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Lost Lives and a Missed Political Opportunity: The Politics of Conflict and Peace in Post-Tsunami Sri Lanka

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Issue Date
2015-11
Publisher
The Institute for Peace and Unification Studies, Seoul National University
Citation
Asian Journal of Peacebuilding, Vol.3 No.2, pp. 137-163
Keywords
natural disasterethno-nationalist conflictgeopoliticssecuritizationhumanitarianism and peacebuilding
Abstract
This article examines the impact of a natural disaster on the political dynamics of an ethno-nationalist conflict. The humanitarian space generated by the 2004 tsunami could have revived the peace process between the Sri Lankan state and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), as evidenced by the joint mechanism that was formed for rehabilitation and reconstruction. However, the impact of the tsunami carried a potential for both peacebuilding and escalation of the conflict. The growing securitization of South Asia, led by the United States, upheld a militaristic approach and strengthened the Sri Lankan state against the LTTE. The militaristic approach to the decades-long conflict was advanced and eventually resulted in a massive war which claimed thousands of lives. The tsunami was a missed political opportunity.
ISSN
2288-2693 (print)
2288-2707 (online)
Language
English
URI
https://hdl.handle.net/10371/94815
DOI
https://doi.org/10.18588/201511.000040
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Researcher Institutes (연구소, 연구원)Institute for Peace and Unification Studies (통일평화연구원)Asian Journal of Peacebuilding (AJP)Asian Journal of Peacebuilding vol.03 no.01-02 (2015)
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