Failure of post-war reconstruction in Srilanka

Ques. “Reconstructing a society is a task of tremendous political, social and economic proportions”, while analysing the given statement describe the reasons of failure of post-war reconstruction in Srilanka. Critically analyse its consequences. What measure should be taken to overcome the prevailing circumstances?

The Sri Lankan Civil War was a conflict fought on the island of Sri Lanka, began on 23 July 1983. there was an intermittent insurgency against the government by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (the LTTE, also known as the Tamil Tigers), an independent militant organisation which fought to create an independent Tamil state called Tamil Eelam in the north and the east of the island. After a 26-year military campaign, the Sri Lankan military defeated the Tamil Tigers in May 2009, bringing the civil war to an end.


Reasons of failure of post-war reconstruction are the social and economic crices:

  1. Problems of continuing militarisation
  2. Lacking accountability for the deaths and disappeared during the war
  3. Increasing centralisation of authoritarian state power
  4.  Little progress on devolving power to the minorities in the North and East.
  5. Curtailed capital accumulation.
  6. Last five years policies aimed at reconstruction focussed primarily on re-building road infrastructure, enhancing connectivity to the market for consumer goods and vehicles, and expanding credit with financialisation which has also determined the failure of reconstruction.

The social and economic consequences of the failure of reconstruction are devastating:

  1. Rising reports of suicides and attempted suicides linked to indebtedness.
  2. Women increasingly burdened with providing for the entire family, find themselves vulnerable to abuse and violence.
  3. Muslim community, evicted from the Northern Province during the war, remains isolated.
  4. Caste structure reconsolidation with the oppressed castes being socially excluded from education and avenues of employment.
  5. Failure of planning has led to dispossession, characterised by a loss of assets, declining livelihoods, exclusion from avenues for social mobility and widespread insecurity.
  6. Fishers and landless wage labour are indebted on the order of two to four lakhs rupees per household in most villages.
  7. Faltering incomes in agriculture, in part affected by bad rains and drought.

Measure need to be taken:

  1. Support the local economy by investing in appropriate rural infrastructure, controlling market price fluctuations, and supporting measures to strengthen co-operatives.
  2. Strengthening the co-operatives, and introducing a new small industries scheme that can utilise local resources and create employment is one avenue of economic revitalisation.
  3. The plans and strategy should be initiated to reverse the process of financialisation, address indebtedness and generate incomes.

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