Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka: Seeking a Transformative Way Out

Ashok K. Behuria is Senior Fellow at Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detailed profile.
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Email
  • Whatsapp
  • Linkedin
  • Print
  • January 2006

    The long drawn out ethno-political conflict in Sri Lanka has been accepted as a serious challenge for scholars, activists, peace-makers and the expanding international community of professionals engaged in conflict-resolution/ management/ transformation. In view of the intractable nature of the conflict and its escalation potential, both the parties to the conflict have welcomed external mediation to seek a way out of the crisis. However, the divide between the two parties continue to widen further. Indeed, for the theorists of conflict resolution and peace-building, the Sri Lankan situation provides a laboratory where they can test their well-formulated theories as well as evolving hypotheses. Since the 1990s, a number of voluntary organisations, especially from the West, have sought to work with local community based organisations with the aim of creating the socio-political condition for making peace between the two ethnic groups - the Sinhalese and the Tamils - possible. They have succeeded in either creating or sustaining the conditions for the ongoing peace process. But a lot remains to be done especially in bringing about positive transformations in the existing structural paradigms engendering conflict in Sri Lanka. It is time now, therefore, for scholars and analysts to isolate the issues that contribute to the conflict, to dwell upon the socio-economic and political context that precipitates lasting ethno-political division and to seek a transformative way out of the crisis.

    Full Article204.59 KB