chapter  21
15 Pages

Political Parties and Interest Groups

WithRobert C. Oberst, Yogendra K. Malik, Charles H. Kennedy, Ashok Kapur, Mahendra Lawoti, Syedur Rahman, Ahrar Ahmad

Demands may be presented to the government by two broad categories of constituents: individuals and groups such as political parties and interest groups. In Sri Lanka, some regional minority groups have formed their own political parties. The dominant political party of the Tamils for the fifty years has been the Federal Party and its variations, the Tamil United Liberation Front and the Tamil National Alliance. The Sinhalese party system has also been in a state of change, especially in regard to the apparent demise of the Sri Lankan old Left, which consists of the Communist Party and the Lanka Sama Samaja Party and its allies. The Sri Lankan Tamil party system has been redefining itself since the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and in a state of transition. In 1988, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress was formed and almost immediately gained majority support among Muslim voters, especially in the Eastern Province.