Ethnic conflict is frequently in the news, and pervasive throughout history. In many countries ethnic groups are or have been visiting violence on each other, sometimes on a horrific scale (the word ‘genocide’ by definition, refers to a type of ethnic conflict). Fearer and Latin identify no less than 58 ethnic civil wars between 1945 and 1999, constituting 51 % of the total number of civil wars. Yet, and crucially, ethnic conflict is by no means universal in ethnically heterogeneous societies: in many countries ethnic groups coexist peacefully (the United States for example).To continue, many ethnically heterogeneous societies experience long (sometimes very long) periods of fairly harmonious ethnic relations before or after periods of conflict. What comes into question is why ethnic conflict wax and wane over time in the same country.
In particular, Sir Lankan is currently in a stalemate of ethnic tension between the Sinless and Tamil ethnic groups. According to Monogram, “a multivalent society seemed to have existed on the island from ancient times, and there were racial and religious harmony, cultural contacts, and physical mixing between the two groups” (22)2.However, Sir Lankan now cycles between bouts of mass killings and wary ceasefires. While peace accords have been attempted, the overall success of each plan has fallen short of its goals. The goal of this paper is to target the sources of ethnic tension and provide results that will create a unified Sir Lankan nation. The rest of the paper is organized as follows. In the first section, the Sir Lankan history is explained and analyzed. While the core issue of the ethnic tension cannot be determined by the historical timeline, it allows for an understanding of when the conflict surfaced and proceeded to get out of and.
In sections two and three, the theories about the origin of the conflict are developed and analyzed on an individual, community, and international scale. Section four develops a number of resolutions with actions ranging from subtle to extreme. These resolutions are analyzed by their likeliness of succeeding. Section l: Sir Lankan History Prehistory & Early Arrivalsњ agenda and history are deeply intertwined in the early accounts of Sir Lankan. The 5th-century-AD Pail epic, the Mambas, is the country’s primary historical sources. It claims that the Sinless descended from Vagina, a NorthIndian prince who, according to the epic, was banished from India.
Traveling with his several hundred men, Vagina landed near present-day Manner, Sir Lankan. The legend states that, On the day of Vista’s arrival, Augusta Buddha attained anabas, or nirvana. Therefore, Kinshasa culture states that the descendants of Vagina (the Kinshasa people) are destined by divine will to protect and foster the Buddhist religion in Sir Lankan This cultural conclusion has paved the way for Buddhist activists, which will be discussed further in the appear.
As in many ethnic conflicts, it is easy for the Tamil to claim their indigenous rights as well.The past, recorded by passed down legends, can be swung in the direction of the Sinless or the Tamil. Therefore, it is futile to address whom, in fact, were the true indigenous people of Ceylon. Entrance of Hegemony and Minority OAt the heart of the Indian Ocean, Ceylon had been a trading hub of valuable gems, cinnamon, ivory and elephants. This drove Portugal to colonize Ceylon (1 505), dividing it into three main kingdoms: the Tamil kingdom of Japan, and the Sinless kingdoms in Candy and Quote (near Colombo).
In 1 602, the Dutch arrived, just as keen as the Portuguese on obtaining the lucrative Indian Ocean spices.Eventually, the British inserted themselves into Ceylon, and made the island a colony in 1802. They strengthened preexisting identities by sorting citizens into five main provinces (northern, eastern, southern, western, and central)5. The British took over Ceylon in 181 5 and established the first unified administration under European power. This can be seen as the first establishment of a hegemonic and subservient power imbalance.
Due to the large British influence, the ideologies like racial hierarchies using castes and religious tags strengthened the ethnic mandarins between the Sinless and Tamil.Hegemony Under the Us reface Following Indian’s independence in 1 947, Ceylon became fully independent in 1948. At that present moment, the Sinless were already gaining legislative majority, and the tension between Tamil and Sinless began to surface. In 1956, this divide further increased when the Sir Lankan Freedom Party (SLIP) came to power with an agenda based on Sinless nationalism and government support for Buddhism. One of the first tasks the SLIP leader, SWARD Bandannas, fulfilled was a campaign promise to make Kinshasa the country’s sole official language.
The Kinshasa-only bill disenfranchised Sir Land’s Hindu and Muslim Tamil-speaking population: almost 30% of the country suddenly lost access to government jobs and services. 7 With tensions bubbling under the surface prior, this decision broke the waters of Sir Land’s interning conflict. The final straw was a new constitution (which changed Cyclone’s name to Sir Lankan) that gave Buddhism top priority in Sir Lankan. Disapproval spread among northern Tamil, and the question of oppression occurred. In the mid-sass, young Tamil began advocating for an independent Tamil state called Lame.Amongst them was Papillae Barbarians, one of the founders of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Lame (LATE), often referred to as the Tamil Tigers.
