Accession Number : ADA331785

Title :   The Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka: A Clash of Civilizations.

Descriptive Note : Master's thesis, 4 Aug 96-6 Jun 97,

Corporate Author : ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS

Personal Author(s) : Wanigasooriya, Palitha R.

PDF Url : ADA331785

Report Date : 06 JUN 1997

Pagination or Media Count : 91

Abstract : This study investigates the causes of the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka from a civilizational point of view using as a base line the studies by Dr. Samuel P. Huntington, Sri Lanka, a large island in the Indian ocean, has been engulfed by a separatist guerrilla war since the early 1980s. The armed campaign launched by the rebels, mainly Tamil-Hindus, against the government, dominated by Sinhala-Buddhists, is aimed at establishing a separate state in the northern and eastern parts of the island. The study documents the root causes and analyzes the civilizational aspects of this conflict, Research demonstrates the conflict as a 'clash of civilizations.' Although the two groups in conflict, Sinhala-Buddhists and Tamil-Hindus, Share two different cultures they do not appear to have had distinct identities until they came into contact with a completely alien Western civilization. With the European dominance in the region since the sixteenth century, Sinhalese and Tamils started establishing identities with the motive of preventing their absorption by the Western civilization. This resulted in friction between the Sinhala and Tamil people. This study identifies the 'dash of civilizations' in Sri Lanka and suggests that this conflict could be resolved by addressing the civilizational aspects of the two groups involved in conflict.

Descriptors :   *ETHNIC GROUPS, *CATALYTIC CONFLICT(WARFARE), *SECTARIAN VIOLENCE, WARFARE, CROSS CULTURE(SOCIOLOGY), THESES, BASE LINES, ABSORPTION, NORTH(DIRECTION), INDIAN OCEAN, GUERRILLA WARFARE, SRI LANKA.

Subject Categories : Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
      Unconventional Warfare

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE