SRI Lankan Ethnic Crisis: Towards a Resolution

SRI Lankan Ethnic Crisis: Towards a Resolution

by R. B. Herath




This book is a result of years of research on the Sri Lankan ethnic crisis. It gives a vivid description of the crisis, analyses the numerous factors that influence it, and explains a way to end it by democratic means.
Sri Lankan Ethnic Crisis: Towards a Resolution is a unique book among those written on the Sri Lankan ethnic crisis for a number of reasons. It is the only book on the market that looks at the Sri Lankan ethnic crisis in a comprehensive manner. Every other book written on the subject focuses only on some selected aspects of the crisis. At the same time those written before do not help the reader understand the present intricacies of the crisis. A close look at all the books so far written on the subject reveals that Sri Lankan Ethnic Crisis: Towards a Resolution is the first book to: reach readers in both the academic and non-academic environments; help the reader fully understand the historic context of the ethnic crisis in Sri Lanka; discover and discuss in a co-ordinated manner the hidden factors that influence the crisis; expose the disguise of the elite and dynastic-type post-colonial rule as democracy, and the unbuddhist influence of some Buddhist monks on the ethnic crisis; remind the British, the last colonial power of Sri Lanka, of their responsibility for the present predicament of the Sinhalese peasantry and "stateless" Indian Tamils; suggest a complete solution to the crisis with a new democratic model of governance, which is equally applicable in principle to other countries suffering from ethnic strife; and Outline a way to implement the solution in the present political climate.
This is the first time a person outside socialscience academia and the journalistic world has written a book on the subject, giving the citizen's point of view on the ethnic crisis combined with a democratic solution. In his solution, the author suggests a new, bottom-up approach to the crisis, with the people at the centre of the decision making process, instead of the top-down approach that has so far failed.
The Sri Lankan Ethnic Crisis: Towards a Resolution is a book of 85,000 words. It also includes a number of explanatory maps, tables, and charts. It is an easy-to-read, concise and up-to-date book that has the answers to the burning questions raised by those committed to finding a lasting solution to the Sri Lankan ethnic crisis. It is a book of interest to everyone everywhere interested in the phenomenon of identity politics, and in matters of democratic processes to ensure the civil, human and political rights of the entire citizenry.
Sri Lankan Ethnic Crisis: Towards a Resolution has five chapters. The first chapter introduces the reader to the Sri Lankan ethnic crisis and the objectives and organisation of the book. The second chapter gives a historical background to the crisis. It takes the reader through three phases of Sri Lankan history: pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial. It is useful for the reader to know the historical background of the crisis to fully understand its present complexities. The third chapter identifies the root cause of the crisis and explains 10 main factors that have contributed to its escalation into a separatist war since independence in 1948. The fourth chapter stresses the importance of a new political beginning for Sri Lanka as a multiethnic independent nation, and explains eight basic factors that should constitute the foundation for such a new beginning. Then it discusses the varied governing systems developed in other democracies in the world, and proposes a new democratic governing model for Sri Lanka. The model addresses the ethnic issues in Sri Lanka and formulates a way to establish genuine democracy in the country, giving the power of self-determination to all its peoples. This chapter also explains how the country would be able to implement such a new model of democratic governance within its present political climate. The fifth and last chapter calls upon all Sri Lankans to take up the challenge of being part of the central decision making process in making their country a place fit to live in for all.
For review copies or interviews, phone the author at 604-597-1920 (Canada) or email heraths@familynet. bc. ca.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781553697930
Publisher: Trafford Publishing
Publication date: 09/13/2002
Pages: 246
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

The author was born and raised in Sri Lanka. He was a toddler when the country gained independence in 1948. He grew up amidst the changes that shaped the country to what it is today. He was always concerned about the future of the country, and contributed towards reducing ethnic divisiveness among its people. He did this first as a student leader in his high school and university days, and later as an active participant in national politics. In October 1979, he co-founded and led a democratic political party in Sri Lanka by the name Podujana Party (meaning Peoples' party) with a vision of 'One Lanka - One Nation, One Nation - One Family.' This political party prepared for the general election scheduled for 1983. This election, however, did not take place; the incumbent government postponed it to 1989. Meanwhile, the LTTE turned the ethnic crisis of the country into a separatist war in 1983, taking control of its democratic political process. In the aftermath of the commotion that followed, the author left the country in 1984. He now lives in Canada.

He has travelled to many countries in the world, and worked as an engineer, university teacher, development planner and a public service administrator in six of them: Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom, Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, and Canada. In his teaching assignment at the University of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, he was promoted from Lecturer to Senior Lecturer in 1975. In his work-assignment in Zambia as the national co-ordinator of a special rural development program (Intensive Development Zones), he represented that country in a number of bilateral and multilateral conferences sponsored by the United Nations. At these conferenceshe presented varied country review reports on agriculture and rural development. In 1984, he was registered with the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements as an expert in Rural Physical Planning and Water Supply- Infrastructure. Presently he is working with the government of British Columbia, Canada, and deals with, among other things, First Nations' issues in managing and allocating Crown land. Wherever he travelled or lived, he always took keen interest to study the ways of governance in plural societies. He has an excellent knowledge of the international scene. After settling in Canada, he conducted extensive research on the Sri Lankan ethnic crisis. He now has a special message of peace and reconciliation to those committed to bring a lasting solution to it. This book is written to convey that message.

The author has published three books on Sri Lankan topics before, one in English and the other two in Sinhalese, a vernacular language of Sri Lanka. The author wrote these books after a constitutional change in the country, renaming it as The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. The book in English, Democratic Socialism, discusses the pre-requisites of democracy. One of the books in Sinhalese, Sri Lanka Desapalanaya, Ayanna, Aayanna, Eyanna, Eeyanna (translation reads as A, B, C, D of Sri Lankan Politics) analyses the contemporary political system of Sri Lanka. The other, Desappremayen Odavadiwa Darudariyanta Kavivalinma Liyu Lipiyak (translation reads as A Letter to Our Children in Poems Written through Patriotism) is a book of poems. It gives a message of mutual respect, love and unity to the children of Sri Lanka in a child's diction. The government of Sri Lanka purchased a number of copies of this book for distribution among its schools and municipal libraries.

In 1989, while he was in Zambia, he wrote and directed a stage drama, Angulimala, depicting a story from Buddhist literature. Later he wrote and directed two other stage dramas in Canada based on historical heroic events in Sri Lanka, Hoisting the British Flag and Keppetipola Heroism, for the 50th Sri Lankan Independence anniversary celebrations held at Michael J. Fox Theatre in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, on 7 March1998. The author was one of the two Overall Co-ordinators of this event.

Currently, he is a member of the Board of Directors of the South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy (SANSAD) in Canada, and an active member of the International South Asian Forum (INSAF). He possesses a Bachelor's degree from the University of Ceylon and a post-graduate degree from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom. He is married and has three children.

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