In 1983, the Tigers ambushed and killed thirteen soldiers in the Japan region in response to Tamil suppression. This led to full-scale anti-Tamil massacres in Colombo. Between 400 and 3000 Tamil were clubbed, beaten, burned or shot to death, and Tamil property was looted or burned. The government, the police and the army were either unable or unwilling to stop the violence; some of them partook in the pillaging.Hundreds of thousands of Tamil left the country or led to Tamil-concentrated areas in the North or East provinces; many joined the resistance. Revenge and counter-revenge attacks continued, and grew into atrocities and massacres that affected both sides.
The conflict escalated into a three decade long civil war that eventually claimed upwards of 100,000 lives (including over sixty important legislative and religious figures). Peace Accords Many peace accords were conducted, however, all failed due to lack of necessary trust and cooperation from both ethnic groups.This created an unresolved stalemate, which has preserved the tensions between the Sinless and Tamil. The following are a few attempts at peace that have been laid to waste due to these variables.
Indian peacekeeping In 1 987, government forces pushed the LATE back into Japan. In an attempt to disarm the Tamil rebels and keep the peace in Northern and Eastern Sir Lankan, the prime minister, JAR Jardinière, struck a deal with India for the Indian Peace Keeping Force (PICK). It soon became clear the deal suited no one. The Indians were accused of promoting and arming the Tamil rebel groups.Opposition to the Indians eventually led to more violent demonstrations. In 1987, the JP launched a second revolution with political orders and strikes, and by late 1988, the country was again in turmoil with a crippled economy and a paralyzed government. The PICK struck back at the JP with a successful counter-insurgency campaign, however, tens of thousands died. By the time the Indian peacekeepers withdrew in 1990, they had lost more than one thousand lives.
Yet, no sooner had they left than the war between the LATE and the Sir Lankan government re-escalated.In May 1991, Rajah Gandhi (prime minister of India) was assassinated. The 2002 Norwegian Ceasefire Although most Tamil and Sinless longed for peace, extremists on both sides pressed on with war. In 1993, President Premolars was assassinated. Accusations of bias and injustice were hurled from both sides.
The LATE was the main target of these suspicions but were never publicly claimed responsible. The following year, the People’s Alliance (PA) won the parliamentary elections; its leader, Kandahar Bandannas Cumulating, the daughter of former leader SWARD Bandannas, won the presidential election.The PA had promised to end the civil war, but the conflict continued in earnest. In 2000, a Norwegian peace mission brought the LATE and the government to the negotiating table, but a ceasefire had to wait until after the December 2001 elections, which handed power to the UNPIN. Wisecracking and President Bandannas Cumulating, however, were from different parties, and eyed each other warily until 2003, when Cumulating dissolved parliament and the Unpins power 10. In 2002, following the Norway-brokered ceasefire agreement, a careful optimism spread across the country.Nongovernmental organizations (Nags) startled tackling among other things, aid provisions and development projects. Yet once again, peace talks stumbled, and ethnic tensions were reinstated.
In 2003, the US listed the LATE as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FOOT). Some believed this to be a positive move; others saw it as an action that would cause further strain and conflict 1 . In 2004, the Norwegian went home?unable to maintain the killings, insecurity, accusations and ambiguities, they sought to mediate from their home country.By 2004, almost all of Sir Lankan, including most of the Japan peninsula, was controlled by the Sir Lankan government. The Tigers controlled a small portion of the Japan peninsula and pockets of the East, Northwest, and Northeast. After the Tsunami On top of the ongoing civil war, a natural catastrophe wreaked havoc on the island December 26th, 2004. The tsunami killed 30,000 people and left many more injured, homeless, and orphaned.
In the face of such tragedy, many hoped for a wave of Sir Lankan nationalist identity, but this hope faded into arguments over aid distribution, reconstruction, and land ownerships 2.Meanwhile, Cumulating, seeking to extend her presidential term, sought to have the constitution altered. This failed, and Rajahs came into power. President Rajahs pledged to replace the Norwegian peace negotiators with those from the UN and India, renegotiate a ceasefire with the L I-re, reject Tamil autonomy and refuse to share tsunami aid with the LITTLE 3. Such policies were not conducive to future peace.
