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TAMILS SQUEEZED OUT
OF HIGHER EDUCATION - 1971
"In 1971, a system of standardisation of marks was introduced for admissions to the universities, obviously directed against Tamil-medium students (referred to earlier). K.M. de Silva describes it as follows:
He observes that by doing this in such an obviously discriminatory way, 'the United Front Government of the 1970s caused enormous harm to ethnic relations.'
This was not the end; in 1972 the 'district quota system' was introduced, again to the detriment of the Ceylon Tamils. The (Sinhalese) historian C.R. de Silva wrote:
"...Nothing aroused deeper despair among Tamils than the feeling that they are being systematically squeezed out of higher education. They have complained particularly of the system of 'standardisation' in force after 1972, in which marks obtained by candidates for university admission are weighted by giving advantage to certain linguistic groups and/or certain districts..." - Walter Schwarz: Tamils of Sri Lanka - Minority Rights Group Report, 1983
"The Government should re examine its policies on university
admissions with a view to basing admission on merit rather than on racial
grounds. Tamil and Sinhalese young people alike will then have equal rights to
university education on the basis of capacity rather than on race.