models of cultural resolutions

The cultural resolution models that are based on a limited understanding of ethnic variety undermine long-term stability and further polarize peaceful cohabitation. to comprehend the persistent political and economical divides as well as the characterization of ethnic group disputes. The arguments of constructivists, primordialism, and the justification of escalating conflicts by instrumentalists are fundamental to the history of the Sri Lankan conflict. The functions of institutionalisms in generating theories and the emphasis of study are mentioned in Terminals' explanation of the cause of secession. According to Terminal, the opposition gets mobilized to a greater extent as a result of our allowing particularist institutions to interact with one another. The drive of ethnocracy led to the increase in the ethnic particularism. When the ethnocracy decompose, and institutions supporting them come down, the oppressed and the dispossessed retaliate along the cultural lines. They stage leads to violence. The study illustrated the importance of the conflict started by the Sinhala Only language speakers and the contribution of secessionists.

Samarasinghe argues that political conflict and economic increase, especially in developing countries contribute to ethnic conflict. In the Sri Lankan context, the author asserts that inequality and economic discrimination among social groups have become the causes of ethnic conflict hence the civil war. Furthermore, the irresistible emphasis on ethnicity as a source of political conflict has extended beyond meager inequalities and discrimination between the Sinhala and Tamil in Sri Lanka. The political parties affiliated to the Tamil and Sinhala communities shaped the political developments of the country. Moreover, significant parties were multiethnic and comprise of members from minority groups such as Tamil in their leadership. However, there were minor political parties linked to ethnic divisions. These parties engaged in decision making were to ensure coalition or opposition. The result was the conflicting political interests between the Tamil and the Sinhala communities. The author claims that ethnic antagonism existed especially between the Sinhalese nationalists who pursued a Sinhalese Sri Lanka while the marginal Tamils feared British rule would be reinstated by the Sinhalese rule. The author claims the conflicting political interests were competitive aspects in search for political power. The paper analyzes the conflicts in Sri Lanka considering the motivators, peace factors among other things. The following sections will discuss the historical background of ethnic conflicts.

Since neither the Tamil nor the Sinhala was harmonized communities in the context of social, political economic and cultural factors, the conflicting interests emerged between different community segments. The radical youths, representing their community created a clear path of varying political interests within communities. The youth militants were developed to fight against the establishment of traditional politics of their communities. As a result, the article claims the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka was not just between the two communities but also within Sri Lankan communities. Despite the characterization of ethnic conflict using two militant movements, Sri Lanka as the author notes that the twin conflict required considerations beyond ethnicity and instead the shared commonalities in the historical context. Overall, the article is useful for developing arguments regarding the Sri Lankan ethnic conflict. In fact, it points out the primary concerns of the Tamil and the Sinhalese communities both with conflicting political interests. I will use the article to develop an understanding of the political conflict and its role in triggering ethnic conflict.

Background of Sri Lanka Conflicts

The authors claim that the Sri-Lankan conflict emerged from the discrimination of the Sinhalese who felt separated from economic development. The authors insist that the conflict has inter-linked causes and consequences. The article indicates that the ethnic conflict was due to the consciousness of the Sinhala as the majority community. The community considered Sri-Lankan society as Sinhala-Buddhist hence restricting multi-ethnicity. The consciousness imposed on the Sri-Lankan minorities rendered any resolution impossible.

The Tamil community also contributed to the ethnic conflict owing to discrimination against them on issues of education and employment. However, the authors note that the most controversial issue was land colonization as it made the Tamil community imperiled. The authors argue that the Tamil ethnic group intended to counter the progressing discrimination by making demands on the political sphere. Notably, the Tamil Congress failed to successfully acquire a balanced representation before independence. Since the Sinhala was the majority in Sri Lanka, 50% of the political seats were reserved for them while the remaining 50% was meant for all the minority ethnic groups. The ethnic conflict emerged after accelerated demands and rebuff by Tamil political leaders who decided to pursue a separate state to enhance the welfare and security of the Tamil community. The Tamil managed to get regional autonomy and the control of the land settlement areas. However, the authors claim that the then Prime Minister, Bandaranaike later abandoned the pact owing to its opposition, the United National Party (UNP) and was killed as a result.

