Ethno-Political Conflict in Sri Lanka
Journal of Third World Studies, Vol. 25, No. 2, pp. 135-152, Fall 2008
25 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2008
Date Written: October 30, 2008
This study examines ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. The major thesis is that politicization of ethnic distinctions by major political parties has fuelled an ethnic violence and conflict in Sri Lanka. The study employs an interactive approach to understand violence of both parties. Each party's violence against the other increases the sense of distrust between them. Political elites then use ethnic emotions in their quest for power, reinforcing ethnic tensions. This paper also discusses some fundamental historical factors that play a role in understanding Sri Lanka's ethnic violence. It finally suggests solutions to the protracted ethno-political conflict -- partition or power-sharing.
Keywords: democracy, violence, ethnic outbidding, and consociational solutions
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