ENGAGING MILITARY IN POSTWAR RECONCILIATION A CASE STUDY OF IMPLICATIONS FOR THE CONSOLIDATION OF DEMOCRACY IN SRI LANKA
Bruneau, Thomas C.
Matei, Florina Cristiana
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Engaging military in post war reconciliation A case study of implications for the consolidation of democracy in Sri Lanka was prompted by post-war developments in Sri Lanka related to Civil-Military relations. The longest fought civil war in South East Asia, came to an end when the Sri Lankan Armed Forces successfully defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) militarily in May 2009. The huge success achieved by the Sri Lankan military vis--vis the Tamil Tigers has made the government rely on the countrys military even after the defeat of the LTTE. In that background, the government has encouraged military presence in all possible areas of the driving mechanism of the country. Specifically, the government has engaged the military in many activities of national development and reconciliation and in this scenario, there are many questions raised against the government of Sri Lanka and the military. Is excessive military involvement in civilian work leading to enhanced military prerogatives of Sri Lankas Armed Forces, which in turn is jeopardizing civilian supremacy over the armed forces Is involvement of the military in activities of national development and reconciliation endangering or boosting democratic consolidation in Sri Lanka Some critiques argue that Sri Lanka has undergone an excessive militarization, which is hindering post-war democratic consolidation. In this context, this research will look at Civil-Military relations adopted by the Sri Lankan government after the civil-war period from the perspective of the military prerogatives highlighted by Alfred Stepan and will further seek to identify the impact of CMR on the consolidation of democracy in the dilemma of militarization. It will start with a discussion of relevant theories of democratic transition and consolidation of CMR, followed by a discussion of democratic transition and consolidation in Sri Lanka, CMR during and after the civil war, and how CMR impacted democratic consolidation. The thesis finishes with an examination of lessons learned and best/worst practices of CMR.
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