The ethnocentric policies successive Sri Lankan governments pursued against the minority Tamils pushed them to try to secede, but the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam's (LTTE) immanent contradictions—the quest for state-building and independence juxtaposed with fascistic rule and terrorist practices—undermined the separatist movement and irreparably weakened the Tamil community. The Sri Lankan government's extraconstitutional counterterrorism strategies under Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa helped defeat the LTTE, but the attendant militarism, culture of impunity especially among the defense forces, and political machinations bode further ill for the island's democratic and polyethnic future.

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