the tamil sinhala conflict in sri lanka n.
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The Tamil-Sinhala Conflict in Sri Lanka

The Tamil-Sinhala Conflict in Sri Lanka

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The Tamil-Sinhala Conflict in Sri Lanka

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  1. The Tamil-Sinhala Conflict in Sri Lanka Part Two

  2. Table of Contents • Effects of the conflict (slides 3-7) • Peace process (slides 8-13) • What would it take to achieve peace? (slides 14-17)

  3. A Short List of Effects • Economic development is erratic and slow • Social services for the entire population are inadequately funded • The entire population is bitterly divided along possible options to settle the conflict • The country is being under threat of becoming subservient to another external power • People are alienated and unable to plan a bright future

  4. The Economic Consequences: an Overview • A statistical profile (World Bank Data) • GNI per capita:US $1,010 (World Bank, 2005) • But the economy has done well in the last five years • Is this due to the ceasefire? • What was the situation between 1971 and 2000? • The country has considerable amount of foreign debts • Per capita income has risen slowly • Inflation is high • The country has not achieved its potential (summary verdict of the World Bank) (full report of the World Bank) • The country’s ability to succeed depends on the resolution of its conflict

  5. Where has the Money Gone? • Increased military expenditure has consumed a large share of national income since 1982 • The spending on health, education and welfare has not increased in proportion to the population growth • Infrastructure facilities are inadequate and not properly maintained • Tertiary education is restricted by inadequate funds and lack of enough trained lecturers • Information is hard to get • Here is a case study • Here is another study on poverty reduction • Part One • Part Two

  6. Retardation of Economic Development • Economic development in independent Sri Lanka has been uneven regionally • This state of affairs has been accentuated due to various reasons since 1960 • Unemployment and under-employment are increasing locally • There is internal population movement making economic development difficult at local levels • Industrialization is progressing very slowly • The conflict inflicts a heavy toll on tourism, which is a major income earning industry

  7. Social Cost of the Conflict • Displacement of people • A culture of fear and intimidation • The lost childhood for a large number of children • Fighting children • Victimized children • Will they ever be normal? • Deprivation of education and stable family life • Loss of life • Funds for the development are diverted elsewhere

  8. Ceasefire of 2002: Nuts and Bolts • February 2002: The ceasefire was arranged by Norway working together with the UNP government (prime minister: Wickramasinghe) • March-May 2002: decommissioning of weapons and restoring links with Jaffna • September 2002: ban on the LTTE is lifted, exchange of prisoners and the drop of demand for separate state • December 2002: peace talks in Norway (share of power and autonomy for north and east)

  9. Behind the Scene • It has been suggested that Norway is actually supporting the LTTE with funds and equipment • Norway is not an impartial mediator, to judge by its regular pro-LTTE stance • Norway peace monitoring mission has been partial towards the LTTE • Norway peace mediators (foreign ministry) have bypassed the Sri Lankan state institutions to initiate peace • The executive president (Chandrika Kumaratunga-Bandaranaike) was sidelined • A detailed analysis of Norway’s role in Sri Lanka

  10. Peace Broken • The president’s actions brought Norway’s peace mission to a grinding halt • April 2004: The SLFP victory at the general election • July 2004: first suicide blast in Colombo since 2001 • December 2004: Tsunami • August 2005: Kadiragamar assassinated • What do these events mean? • The LTTE was not pleased with the fall of UNP • Opposed to the SLFP regime • Use intimidation to coax the government

  11. New Political Reality • The new coalition government consists of two parties: JVP and SLFP • What do they stand for? • JVP: extreme nationalist (pro-Sinhala) and has a violent past (since 1971) • Constituency • JVP: mostly Buddhist Sinhalese • SLFP: Sinhalese (and others) and pro-Buddhist but no discrimination on the ground of religion • SLFP: centre-left and pro-western with restrain • Both oppose separate state for the Tamils • Pro devolution of power and autonomy for north within a unitary state • Against Norway’s intrusive and biased intervention

  12. Opposition Party • The UNP is publicly supportive of the government, but in fact against its peace plan • Constituency profile • Mostly Sinhalese and from all religions • Pro-western and for unrestrained foreign investment • Power elite consists of mostly Christian and rich people • Little sympathy for traditional culture • Notoriously deficient in vision and the ability to bring people together

  13. Positions • The LTTE is unwilling to negotiate with the government • The government is unhappy with Norway’s intervention • The government is under pressure not to provide more than devolution and autonomy in regional affairs • The government is also under pressure to curb killings by paramilitary groups • The LTTE is under pressure to stop its violent activity • Both parties are under pressure to achieve peace

  14. Solutions • Proposed solutions • Separate states: unacceptable to the Sinhalese and the Muslims • A federal state: unacceptable to the majority of people • Devolution of power and autonomy in regional affairs within a unitary state: acceptable to the majority of people • Why certain options are unacceptable • Separation or federal state will not end the conflict • A greater Tamil state with Tamilnadu is a possibility • It will be a catalyst for India’s brake-up

  15. What would it Take . . .? • A compromise political solution acceptable to all people • An equitable share of resources • A plan for economic development for the country as a whole • Justice to all communities • Freedom to move and live anywhere • Human rights recognized • Curb extremism • Charity begins at home • Eliminate undue external influence

  16. Aftermath • National building is essential for stability and prosperity of people • Education as a means to achieve understanding and cohesion • A greater role for English in education • A carefully prepared education policy to foster racial harmony • Cross-cultural relations have always been cordial except in rare instances • They should be used consciously to promote unity

  17. Grant Them Peace • Both parties have walked back from the brink of war • Let us hope they will walk along the road to peace