The authors also argue that the ethnic conflict that is evident between the Sinhala and the Tamil is associated with class harmony among workers arising from every ethnic group that was reinstated following the trans-class ethnic harmony. Class contradictions were overlooked, yet the Tamils considered class contradictions submerged and softened in perceived danger arising from collective social existence. The Sinhala, on the other hand, found dissatisfying class contradictions related to state affairs that yielded false direction against considered the class contradictions as dissatisfying state affairs that offer a false direction against the unreasonable demands by the advantaged Tamils. Also, the authors point out the contribution of education in Sri-Lankan ethnic conflict. Access to higher education was ethnicized since even the fundamental outlook of universities and schools, book contents and teacher training directly impacted ethnic conflict.

Overall, the article is unusual in the way it portrays the Sinhalese community in its quest to create ethnic conflict and marginalize the Tamils. I intend to use this article to conduct an extensive research about the Sri-Lankan ethnic conflict.

Wasantha argues that the English language triggered the ethnic conflict after it was declared an official language following independence. The majority Sinhalese perceived that the nationalist forces acknowledged the Tamils and gave them access to disproportionate power. As a result, the Tamil’s educational competence brought forth concerns and fears about the politics of language in Sri Lanka. The author points out that politicians suggested resolutions as early as 1944 to declare Sinhalese the Sri Lankan official language. The resolution also emphasized that Tamil and Sinhalese would be used as languages of instruction in learning institutions, examination of civil servants and legislature. Bandaranaike, the elected Prime Minister in 1956, promised to establish Sinhalese as the official country language to do away with English. The promise was fulfilled through the Official Language Act of 1956 dubbed the ‘Sinhalese Only Bill.’

Immediately after the elections, the Tamil language lost its status hence triggering the Sinhalese-Tamil conflict in Sri Lankan politics. As a result of Sinhalese domination in nationalism, the Sinhalese language alongside the Buddhist religion occupied the prominent positions in the society. The author claims that this could be the best and the only way to revitalize the Sinhalese civilization. Despite the verdict of making both the Sinhalese and Tamil official languages, the damage arising from the politics of language remain intact in Sri Lanka. Furthermore, the enormous gap between acknowledging the Tamil as an authorized language including the practicality of implementing the conditions and provisions is up till now stagnant. The article will be useful for the future research since it outlines the contribution of language to the Sri-Lankan ethnic conflict. In fact, it emphasizes on the key aspects that motivated the approval and disapproval of the Tamil language as an official language. The article will be helpful in understanding the Sri-Lankan ethnic conflict arising from the language.

Bunnel argues that scholars tend to give insufficient attention to people’s spaces during a conflict. Most of them focus on the critical drivers of spatial changes. During a conflict, the ordinary folk forges their way of life to cope with the challenges mostly by the preceding aspects that are deemed not to contribute to their wellbeing. The citizens in Sri-Lanka paid little attention to culture and the existing social structures to develop new strategies that enable them to survive throughout the war.

Tim’s work would be imperative in the final paper since it will provide a reference to the changes that take place in society during a conflict. His argument will suffice the paper with the mechanisms established by the ordinary folk in Sri Lanka and their contribution to survival. The argument will also be juxtaposed against the views of other scholars in the field and criticize the gaps left by researchers in human geography.

In this article, he discusses the political rivalry that possibly led to the conflict. Before the conflict, there was a popularized authoritarian rule which led to the conflict between the Sinhalese and the Tamil Tigers who formed the minority in the country. Devota argues that the authoritarian rule justified violence during the civil war by justifying ethnocentrism; an ideology that was founded on territoriality. The author also suggests that when President Mahinda Rajapaksa assumed office in 2005, democracy in the county received a boost since he ended the draconian counterterror practices.

The article will be critical in discussing the aftermath of the conflict from a political perspective. It will be a primary reference when discussing how the form of government led by Rajapaksa gave birth to democracy. Although he later made the state a family affair, the people's revolt in the election was an indication that the authoritarian rule was coming to an end. Augments will also be juxtaposed against the ideas of other authors who may have dissenting opinions about the birth of democracy in Sri Lanka after the war.