Meanwhile, LATE leader Barbarians insisted on a political settlement during 2006, and threatened to ‘intensify’ action if said settlement did not occur.Tensions were high, and once again killings, assaults, kidnappings and disappearances broke out on both sides. The 2006 Ceasefire Another ceasefire was signed in early 2006, but cracks appeared almost immediately, and by mid-year the agreement shattered. Major military operations by both sides resumed in the North and East, and a wave of disappearances and killings in 2006 and 2007 prompted human rights groups ND the international community to criticize all parties. The fighting escalated so rapidly in the northeast that it was claimed the most intense since the 2002 ceasefire, despite peace talks in Geneva.
The hope for negotiation and ceasefire seemed forever distant. The Bitter End In 2008, the Sir Lankan government officially pulled out of the ceasefire agreement, signaling its dedication to ending the conflict by military means. By 2010, the Sir Lankan military captured the LATE. The LATE responded by announcing they had ‘silenced their weapons’ and that the ‘battle had reached its bitter end’15. Several major LATE figures were killed, including leader Papillae Barbarians, and the War that paralyzed the Country for 26 years was reached its end.
In 201 0, President Rajahs appointed a Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LARD) to investigate events from February 2002 to the end of the conflict in May 2009 and report whether any person, group or institution bore responsibility for those events. The final LARD report, tabled in Sir Land’s Parliament on December 16, 201 1, recommended advancing reconciliation and reconstruction. The recommendations included but were not limited to: a reduction of the security force presence in the Northern province, aid for internally displaced persons, and enhancement of media freedoms.In addition, the Sir Lankan Government decided to implement a National Human Rights Action Plan (NAIRA), which was approved by Sir Land’s cabinet on September 8th, 2011. In March 201 2, the LINE Human Rights Council adopted a resolution calling on Sir Lankan to address alleged violations of international law, to implement the LARD report’s constructive recommendations, and to present a comprehensive action plan on implementing said recommendations. Section II: The Origins of Ethnic ConflictSubsection A: Ethnic Tension on the Individual Level When one peels back the layers of superficial conflict (benefits like economic and legislative advantage), it is clear to see that conflict boils down to the core concept of ethnic identity. With this known truth, countless ethnic conflict analysts have tried to tack on a definition of where the origin of ethnic identity is created.
1. Instrumentalist and Primordial’s Many theories rely on the combination of two philosophies: instrumentalist, and primordial’s.Instrumentalist emphasizes the fact that participants in inflict are driven by the hope to obtain material benefits, such as jobs, wealth or powered.
Primordial’s focuses on the belief that mutual destruction comes inherently, and that antipathy between different groups is unavoidable. Horopito (1985) combines primordial’s and instrumentalist together. A basic summary of his analysis is that individuals obtain a sense of ethnic nationalism from seeing members of their ethnic group succeed in business and politics 19.Calicles and Coleman (2011) note that this sense of pride allows group leaders the ability to rally support in the form of political votes or violent participation. Horopito continues to claim that the benefits of conflict are unequally distributed between the hegemonic and minority groups. This inequality hinders the likeliness of hegemonic compliance in terms of resource distribution, as it reduces the amount of benefits that the hegemonic power possesses.
2. Constructivism The second widely held view in terms of ethnic conflict is called constructivism.Its basic logic is that ethnic identity is a social construct; it results from social discourses, which nudge individuals to identify with particular groups.
Social constructivism is in opposition to an alternative approach that views ethnic identity as an immutable feature Of human nature (primordial’s)22. The foundation of this paper is structured off of social constructivism, as culture and ethnic identity are in constant flux and change. 3. Van den Burgher’s Many of the ideas proposed in this paper resonate well with van den Burgher’s (1978, 1 981, 1995) theory of ethnic identification.Building off of evolutionary psychology, van den Burgher argues that ethnic groups are strongly formed by “nepotism”, an evolutionary-driven tendency to seek individuals who share a larger proportion of one’s genotypes. On the surface, this theory appears armadillos, as it is a primal survival instinct built into our psyche. However, this is not the case. The drive to feel included in a homogeneous group pushes individuals to look for characteristics of common ancestry, such as skin color and visible physical features.
However, groups can also be unified with cultural markers like religion and language.Van den Burgher stresses that while “physical, genetic markers do a reliable job of differentiating between groups, most ethnic groups look so much like their neigh boors that they must rely on cultural markers of distinction” (2010, p. 361). And, because culture is shape-shifting creature, these cultural markers adapt and change over time. Therefore, while the theory has a primordial’s exoskeleton, the overall infrastructure of van den Burgher’s theory is socially constructivist. However, the fact that the Sir Lankan conflict does not solely depend on nepotism has been overlooked.
