"Sri Lanka is a constitutional democracy with relatively high educational and social standards. Under Sri Lanka's hybrid parliamentary model, an elected president appoints the cabinet in consultation with the prime minister. The country's political, social, and economic development has been seriously constrained by ethnic conflict between the majority Sinhalese and minority Tamil ethnic groups. Since 1983, a separatist war costing some 64,000 lives has been waged against government forces by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a rebel group that has been seeking to establish a separate state in the Tamil-dominated areas of the north and east."
CRS Report for Congress, RL31707