Tamil Tigers gradually developed into victimhood, and this contributed immensely to the revolt. Since they could not raise arms against the majority, they resulted in the guerrilla tactics of suicide bombings in the country. The author argues that political campaigns and the cycle of retribution made it challenging to identify the actual victims and the perpetrators. Each of the warring sides assumed a victim position, and this accelerated the war. The author is also steadfast that the political projects in the country were built on the memories of victimhood and posed a challenge to the process of transitional justice.

Castaneda’s article provides the contemporary imperative reference to the discussion of how the politically instigated projects on victimhood contributed to the war by hindering transitional justice. It will also be exploited in creating a formidable background of the war and the political aspirations of the warring groups. The information will also reinforce the role of politics in perpetrating the war, an idea that has been exhaustively discussed by other authors.

The article argues that historical factors contributed to the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. In this regard, the authors provide evidence on the linguistic patterns in the country. The article demonstrates the uneven spread of English across the island. Some parts of the country adopted British values while others remained loyal to traditional aspects. Furthermore, the authors highlighted the particular role of British governance in shaping the conflict. The argument presented in the article relates to other narratives in that they recognize the value of historical relations. However, other arguments blame the naivety of Sri Lankans for the ethnic conflict. The argument presented in the article will enhance my case analysis in showing the impact of political leaders on their subjects. Also, the article will support my views regarding the influence of language differences on human behavior.

Several pieces of evidence are presented to support the authors’ viewpoint. Emerging economies attract plenty of investors since they have numerous business opportunities. Such situations create challenges regarding international human resource management. The authors used the social identity theory to show how people manifested preferential treatment towards others with similar ethnicity. The argument proposed by the authors relates to other arguments since they deal with social relations. The interactions among people of different ethnicities can lead to conflict. On the other hand, this argument is unique since it identifies social relations as the primary cause of the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. Notably, this argument will enhance my case analysis since it will show the impact of ethnic relations among people from different tribes. The conflict in Sri Lanka occurred among people who shared similar resources. Hence, it would be prudent to examine the social and cultural factors that caused people to antagonize their compatriots.

Key Dividers and Connectors

The nation of Sri Lanka is diverse in its own sense. It is neither made up of one tribe but many. Additionally, it is made up of many religious backgrounds with its people being divided based on the religious beliefs all over the country. As such, the conflict that has been in the nation for a while had been fueled up by many factors which are termed as Dividers and Connectors. Usually, in any conflict, there has to be something that divides the participants of the conflict thus leading them to develop divisions that could result to armed conflict. At the same time, there exist connectors that affect the conflict in two ways. First, the connectors become the reason why individual parties connect with each other hence fueling up the conflict. Secondly, connectors can be positively used to end the war when used to connect the warring parties by providing a common ground, such as common heritage, shared items or assurance of common good.

Examples of such factors that are elemental in any war include political differences/similarities, social-economic differences/similarities, religious diversity, psychological factors, physical factors, historical as well as cultural factors. In the Sri Lankan case, there are various dividers as well as connectors that have played a role in the whole conflict right from its inception to its completion. The analysis of the factors will be done herein.


Politics is one of the major causes of conflicts in the world. People will never have the same political opinion. At the same time, each and every person is endowed with the right to participate in his or her country’s politics according to the constitution of the respective country. At the international scene, the status of politics is well covered in various international documents that protect and guarantee the enjoyment of human rights worldwide. For instance, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and many other treaties and convention. Ideally, every person is entitled to participate in any political situation in the world so long as he or she has the locus stand.

In Sri Lanka, however, there were political indifferences right from the inception of independence from the British. Some factions of the country held that politics was played on a tribal basis. If you were in with the right tribe, you were in the government and if you were in with the ‘wrong’ tribe, then you were in opposition. For a while, the opposition was held by the minority tribe, the Tamils, while the government was ruled by the Sinhalese who won the elections based on the tyranny of numbers basis.