There is an underlying tone of selfishness and fear, which prevent the Sinless and Tamil from cooperating. The following subdivisions will explain why the ethnic groups harbor this selfishness and fear. These instincts fall less on the individual, and more on the group culture as a whole. Therefore, it will be discussed on the community level. Subsection B: Ethnic Tension on the Community Level Selfishness Benefits like occupations, economic advantages, college acceptance rates, and legislative power are all variables that fortify the cleavage between the interning groups.
Each society is endowed with a set of wealth-creating assets. These benefits become an incentive for the hegemonic majority to gain control, so as to obtain these assets and hoard them for themselves. In Sir Land’s case, the Sinless people are the current benefit holders; after making Kinshasa the official language of Sir Lankan, they have obtained most salivate power, job positions, and a large percentage of the college acceptances. However, Calicles et al.
(201 1) pointed out that the Sinless face the task of maintaining these benefits, and excluding the non-members of the ethnic group.In particular, Tamil do not belong to the Sinless ethnic group, and attempt to participate in the distribution of the spoils. For example, they will apply for land titles, or for government jobs. This dilutes the ‘dividend’ that the Sinless members originally received.
In the following us bisections, each imbalance Of possessed assets will be discussed: 1. Ethnic Conflict and Employment The North and East provinces cannot sustain agricultural development due to the lack of rain.Where the Sinless were able to develop agriculturally, Tamil looked to government and trade occupations with which English was the ruling language.
Disapproval rose in the Sinless community as Tamil settled into Sinless areas to seek employment. The settlements drove Buddhist activists to revive the ancient fear of a Tamil threat to the survival of the Kinshasa race, and the Sinless community complained that the Tamil had usurped more than their fair share of job opportunities. However, as he Sinless gained legislative majority powers, Kinshasa was implemented as the official language of formal affairs.This dropped the Tamil employment rate significantly. As a result of the language gap, the Sinless people more easily obtained jobs over the Tamil. This leads to the Tamil perception of general discrimination in employment. 2. Ethnic Conflict and Legislation Flawed Democracy: The Majority Wins Alan Peels discusses the difficulty of maintaining true democracy in a majority- minority divided country.
In a democracy, the majority always wins, and in the case of Sir Lankan, the Sinless become the hegemonic legislative powered.Entrancing Competition Ethnic parties are socially constructed to build winning coalitions. Most of the time, leaders of these parties rely on ethnic outbidding to obtain votes. Ethnic outbidding and its radical characteristics, relies on entrancing competition in order to be prevalent in Sir Lankan politics. Horopito explains a theory of centrifugal entrancing competition, where parties with one ethnic group compete for the votes by increasing the radical nationalism of their proposals.One example of Horopito’ theory occurred in 1955, as Bandannas opposed the NP by proposing that Kinshasa would be the only official language. Worried about losing votes, NP also became equally as radical and declared that Kinshasa would be the sole language of the country.
While Bandannas still one, the initial radicalism led to reciprocated, competitive radicalism amongst parties within the same group. The entrancing competition that has led to extremist parties 3. Ethnic Conflict and Education Since the sass, access to education?particularly access to higher education?has been ethnicities.While the passing of the “Sinless Only Bill” was one attempt in this process, more direct hurdles were placed on the path f the Tamil. From 1 971 onwards, a new “standardization” policy was adopted, which ensured that the number of students qualifying for university entrance from each language was proportionate to the number of students who sat for university entrance examination in that language. This meant that Tamil speaking students had to score much higher than Sinless speaking students to gain admission to universities.This also meant that ethnicity became a basis for university admissions policy, which tampered with its integrity and fortified the ethnic discrimination. 4.
Ethnic Conflicts and Military Morality until the early-sass, ethnic conflict was primarily limited to the political arena where the destruction to property and life was minimal. However, non violent and violent revolts erupted into political violence, when, under the Emergency Regulation and the Prevention of Terrorism Act, the security forces were given legal freedom to arrest civilians and commit acts of violence against innocent citizens.By that point, political violence was widely utilized by both the government parties and the Tamil Tigers. This development marked the implementation and the steady fertilization of the Sir Lankan ethnic conflict, noted in the prior historical background. “As Tamil of Sir Lankan origin and the Tamil of Indian origin moved into Sinless areas to seek employment, it was not difficult for politicians to revive the ancient fear of a Tamil threat to the survival of the Kinshasa race” (Monogram 1995, pig.
