Appendix B. Political Parties and Groups -- Sri Lanka

All Ceylon Tamil Congress
also known as the Tamil Congress. Founded in 1944 to champion the cause of the Tamils against Sinhalese Buddhist domination. A faction broke away in 1949 to form the more aggressive Tamil Federal Party.
Ceylon Equal Society Party (Lanka Sama Samaja Party--LSSP)
Trotskyite-oriented party founded in 1935. Though touted as the world's only successful Trotskyite party, in recent years the LSSP has been considered politically spent.
Ceylon Indian Congress
founded in 1939. Political group representing Indian Tamils that sought to revive Buddhism.
Ceylon Workers' Congress
a minority-oriented party which enjoyed the support of the Indian Tamils and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress in the late 1980s.
Communist Party of Sri Lanka (CPSL)
began as a Stalinist faction of the LSSP, but was later expelled and founded as a separate party in 1943, remaining faithful to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
Deshapremi Janatha Viyaparaya (DJV)
Patriotic Liberation Organization--emerged in 1987 as a splinter group of the JVP.
Eelam National Liberation Front (ENLF)
a united front organization formed in March 1985 by the LTTE, EPRLF, TELO, and EROS, which became largely inoperative by mid-1986 when LTTE quit, although the other groups sought to form a front without LTTE participation.
Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF)
a guerrilla group that emerged in the early 1980s, part of the ENLF.
Eelam Revolutionary Organization of Students (EROS)
militant Tamil guerrilla group that emerged in the early 1980s, part of the ENLF.
Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP--People's Liberation Front)
insurgent extremist political group founded in the late 1960s by Rohana Wijeweera. A Maoist and primarily rural Sinhalese youth movement based in southern Sri Lanka, it initially sympathized with the "oppressed" of both the Tamil and Sinhalese communities, but by the early 1980s, became increasingly a Sinhalese nationalist organization opposing any compromise with the Tamil insurgency.
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)
strongest of Tamil separatist groups, founded in 1972 when Tamil youth espousing a Marxist ideology and an independent Tamil state established a group called the Tamil New Tigers; name changed in 1976. Competitors include People's Liberation Organization of Tamil Eelam, Tamil Eelam Liberation Army, and the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization. Membership generally drawn from the Karava or fisherman caste. By late 1986 LTTE had eliminated TELO and established itself as the dominant spokesman of the Tamil insurgency.
New Equal Society Party (Nava Sama Samaja Party--NSSP)
a breakaway faction of the LSSP.
People's Democratic Party (PDP--Mahajana Prajathanthra)
Sinhalese, founded in 1977 by six members of the SLFP.
People's Liberation Organization of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE, also PLOT)
insurgent political group with large percentage of members belonging to elite Vellala caste; a rival of the LTTE, from whom it broke away in 1981 claiming a purer form of Marxist orthodoxy.
People's United Front (Mahajana Eksath Peramuna--MEP)
political party founded by Dinesh P.R. Gunawardene in 1955 that has attracted Sinhalese support with its appeals to militant Buddhist and Sinhala chauvinist sentiments. Originally opposed to the UNP, it is basically an SLFP-Marxist coalition.
Sinhala Maha Sabha
Great Council of the Sinhalese. It was founded in 1937 to represent the interest of Sinhala-language speakers in the Ceylon National Congress and to mobilize popular support for the liberation of the country from foreign rule.
Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP)
first major non-Marxist left-of- center political party to oppose the UNP; founded in July 1951 when S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike's left-of-center bloc split with D.S. Senanayake and seceded to form the SLFP.
Sri Lanka People's Party (Sri Lanka Mahajana Pakshaya--SLPP)
political party formed in 1984 by a daughter of Sirimavo Bandaranaike, Chandrika Kumaratunge, and her husband Vijay Kumaratunge, who claimed that the original SLFP, under the leadership of Bandaranaike's son, Anura, was excessively right wing and had become an instrument of the Jayewardene government.
Tamil Eelam Army (TEA)
insurgent group.
Tamil Eelam Liberation Army (TELA)
insurgent group.
Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization (TELO)
guerrilla group decimated in 1986 by repeated LTTE attacks.
Tamil Federal Party
also known as the Federal Party. Formally established in December 1949. Competitor of the more conciliatory Tamil Congress, also known as the All Ceylon Tamil Congress, the party desired a federal system of government and the right to political autonomy--an independent Tamil state. Renamed the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) in 1971.
Tamil New Tigers
guerrilla group, formed in 1972, that abandoned the political process and geared itself for violence. The New Tigers espoused Marxist ideology and claimed to represent the oppressed of all ethnic groups despite its obvious ethnic affiliation; see also LTTE.
Tamil Tigers
Tamil separatist underground of rival and sometimes violently hostile groups based in the Northern and Eastern provinces and known collectively as Tamil Tigers.
Tamil United Front
founded in May 1972 as a reaction against the 1972 constitution, a coalition of Tamil interest groups and legal parties including the Tamil Congress and the Federal Party; united by the goal of Tamil autonomy and espousing nonviolent means, called the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) in 1976. Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF)--political party spawned by the Tamil United Front.
Three Stars
insurgent Tamil coalition.
United Front (Samagi Peramuna)
three-party political coalition (LSSP, CPSL, and SLFP), formed in 1968 by Sirimavo Bandaranaike to prepare for the 1970 general election and to oppose the UNP.
United National Party
conservative, umbrella party founded by Don Stephen Senanayake in 1946 as a partnership of many disparate groups--including the Ceylon National Congress, the Sinhala Maha Sabha, and the Muslim League. Political party in power in Sri Lanka for ten years beginning in February 1948 when the new constitution went into effect, and again from 1977 to 1988; nickname is "uncle-nephew party" because of kinship ties among the party's top leadership.