Tamil , people originally of southern India who speak Tamil , one of the principal languages of the Dravidian family. Numbering about 64 million in the early 21st century including about 3 million speakers in northern and eastern Sri Lanka , Tamil speakers make up the majority of the population of Tamil Nadu state and also inhabit parts of Kerala , Karnataka , and Andhra Pradesh states, all situated in the southernmost third of India. The Tamil area in India is a centre of traditional Hinduism. Tamil schools of personal religious devotion bhakti have long been important in Hinduism, being enshrined in a literature dating back to the 6th century ce. Although the present-day Tamil are mostly Hindus, there are Christians, Muslims, and Jains among them.
Tamils - Wikipedia
Today, they constitute a majority in the Northern Province , live in significant numbers in the Eastern Province and are in the minority throughout the rest of the country. Modern Sri Lankan Tamils descend from residents of the Jaffna Kingdom , a former kingdom in the north of Sri Lanka and Vannimai chieftaincies from the east. According to the anthropological and archaeological evidence, Sri Lankan Tamils have a very long history in Sri Lanka and have lived on the island since at least around the 2nd century BCE. Sri Lankan Tamil literature on topics including religion and the sciences flourished during the medieval period in the court of the Jaffna Kingdom. Since the beginning of the Sri Lankan Civil War in the s, it is distinguished by an emphasis on themes relating to the conflict.
A Sri Lankan brigadier who was caught on video threatening Tamil protestors in London faces court proceedings, after a private prosecution was brought against him. Brigadier Priyanka Fernando was filmed motioning a death threat to Tamils in London last year, running his finger across his neck whilst dressed in full military uniform. MPs also called for him to be expelled.
Thousands of protesters have blocked Parliament Square in central London, calling for a ceasefire in the Sri Lankan government's assault on the Tamil Tiger separatists. They have surrounded a makeshift tent which houses hunger striker Parameswaran Subramaniyan , 28, who is in a critically weak condition after two weeks of protest. He says he will halt the action only if Britain helps secure a ceasefire in Sri Lanka.