7).At the heart of the conflict, the Sinless are fearful of losing their hegemony, an advantage they have obtained after years of ‘oppression’ since the time of Vista’s travels to the present. The Tamil fear for the force with which Sinless culture is being inflicted upon them.
They ear for the extinction of Tamil culture, and the implementation of the majority history and identity. The Tamil survival instinct has dragged them into a fight-or-flight state, where fighting is the final action to preserve their ethnic identity.Horopito describes this fear as a need for power. Powers inherent qualities become a mean to an end, the utmost level of security that an ethnic group can have. “Power is often an instrument to secure other, tangible good s and benefits, including benefits for members of an ethnic group, but power may also be the benefit.
Power is the main goal at both ends of a spectrum. At one end, power is sought for its value in confirming a claimed status. To attain the status, power need hardly be exercised; the main thing is to gain it.
At the opposite spectrum, power is sought as a means to an end, in which goals are so diffuse, so difficult to specify, that the only way to attain them is by attaining power. “(Horopito 1 995, pig. 235). Subsection C: Ethnic Tension on the International Level Nags, Norway, and India have been the largest sources of influence on an international spectrum to date. India, being the closest neighbor to Sir Lankan, implemented the PICK (as mentioned in the historical background).
Moray became involved in hopes to become a lead role in the monitoring mission, as well as to mediate the peace talks. Due to extremist parties, and their lack Of trust and cooperation, the Norwegian Were accused of bias and subsequently excluded from further peace mediation. Another attempt at international influence came from the United States, as they placed the Tamil Tigers under the terrorist list (mentioned earlier). However, none of these actions provided enough leverage to bring peace.By failing to convince the parties with carrots of aid and financial support, or sticks of terrorist listing, he international community was not effective in pushing or pulling the parties towards a resolution. Section Ill: Resolutions These resolutions vary from short term to long-term results.
However, one must acknowledge that the situation cannot (and will not) be changed overnight; it will take generations before the conflict finds a resolve. The important factor to remember is that culture is consistently adapting, and can find resolution.Resolution l: Secessionist Horopito explains three reasons why secessionist does not work. First, ethnic identity is not static, therefore even if there is a partition, entrancing vigorous will heighten and begin to conflict with each other (as new ethnic identities)36. Second, if partition is enacted, Sinless settlements in Tamil concentrations are vulnerable to an increase in hostility’s. Third, the reciprocate will occur with the Tamil that are settled in Sinless areas. Tamil remaining in the “hump” region would be pressured to move into the broken off region.
These three reasons evoke enough violence to eliminate secession as a possible route to resolution. Resolution II: Autonomy and Decentralization A certain share needs to be kept for the minority groups in cabinet, civil revive, military, and other such high positions, which will give reasonable satisfaction to the individuals and groups of Sir Lankan. The power sharing arrangements are not permanent solutions, but very temporary and fragile. The use of power sharing arrangements between ethnic or sectarian groups has a limited appeal.
This arrangement would bring some improvement in the relations between various competing groups, as they would provide a certain amount of psychological security to each group. The difficulty in this resolution is convincing the Tamil Tigers to accept autonomy as a solution. As Eng as they have control of vast resources, the likelihood of autonomy is slim. A larger step would be to apply regional autonomy and federation into the state system.
This would enable local and regional authorities a degree of autonomous power and authority.In the past, decentralization, regional autonomy and federalism have had success in Sir Lankan conflict negotiations. Resolution Ill: Latitude Vs.. Longitude Coalitions Horopito proposes a latitude approach to political representation. If each group were represented by a single set of leaders, then leaders would have more wiggle room to cooperate across ethnic divisions. The entrancing competition for representation has led to extremist Views, and if this competition were eradicated, extremism would dwindle enough for political leaders to collaborate towards peace.
Another reason why not all ethnic cleavages are equally resistant to passing is that the psychic costs of giving up one’s ethnic identity may vary with the nature of that identity. For example, in some cases passing from one group to the other may require religious conversion. Abandoning one’s religious identity may be more costly psychologically than abandoning other traits of one’s cultural identity. Resolution ‘V: International Influence: Mediators and Peacekeepers Another way to bring out an amicable solution is through external intervention.Sir Lankan has been open to partial mediation by Norway, India, Nags, and the united Nations. However, the ability for external intervention to have a reasonable mediation influence is small due to accusations of bias from radical groups. It is necessary to know that intervention can alter the internal balance of ethnic power and create an inorganic cultural structure within the country.
While some external intervention can be used to keep violence at ay, the cultural relationship needs to be built between the ethnic groups in conflict.