The Sri Lanka Army ended 25 years of Tamil separatist insurgency on May 19, 2009 when it defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). But the victory in what the government called the Humanitarian War (an oxymoron as no war is humanitarian) came at a colossal cost. Three lakhs of people became destitute in the war-torn Northern Province. Infrastructure and public services totally destroyed during the war are yet to be fully restored. The trauma of war is very much there in the Northern Province putting strains on Sri Lankan society. And the political process to bring back the Tamils into national mainstream is not making much headway. The book under review is a compilation of 11 research papers presented at a seminar on managing political, socio-economic and ethnic diversity challenges faced by Sri Lanka after the war organized by the Centre for Security Analysis at Colombo* on conflict resolution and peace building. The political part has some interesting papers, while socio-economic papers generally present what Sri Lanka has been doing on this front. The book opens with an introduction presenting a bird’s eye view of the contents by Brigadier K. Srinivasan and Ms. Nancy Joseph. The quality of papers included range from the excellent to the mediocre.
September 2012, volume 36, No 9