For the past three decades Sri Lanka was stalemated between governments that were not prepared to devolve power to the Tamil majority provinces and a Tamil militant movement that wanted a separate country. In February 2002, the Sri Lankan government and LTTE signed a ceasefire agreement under Norwegian government auspices that appeared to offer the real prospect of a final end to violence as a means of conflict resolution. The ceasefire between the government and the LTTE held for nearly four years despite significant problems affecting the peace process, problems that led to the LTTE’s withdrawal from the peace talks. However, the ceasefire collapsed in early 2006 with a series of ambushes of government soldiers by the LTTE, eventually leading to counter measures and counter attacks by the forces of the government, measures in which the government wrested back control of territory placed under the control of the LTTE by the terms agreed upon by the Ceasefire Agreement. Today Sri Lanka is a country that continues to be deeply divided on lines of ethnicity, religion and politics. Horizontal inequalities, defined as severe inequalities in economic and political resources between culturally defined groups, were undoubtedly a contributing factor for the perpetuation of Sri Lanka’s long-running conflict. No sooner it won the war, the government asserted economic development to be the main engine of reconciliation.
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Copyright (c) 2016 Dr. Jehan Perera