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"No Peace At All in Sri Lanka" – Professor Damien Kingsbury



" I trust, however, that people of goodwill both within Sri Lanka, and among its friends abroad, continue to work for a political settlement, and that at some point this might be achieved. A military solution can only hope, at best, to be temporary and, as such, not a solution at all."



by Nilantha Ilangamuwa


(September 07,Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) "My view on the current situation is that the LTTE is currently being pressed quite strongly, but has shown a considerable capacity to resist. It has had set-backs before and still bounced back."

So observed Associate Professor Damien Kingsbury who is a Sri Lanka expert and the Associate Head of the School of International and Political Studies (Research) at Deakin University, Australia, in an exclusive interview with Nilantha Ilangamuwa of Sri Lanka Guardian.

He teaches Approaches to Political Development, Political Developments in South-East Asia, Conflict Resolution and Development, Developing Country Case Study and other development subjects. He also supervises PhD students,

He further observed during the Interview on the present situation of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam, "But this may indeed be its nadir as a conventional military force."

Adding in clarification Prof. Damien said, "If this is the case, Sri Lanka can reasonably expect what is left of the LTTE - quite a lot, I'd guess - to evolve into being more of a guerrilla/terrorist organisation rather than the more or less conventional military force that it is now. That will probably mean more bombings and assassinations. I don't think it will produce peace as such."

When asked about the present options of the Government of Sri Lanka in influencing the pro-LTTE Tamil people, he replied, "The only alternative is for the pro-LTTE Tamils to be completely wiped out, which would constitute a genocide. I hope the GoSL would prefer to avoid such an outcome … That then brings us to a political resolution, which was always and remains the only viable long-term solution."

Furthermore Prof. Damien pointed out that "the political options that have been offered by the GoSL so far have been either undermined in practice or were never designed genuinely to address the problem. But given the high level of mistrust and misunderstanding that exists on both sides, I am not sure that a genuine political solution is now a viable option. It was at one time, but it may be that both sides have wilfully ruined that opportunity."

External Link: Sri Lanka army advances on Tigers

When Sri Lanka Guardian asked him about the responsibilities of local Sri Lankans and the Sri Lankan Diaspora in this situation, he said " I trust, however, that people of goodwill both within Sri Lanka, and among its friends abroad, continue to work for a political settlement, and that at some point this might be achieved. A military solution can only hope, at best, to be temporary and, as such, not a solution at all.”

- Sri Lanka Guardian

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