Even visiting the major Tamil web site hasn't enlightened me.
So I checked here but again, I just couldn't comprehend the problem:
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam...waged a violent secessionist campaign that sought to create an independent Tamil state in the north and east of Sri Lanka...The Tamil Tigers claimed to be fighting to protect the country's Tamil minority from discrimination at the hands of the successive Sinhalese majority governments that have ruled the country since independence...Most Tamil Sri-Lankans are Orthodox Hindu by faith. In contrast, most of the ethnic Sinhalese are Buddhist by faith.
I then found this:
The Tamils are an ethnic group that lives in southern India (mainly in the state of Tamil Nadu) and on Sri Lanka, an island of 21 million people off the southern tip of India. Most Tamils live in northern and eastern Sri Lanka, and they comprise approximately 10 percent of the island's population, according to a 2001 government census. Their religion (most are Hindu) and Tamil language set them apart from the four-fifths of Sri Lankans who are Sinhalese—members of a largely Buddhist, Sinhala-speaking ethnic group. When Sri Lanka was ruled as Ceylon by the British, most Sri Lankans regarded the Tamil minority as collaborators with imperial rule and resented the Tamil's perceived preferential treatment. But since Sri Lanka became independent in 1948, the Sinhalese majority has dominated the country. The remainder of Sri Lanka's population includes ethnic Muslims, as well as Tamil and Sinhalese Christians.
Wow, imagine how outsiders view our local conflict.