This political situation in the country made the Tamils feel subjugated, subverted and discriminated because they lacked the political power to equip themselves economically. As a result, in the 1970s, various debates were held to try and amicably solve this issue among the university students. When this failed, in 1975, talks of cessation gained ground as the Tamils felt the need to go their way in order to rule themselves independently. As a result, Velupillai Prabhakaran took the centre stage and brought the idea of forming a liberation front that would engage the government directly to demand for independence. Thus, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eela(LTTE) popularly known as Tamil Tigers came into existence.

The first official act of the Tamil Tigers was that it needed to have a considerable occupation some part of the country. This was a calculated political move. Under international law, for an insurgent group to be recognized as an official controller of a part of a state, it must have had occupation and control of a certain area. As a result of this, the Tamil Tigers quickly took over the control of a city in the North, Jafna, after assassinating its mayor. As a result of this, the government took notice and engaged the militia group in war that lasted 30 years with periodical instances of peace.

The political situation in Sri Lanka was basically a divider because the government was based on a winner takes it all democratic process whereby the perpetual losers, the Tamils felt subjugated. By the end of the war, this problem had to be solved to avoid future wars. There was a need to change the constitution to ensure the executive did not have executive powers in the country and thus allow checks and balances. Further, there was a need to change the method of election of the president to allow the minority a chance to rule as well. The aspect of the popular vote is the main mischief that affected the political tensions. This would be a connector because the minority will be glad because they would feel involved. Thus, the principle of inclusiveness would thus cure the political tension and breed harmony in the nation.

As a result of inclusiveness in the politics of the country, social evils would be done away with ease. For instance, corruption and tribalism will be a divider that is done away with. Further, the rule of law will be adhered too as well as breeding the growth of coalitions that would include people from all sorts of tribes. In this regard, politics in Sri Lanka will be based on ideologies and not on tribal grounds as has been the case for a while now.

Social- Economic Factors

The social contract theory proposes that in the beginning, before civilization became what it is today, man was predominantly living in an unstable state and was hostile to one another. It was until the advent of government that this changed. Man was to surrender some of his rights to a controlling body, which in return would offer crucial services that were necessary for man to exist peacefully with each other. For instance, security would be guaranteed. This theory was propounded by Thomas Hobbes and further expounded by John Locke. Ideally, the government would be involved actively in maintaining the social-economic status of a society.

However, in Sri Lanka, this social contract theory became a fallacy for a time. During the period before the civil war, the government was not able to provide essential services to the people of the north as well as to the east. The Tamils then raised alarm as being subjugated and subverted. As a result, they raised alarm, but their cry was not heard. Therefore, they decided to rise up and fight for their economic empowerment. This slowly led to a severe situation which led to a 3 decade of war. During the war, the government had no access to the north for a time and as such, the Tamils were left in poverty. There were clear horizontal inequalities that were based on tribal grounds with the Sinhalese being the favored tribe.

Religious Indifferences

Another social factor that played as a divider in the war was religious diversity. Sri Lanka is made up of a people comprised of many different religions. The major ones are Buddhists who are 65%, Hindus 15%, Christians 8% and Muslims%. As a result of this diversity, division was imminent. When Buddhists who were the majority and comprising of the Sinhalese were ruling the nation, the rest of the religious people felt left out. As a result, the minority, the Tamils who were predominantly Hindus rose up in arms and fought. Their main aim was to liberate themselves of religious segregation.

Religion is a very dear topic to the wellbeing of man. Religion is the heartbeat through which man connects him to his or her preferred supernatural being. The diversity in Sri Lanka proved to be a disadvantage because through religion, hatred was bred and a civil war erupted. However, religion can be used as a connector of the people of Sri Lanka. It has been commonly said that there exists unity in diversity. In as much as the different religions had a role to play in dividing the nation, they also played a major role in uniting the same nation.

