Post-conflict democracy

Chogm-Sri LankaBy Dr Shanthikumar Hettiarachchi
Visiting Lecturer, The University of Colombo

There is speculation and argument about the concept of ‘post-conflict’ by political gurus. Some assume that it is the ‘end of conflict’ per se, while others claim that it the ‘end of the clash arms’, hence they prefer to call it a ‘post-war’ scenario and not necessarily a ‘post conflict predicament’, because for them conflict continues. However, it must be noted that at least this ‘post-conflict’ in the case of Sri Lanka is now void of wanton violence and calculated killings. This becomes the raison d’être for the development of democratic institutions in this island nation and to reduce political apathy. Sri Lanka’s thirty-year conflict, once regarded as the most calcified, unwinnable battle (for either
side) in South Asia, between the government forces and the Tamil Tigers is now no longer an issue to be resolved. No democracy could have gone on with such a magnitude of violence and anarchy with a singlenarrative political ideology coupled alongside a full blown separatist agenda. What Sri Lanka as a sovereign state went through isn’t comparable with any of South  Asia’s other political upheavals. The Tamil Tiger-led destruction of all democratic institutions and their own infrastructures, which included the selective process of killing in the Northern and Eastern provinces of the island, was politically callous, socially untenable and economically unsustainable. The counter-insurgency method further exacerbated the situation taking its toll on the entire social fabric.

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