Indo-Aryan migrated from India in the 5th century B.C. to form the largest ethnic group in Sri Lanka today, called the Sinhalese. Tamils, the second-largest ethnic group on the island, were originally from the Tamil region of Southern India. Until the British occupied Ceylon, Sinhalese and Tamil rulers fought for dominance over the island. Today, two sections of Tamils exist in Sri Lankan society: the Sri Lankan Tamils, and the Indian Tamils or Hill Country Tamils. The hill country Tamils are highly involved in the plantation sector of Sri Lanka. The main objectives of this work are to gain insight into the socio-economic status of Indian Tamils and their history. The author did a literature review on the history of Indian Tamils, their political-legal, geo- demographical and socio-economic status and their participation in Sri Lankan economic development. The data used for this work were secondary in nature and obtained from verifiable sources viz. electronic databases, libraries, scholarly articles, books etc. From the analysis, it is observed that their standard of living is below that of the national average: they suffer from demographic stress, are subjected to political and economic discrimination and historical exclusion. Greater political representation and equal civil rights for the stateless Tamils are among their basic concerns. In the economic arena, there should be improved working conditions and greater educational and occupational opportunities. The privatization of the country's tea plantations in the mid-1990s resulted in some short-term costs, affecting the Tamils. Social and cultural concerns include depriving the Tamils of the freedom of religious belief and protection from the attacks of the dominant community
Key terms: Indo-Aryan emigration, Jaffna kingdom, Sinahalese, Hill country Tamils, Civil rights, Coffee/tea plantations, Stateless.