Major Actors

Sri Lanka as a state has gradually evolved from the times it was known as Ceylon under the British Colonial rule to what it is now a stable state. However, it is important to note that it has gone through a major metamorphosis that has literally threatened its existence. As already pointed out earlier, the major political conflict which arose in 1983 was caused by ethnic differences between the two major tribes in the country. The Tamils felt subjugated, subverted and mistreated by the Sinhalese who comprised of the majority. As such, they felt the urge to form their own government. It is through this political conflict that key players will be analyzed. Apart from analyzing the key players, a special focus will be given to the secondary actors who played a part in attempting to manage the conflict within and without the country. Further, the question of the resources that the rival parties had will be analyzed.

Primary actors

The conflict within Sri Lanka was basically based on the ethnic differences that prevailed right from the onset of independence from the British in 1917. From independence to 1980s, signs of a conflict had been evident. The conflict that eventually erupted in 1983 had been fuelled by ethnic tensions, and no one ever noted. A case example of the Rwandan Conflict that pitted two communities which had been in the conflict with each other until the assassination of President Habyarimana. This led to a genocide that eliminated over one million people. Back to the Sri Lankan conflict, there have been various actors who played a major part in the conflict. These include local and national leaders, the insurgents, religious leaders as well as civil society leaders.

Velupillai Prabhakaran

He was the founder and leader of the militia group, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam popularly known as Tamil Tigers that literally threatened to rip the country apart. His motivation to create the group begun in his youthful years after he had witnessed numerous evils which the ruling government led by the Sinhalese subjected the minority tribes to. His first act of great magnitude was the assassination of the mayor of Jaffna, Alfred Duraiappah at close range just as he was heading into the temple. He had also been engaged in many other assassination claims such as the Indian Prime minister Rajiv Ghandi in 1991 as well as his Sri Lankan counterpart Ranasinghe Premadasa.

Basically, Velupillai Prabhakaran was very influential in organizing the resistance group into a formidable force that controlled a vast majority of the Sri Lankan nation to the north and some parts of the Eastern Coast. His leadership skills were impeccable because the militia group actually died when he died himself in 2009 meaning the Tamil Tigers were solely dependent on his leadership. The major demand he brought forth was a separation of the country into two. This, he believed could have solved the problem of tribal injustices that his mates were facing within the united government. Of course this demand for secession never went well and thus led to a 25 year military struggle which led to the deaths of over 40000 people.

J. R. Jayawardena

He was the first president of Sri Lanka who led the Nationalist Movement before becoming Prime minister and later President in 1977. His role in the conflict was at the onset. Critics say he allowed the Tamil Tigers to grow under his regime. A notable failure was in 1979 when he passed the Prevention of Terrorism Act which empowered the police to arrest and detain Tamils. This was a bad move because it fuelled the tension between the Tamils and the Sinhalese. Due to the escalation of the conflict, the president eventually stepped down. However, he is remembered well not to have done enough to stop the conflict.

Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga

She was a prime minister and later president in the country for some time. Her contribution to the conflict while in power was positive at first. For instance, she made positive gestures for talks with Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam movement, but this was all in vain. As a result o this disappointment, she decided to take a strong military action against them. It is during these campaigns against the militia group that she got involved in a suicide bombing incident that led to the loss of her eye. In spite of this setback, she engaged the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam movement in 2002 and as a resulted; a permanent cease fire was signed. For a moment, there was peace in the country.


He was part of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam movement which he joined in 1983. He however led a break away in 2004 when he claimed the LTTE was not paying attention to the Eastern wing of Tamil people. As a result, he formed the TamilEela Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal. However, the leaders in LTTE claimed that he was expelled because he no longer paid heed to the code of conduct of the group. However, this to some historians and writers alike is not the sole reason why the breakaway happened. There is a thought that he was funded by the government to divide the group hence weakening it all together. This made the government to be able to quell the resistance a few years later.

Religious players

Sri Lanka is made up of a variety of religions which complete the diversified religion in the country. It is composed of Buddhists who form the majority-69%, 15% are Hindus, 8% Christians and 8% Muslims. The multi-religious nature of this country was a very crucial factor that fuelled the conflict that escalated into the 21st Century. Buddhists, who occupy majority of the land to the north and to the East demanded for autonomy for some time. This was not granted.

