Armed Conflict Termination in Sri Lanka: An Opportunity to End Displaced Life and Renew Tamil-Muslim Relations

  •  Salithamby Abdul Rauff    
  •  Zulkarnain A. Hatta    


The 30 years of local armed conflict in Sri Lanka that broke out between the state security forces and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE) in early 1980s came to an end after Sri Lankan government demolished the LTTE in 2009. A termination of such civil war was highly hoped by the people displaced by the same armed conflict, mainly Tamils and Muslims, to be an opportunity to return to their homes ending their protracted displaced live. The termination was also widely interpreted by Tamil and Muslim communities as an opportunity to renew their onetime ethnic relations, which today remained vulnerably damaged after this armed conflict. The return and the renewal of Tamil-Muslim relations have been two most notable aspects that have received a dominant position in social development programme and Tamil-Muslim public discourse of the post-conflict Sri Lanka. This paper is an attempt to examine if the Sri Lanka’s conflict termination has really served to end the displaced life and to bring Tamil-Muslim relations back. The paper focuses only on Muslims. This is a qualitative study. 11 Muslims, five from north and six from east, were recruited with purposive sample. The data was collected by one-on-one interviews with respondents and analysed with a descriptive method. The findings suggested that the conflict termination has hardly satisfied people’s hope to end their displaced live and renew their former ethnic relations. The paper, therefore, proposed some recommendations that need to be effectively advanced by government, civil communities and even non-governmental actors.

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