Colombo, Peace and Conflict, Politics and Governance

Post-CFA politics, war and peace in Sri Lanka: A few thoughts

I wrote some a few thoughts this morning in response to the Government’s decision, taken last night, to withdraw from the Ceasefire Agreement with the LTTE signed in February 2002. This significant decision gives us a hint of the Government’s thinking on war and peace and what we can accordingly expect it to say and do this year.

1. Waging war will be the government only priority this year. It will through any means necessary and violently if need be, erase all real and perceived obstacles in its war efforts.

2. The government will scoff at international opinion. The end of the CFA means the end of the SLMM. The end of the SLMM means that a significant mechanism with which to monitor human rights abuses, including damning evidence of the recruitment of child soldiers, by both the LTTE and the Government will come to an end.

3. Sri Lanka’s political future will be increasingly determined by extremist Sinhala nationalist forces. The Government will not give a damn for the opprobrium of the international community. Foreign policy will be aligned to be partial to pariah states with scant regard for human rights with money to spare sans any conditions tied to the peace process.

4. Maintaining the stability of the government will not be easy. By abrogating the CFA,the Government both panders to the rabid nationalism of the JVP and its demands and at the same time is now in a commanding position to dictate terms to the party.

5. The rising cost of living, inflation and gross economic mismanagement of the Government will be countered by increasingly publicly branding anyone who voices opposition to the government, including opposition political parties, as pro-LTTE / partial to terrorism / unpatriotic.

Read and comment on my brief article (in Sinhala) on Vikalpa here.