The government also stopped issuing foreign exchange to Tamil students [GALLO/GETTY]
Another blow to the Tamils came in 1970 in when university admissions were supposedly standardised to rectify disparities created by colonial rule.
This in essence was an affirmative action scheme to assist geographically disadvantaged students (i.e., Sinhala students) to gain tertiary education.
As the university places were not increased, it effectively reduced access to higher education for Tamil students particularly in professional courses such as medicine and engineering.
The Sri Lankan government also stopped issuing foreign exchange to Tamil students to complete their education in Indian universities which had been a long established practice. Alternative avenues for higher education like external degrees from the University of London were also closed by declining permission.
The government insisted this was a part of a general programme to develop economic self-sufficiency which the Tamils did not believe.
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