The Routledge Flier: Using careful historical research and analysis of policy documents, this book explains the origin and evolution of the political conflict in Sri Lanka over the struggle to establish a separate state in its Northern and Eastern Provinces. The conflict between the Sri Lankan government and the secessionist LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) is one of the world’s most intractable contemporary armed struggles. The internationally banned LTTE is considered the prototype of modern terrorism. It is known to have introduced suicide bombing to the world, and recently became the first terrorist organization ever to acquire an air force. The book argues that the Sri Lankan conflict cannot be adequately understood from the dominant bipolar analysis that sees it as a primordial ethnic conflict between the Sinhala majority and the Tamil minority. The book broadens the discourse providing a multipolar analysis of the complex interplay of political-economic and cultural forces at the local, regional and international levels including the roles of India and the international community. Overall, the book presents a conceptual framework useful for comparative global conflict analysis and resolution, shedding light on a host of complex issues such as terrorism, civil society, diasporas, international intervention and secessionism.
Filed under accountability, British colonialism, constitutional amendments, democratic measures, devolution, discrimination, economic processes, education policy, ethnicity, governance, historical interpretation, human rights, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, JVP, landscape wondrous, law of armed conflict, Left politics, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, military strategy, modernity & modernization, Muslims in Lanka, nationalism, NGOs, parliamentary elections, politIcal discourse, power politics, prabhakaran, Rajapaksa regime, reconciliation, security, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, suicide bombing, Tamil civilians, Tamil migration, tamil refugees, Tamil Tiger fighters, terrorism, tolerance, vengeance, war reportage, women in ethnic conflcits, world events & processes
Gerald Peiris, being Chapter 7 from his book Political Conflict in South Asia (2013, University of Peradeniya) — a chapter based on his previous writings 
The survival of the principle of representative government based upon universal adult franchise since its introduction to the constitution more than eighty years ago while ‘Ceylon’ was still a colony of the British Empire is a feature often accorded prominence in scholarly discourses on the political history of Sri Lanka. Over the first three decades after independence (1948) the regularity of peaceful transfers of power from one regime to another, based upon the will of the people as expressed at national elections, was also widely acclaimed as a feature that made Sri Lanka unique among the emergent nation-states of the post-colonial era. The radiance of that achievement has, of course, dimmed considerably in the more recent past, due mainly to the violation of democratic norms in affairs of governance, and the intense rivalry that features the sub-national disputes which often find expression in confrontational violence.
Scenes in Colombo from 1958 riots after OEG led crackdown
Filed under accountability, american imperialism, British colonialism, caste issues, communal relations, devolution, governance, historical interpretation, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, JVP, landscape wondrous, Left politics, legal issues, life stories, LTTE, military strategy, Muslims in Lanka, nationalism, politIcal discourse, population, power politics, prabhakaran, Presidential elections, Rajapaksa regime, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, Tamil civilians, Tamil Tiger fighters, terrorism, truth as casualty of war, unusual people, vengeance, war reportage, welfare & philanthophy, working class conditions, world events & processes
Reproduced below are the first three paragraphs of Jeffrey Lunstead’s “Introduction” within his “Executive Summary” in the official document The United States’ Role in Sri Lanka’s Peace Process, 2002-2006 (Asia Foundation, 2007). Its authors conceived of this survey as “A Supplementary Study to the Sri Lanka Strategic Conflict.” Lunstead himself was a career Foreign Service official from 1977-2006 who had been US Ambassador to Sri Lanka from August 2003 to July 2006 before moving to the position of Assistant Vice President of International Affairs at American University in Washington D. C. So, what one sees within these covers is a significant document. Michael Roberts
Executive Summary: The United States has been deeply involved in the current phase of the Sri Lanka peace process since it began in late 2001. This is in distinct contrast to U.S. engagement in earlier phases of Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict since it erupted into armed conflict in 1983. While the U.S. was supportive of peacemaking efforts in the 1980s and 1990s, it played a relatively low-key role, deferring to India as the lead outside actor. With the end of the Cold War, U.S. interest in Sri Lanka waned. As recently as 2000, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) was planning for significantly reduced development assistance levels. Continue reading
Filed under accountability, american imperialism, Indian Ocean politics, island economy, JVP, LTTE, politIcal discourse, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, world events & processes