Long-running historical feud with the Hindu Tamils, whose historical homeland is in the North and East of Sri Lanka. As Tamils were favoured by the British during colonial days, the Singhalese majority tried to suppress the Tamils after Sri Lankan independance in 1948. A series of anti-Tamil legislation during the 1960s and 1970s lead to the birth of many Tamil rebel groups including the LTTE.
Anti-Tamil pogroms in the 1980s lead to 1/3rd of all Sri Lankan Tamils leaving the country. Many of these people went to Western countries, where they have managed to earn lots of money and so are able to send $300million a year to the LTTE and so keep large areas of Northern Sri Lanka under Tamil control. The Sri Lankan Tamils of London are so numerous and powerful that the Queen of England went to a Tamil Hindu temple during her golden jubilee.