response a number of militant Tamil groups emerged, most notably the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Folowing the communal riots of 1981 and 1983 support for these groups increased, as the country degenerated into a state of civil war. Despite peace initiatives and intervention by India the situation continues to remain unstable, hence the continued issuance of material by the groups represented here, notably the National Peace Council of Sri Lanka.


Alphabetically by group, then in rough chronological order

Access Information

Open to all for research purposes; access is free for anyone in higher education

Acquisition Information

Institute of Commonwealth Studies

Other Finding Aids

Records at item level on library catalogue (SASCAT)

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Daniel Millum, Political Archives Project Officer at the Institutes of Commonwealth and Latin American Studies.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies can usually be obtained - apply to library staff.

Custodial History

The Commonwealth Political Parties Materials collection was begun in 1960-1961, with special emphasis being placed then, as now, on 'primary material such as party constitutions, policy statements, convention reports and election manifestos.' (ICS, Twelfth Annual Report 1960-1961). Since then, the main method of gathering material has been to appeal directly to political parties throughout the Commonwealth, though contributions from Institute members and staff following visits to relevant countries have been significant.


Further accruals are expected, some in electronic form

Related Material

See also Sri Lanka: Trades Unions Material (TU.CE) and Sri Lanka: Political Parties Material (PP.CE) as well as Political Party, Trades Unions and Pressure Group Materials for other Commonwealth countries and related material in the library's main classified sequence, all held at the ICS.