Democratic Politics

Chapter : 1. Power Sharing

Belgium and Sri Lanka

Belgium :
It is a small country in Europe with a population of a little more than a crore, has an ethnic problem that is highly complex. It has border with Netherlands, France & Germany.
(A) Of the country’s total population, 59 % lives in the Flemish region and speak Dutch language.
(B) 40% people live is the Wallonia region and speak French.
(C) Remaining 1 % of the Belgians speak German.
(D) In the capital city Brussels 80 % speak French while 20 % are Dutch speaking.
(E) The minority French speaking community was relatively rich and powerful.
(F) Dutch speaking people received benefits of economic development & education much later & this led to tension between the two groups.
(G) The conflict between the two communities was more severe in Brussels because the Dutch speaking people constituted a majority in the country, but a minority in the capital.
Sri Lanka :
(A) It is an island nation, just a few kilometres off the southern coast of Tamil Nadu.
(B) It has a population of about 2 crore.
(C) It has diverse population. The major social groups in Sri Lanka are -
1. Sinhala speaking which are 74 %.
2. Tamil speakers which are 18 %. Tamil are also divided in two groups -
I. Tamil natives of the country are called ‘Sri Lankan Tamils’ (13 %)
II. Indian Tamil (Whose forefathers came from India as plantation workers during colonial period) are 5 %.
(D) Srilankan Tamils are concentrated in north and east of the country.
(E) Sinhala speaking people are Buddhists.
(F) Tamils are either Hindus or Muslim.
(G) About 7 % are Christians who are both Tamil & Sinhalas.
In Belgium & Srilanka the majority community, i.e., Dutch speakers & Sinhalas could take advantages of their numeric majority & impose their will on the entire country.

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