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Institutional and structural obstacles to peace in Sri Lanka, a case for a people's movement for peace

by Francis, Subothini

Abstract (Summary)
It is the goal of this thesis to argue that peace in Sri Lanka cannot be achieved under the existing political order. The 47 year history of post-colonial Sri Lanka and her attempts at resolving the ethnic conflict illustrate those structural and institutional obstacles which are inherent to ali ethnicaiiy divided societies. The thesis begins with a critical survey of various theories of ethnicity and ethnic identity. Particular attention is given to the underlying perception of ethnicity. The argument here proposes the need for rethinking ethnicity as a positive phenomenon. In order to demonstrate that peace-Iasting peace-is a near irnpossibility in Sri Lanka, it is necessary to review the socioeconomic and political history of Sri Lanka and its impact on the ethnic conflict. Here, attempts have been made to demonstrate how ethnic politics evoived hm the politics of accommodation and bargaining, to the politics of militancy and terrorism. The structural and institutional obstacles to peace in Sri Lanka is given an indepth examination. Particular attention is given to the examination of institutionalized communalism and violence in the polity and the need for unleaming negative ethnicity. The thesis concludes that peace can only be possible through a people's movement that will encourage alternative space for people's participation in the peace process. iii
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Source Type:Master's Thesis

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Date of Publication:01/01/1996

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