‘We want justice, not fuel’: Sri Lanka’s Tamils on north-south divide

In the middle of a crippling economic crisis, demonstrating is a luxury the country’s Tamil minority cannot afford

For months now, the sounds of protest and anger have rung out across Colombo, Sri Lanka’s largest city. Every day, along the city’s seafront promenade of Galle Face, people have gathered in their tens of thousands to rage against the government for plunging the country into its worst financial crisis in modern history.

But 200 miles north, in the district of Mullaitivu, the streets are silent. The economic crisis has hit Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority, who are concentrated in the north and eastern provinces, as hard as those in the south; the fishermen here say they are already starving. But they will also tell you that protesting is a privilege in Sri Lanka – one they have never been afforded.

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