From War to Peace – People’s Perceptions from the North and East

Principal Researchers: Minna Thaheer and Pradeep Peiris

Research Assistant: Kasun Pathiraja

Period: February 2012 – June 2013

Supported by: Diakonia

This is a context analysis that traces the process of reconciliation in Sri Lanka since May 2009 to December 2012, from the prism of people’s perceptions, especially that of the resettling communities in the North and East directly affected by the war.  This report is an attempt to comprehend social phenomena as perceived by the people who are also the subjects of the study.

The study will attempt both a qualitative and quantitative assessment of perceptions of reconciliation processes. The qualitative study will be based on information elicited from interviews with the subject’s life—world in the districts of Mannar, Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Vavuniya, Trincomalee and Batticaloa.  This exercise is framed to trace a path of inquiry on the overlapping existence of the perceptions of the governed and the governing and will seek to document rival narratives, histories, geographies and demographics in the period since the end of the war.

The quantitative study will be based on a survey of 600 respondents conducted in resettlement villages across five districts–Mannar, Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Vavuniya and Trincomalee. This is primarily designed to understand how communities conceptualised the term ‘reconciliation’ and what they hoped to achieve from the reconciliation process.