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In its final weeks, around 40,000 mostly Tamil civilians were killed, bringing the war’s total toll to more than 100,000 from a population of around 20 million.
Anti-Muslim riots in 2014 resulted in a ten day state of emergency. Buddhist monks have also disrupted Christian church services.
In 1972, and again in 1987, the predominantly Sinhalese Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna party (JVP) launched insurrections that were bloodily suppressed.
Clashes between Sinhalese and Tamils in 1983 led to an attack on a Sri Lankan army convoy.
The act privileged the country’s majority Sinhalese population and their religion of Buddhism over the minority Hindu and Muslim Tamils.
The fallout from this legislation forced Bandaranaike to backtrack, but he was assassinated in 1959 by an extremist Buddhist monk for doing so.