Post-War Justice, Reconciliation and Development
Since the end of the war in 2009, ICES has been exploring the complex and contested nature of building peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka, taking into account the history of the conflict and the current socio-political and economic configurations. While the term reconciliation is easily and often invoked by politicians, civil society organisations, international community, the clergy etc., it clearly has a multiplicity of meanings. Through these research studies, we are hoping to de-construct these diverse understandings, whether dominant, alternative or subaltern in all its differing strands—as truth, justice and accountability, political reform, or economic reconstruction; the significance of substantive initiatives versus the purely symbolic, myth versus reality or psychological versus material; and the impact of factors such as political will, financial resources, time and moral imagination in reconciliation processes.
The Democracy and Equality Project (2009-2014)
This project funded by Diakonia aims to build an indigenous political culture through civic education, strengthening popular understanding and advocacy of democratic values that promote equality and resonates with Sri Lanka’s diverse communities and culture. To this end, the ICES, through research, dialogue, networking and advocacy, has striven to create spaces to propagate the view that post-war development and reconciliation policies, processes and practices should be informed by principles of democracy and equality. Through the publication of several short think pieces, long-term research papers and the organization of lectures, conferences discussions and media interventions among key state and public actors, civil society, policy makers, academics and undergraduates, the project has reached multiple communities in Sri Lanka. The rationale behind the series of activities was that continuous engagement of all stakeholders strengthens popular understanding and advocacy of democratic values that promote equality, and assists in the goal of ensuring that post-war development and reconciliation policies processes and practices are informed by principles of democracy and equality.
With the changing socio-political environment during the life of the project, other democracy-related issues such as gender and sexuality, university education, religious co-existence, disability, migration and the role of the arts in promoting democracy and equality were addressed through different forums.
Visit the following links to access research material and activities implemented through this project: