Post-war Dilemmas of Sri Lanka : Democracy and Reconciliation book cover
1st Edition

Post-war Dilemmas of Sri Lanka
Democracy and Reconciliation

ISBN 9780367660345
Published September 30, 2020 by Routledge
184 Pages

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Book Description

By investigating Sri Lanka as a case study, this book examines whether democracy, compared to authoritarianism, is conducive to post-war reconciliation. The research, founded on primary as well as secondary data, concludes that political systems have little to do with the success or failure of post-war ethnic reconciliation. The Sri Lankan case indicated that post-war reconciliation is more contingent on the readiness of the former enemies to come together. Readiness stems from, for example, satisfaction in the way issues have been resolved, confidence in the other party's intentions, and the compulsion to coexist. If the level of satisfaction, confidence, and the compulsion to coexist are low, the readiness to reconcile will also be low.

The end of the war had a profound impact on post-war governance and ethnic relations in Sri Lanka. Hence, the volume provides an in-depth analysis of the factors that led to the military victory of the Sri Lankan government over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2009. The chapters delve into the nexus between governance and reconciliation under the first two post-war governments. Reconciliation did not materialize in this period. Instead, new fault-lines emerged as attacks on the Muslim community escalated drastically. This book provides a comprehensive analysis of the nature of relations between the Sinhalese and Muslims and the Tamils and Muslims, as well as the nature and causes of post-war anti-Muslim riots.

Table of Contents

List of Charts; The Author; Acronyms and Abbreviations; Introduction; 1 Theoretical Overview; 2 Ending the War: A Zero-Sum Situation; 3 Democracy: A Struggle; 4 Reconciliation: A Distant Dream; 5 Sinhala Vs. Muslim: The New Frontier; 6 Conclusion; References; Index


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Dr S. I. Keethaponcalan teaches conflict resolution at Salisbury University, Maryland, USA. Until recently he served as Chair of the Conflict Analysis and Dispute Resolution Department. Prior to joining Salisbury University in 2011, he was a Professor of Political Science and Chair of the Department of Political Science and Public Policy at the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Dr Keethaponcalan has also served as a researcher in several international institutions, including the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) in Geneva, Switzerland, and the United Nations University in Tokyo, Japan. His recent publications include: Conflict Resolution: An Introduction to Third Party Intervention (2017. Lanham: Lexington Books), "Violence, Nonviolence, and Ethnic Reconciliation in Post-War Sri Lanka" (Peace & Policy. 2015), "The Peace Process and Party Politics in Sri Lanka" (Alaska Journal of Dispute Resolution. 2014), "North- South Relations and Human Rights" (Bandung: Journal of the Global South. 2015), "A Small Power’s Struggle for Independence in the Independent Era – the Case of Sri Lanka" (African and Asia Studies. 2014), "Dragon in the Teardrop: Regional Dynamics of Increasing Chinese Presence in Sri Lanka" (Global China: Internal and External Reaches. 2015. New Jersey: World Scientific Publishers), "Hinduism: War, Peace and Conflict and Peace Studies" (Peace on Earth: The Role of Religion in Peace and Conflict Studies. 2014. Lanham: Lexington Books), and "The Indian Factor in the Peace Process and Conflict Resolution in Sri Lanka" (Conflict and Peace-building in Sri Lanka: Caught in the Peace Trap. 2011. London: Routledge).