Buddhists, who are primarily the Sinhalese community for a long time, controlled the government. The Hindus, who are majorly the Tamils felt discriminated and as a result, decided to take up arms to fight against this oppression. They formed the group Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (Tamil Tigers). The group engaged the government in battles that were very severe because this led to the deaths of many people from both religious groups.

International Involvement

Mary Kaldor notes that Globalization has made the world a global market such that the world has totally become dependent on each other. As a result, a conflict in one part of the world definitely does not go unnoticed. Especially when the said conflict affects the human rights of the people belonging a country which is a signatory of the United Nations. Mary Kaldor states this global development as” the intensification of global interconnectedness-political, economic, military and cultural.” As such, this has definitely transformed the world response to conflicts by expanding the actors to include international players. For instance, the international actors can be individual states which neighbor the country in question, peacekeeping forces humanitarian organizations such as the United Nations, the Red Cross and USAID, reporters from the international scene and various NGOs.

In Sri Lanka, as the conflict escalated, the rest of the world was not to be left behind to see a country go down in flames as a result of ethnicity, religious differences and political differences. The international community developed an interest in the conflict as well.


India is a major power in the world. As a result, being an immediate neighbor to Sri Lanka, it was quite obvious that the Indians would be majorly involved in the conflict as major international actors. Due to its closeness to the war ravaged country, India for a time was considered to be a strategic point from which the conflict was to be resolved. Another reason why the Indians had to be involved was because the Tamils were very much related to the occupants of the southern province of India. The two communities share a common culture and history although they are physically separate.

India feared that could the Tamil tigers have succeeded in the liberation struggle, then the Indian Tamils too could have raised up to demand liberation as well. As a result, India became influential in setting up peace talks by sending envoys into two parties trying to bring a lasting peace of the nation. This gesture was further evidenced when the Indian Government allowed its troops into Sri Lanka as part of the Peace Keeping troops for a period of 3 years; between 1987 and 1990. Additionally, India was the major refugee point as it accommodated many people who fled the civil war. However, the direct involvement cost the Indians a prime minister who was assassinated in the process of brokering peace within the region.


Pakistan was involved in the conflict as a state because of its solemn duty as being a member of the region of Sri Lanka. Perhaps there is a possibility that the involvement was as a result of the desire of challenging India’s dominance in the region. It was said that Pakistan was involved in aiding the Tamil group by providing them with necessary funds, weapons as well as asylum. However, after sometime, it was clear that Pakistan had become a supporter of the Sri Lankan government by providing sufficient military aid in 2008 that eventually led to the triumph of the Government.

Other major states that played a part in the Sri Lankan conflict include China which being a major world power was able to provide the vast amount of resources ranging from financial aid to military power. Notably, in the final stages of the civil war, China provided the necessary thrust that was very essential in ensuring the end of the LLTE movement. Further, the United States of America played a part by training the government military wings as well as providing funds to the Sri Lankan government. Its main interest, however, was to ensure its dominance in the world was felt because there was no direct interest that affected the supremacy of the United States. Canada also became a major player by being a host of many Tamil refugees. Norway was also involved in the 2002 cease fire talk that ensured peace for a time. Norway was invited into the talks mainly because it was considered to be peace loving and generally neutral.

Civil Societies, Religious Organizations and NGOs

There were significant efforts from various civil society leaders who felt the need to end the conflict as it affected the well-being of the nation at large. Examples of NGOs that form part of the civil groups which were keen in ensuring the end of the conflict include National Peace Council which was founded in the 1995 whose objective was to create a peaceful society that was prosperous in which everyone would coexist peacefully. Secondly, Janakariliya, which is loosely translated to mean Theater of the People, was founded in 2003 with an aim of fostering peaceful co-existence among the people of Sri Lanka. This became in...

Deadline is approaching?

Wait no more. Let us write you an essay from scratch

Receive Paper In 3 Hours
Calculate the Price
275 words
First order 15%
Total Price:
$38.07 $38.07
Calculating ellipsis
Hire an expert
This discount is valid only for orders of new customer and with the total more than 25$
This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Find Out the Cost of Your Paper

Get Price