ABC TV has apologised after a viewer complained that the May 18 7.30 Report misrepresented the history of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka.
The show said that Sri Lanka's Tamil population descended from plantation labourers brought to Sri Lanka by the British about 200 years ago. Yet, although a minority of Tamils in Sri Lanka are descended from these workers, most descend from a Sri Lankan Tamil culture that spans two thousand years.
The ABC's Keiran Doyle acknowledged ABC's mistake in an email available on Tamilsydney.com. It said: "The ABC acknowledges your concern with this report and agrees that it was inaccurate and misleading to refer to the history of Tamil ethnicity with the statement 'many descendents of labour imported by the British two centuries ago by the Sinhalese majority'. The ABC apologises for this error.
"The ABC understands that Sri Lankan Tamils have lived on the island since the 2nd century and that most modern Sri Lankan Tamils descend from the Jaffna Kingdom."