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Post Conflict Reconciliation  

2015-05-10 14:53:09|  分类: 国际关系英语文献 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Post Conflict Reconciliation

Following is the full text of the speech made by Asanga Abeyagoonasekera former Executive Director of LKIIRSS (The Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies) on Post conflict reconciliation at the annual Strategic Studies Summit held in Antalya, Turkey. The summit was organised by the Strategic Studies Network (SSN) and the Center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies (ORSAM). The theme of this year’s Summit was Building Partnership. More than one hundred Scholars and distinguished guests attended the conference

Distinguished Scholars, First let me thank the organisers of this seminar SSN & OSRAM in Antalya Turkey. It’s a pleasure to be part of the NESA network and work with such distinguished members and scholars for the last three years. It was a great opportunity to Chair the post conflict reconciliation working group which consist of Turkey, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Jordan, Israel, USA and Yemen. Our working group has produced five papers on this subject. I thank Dr.Arshi Saleem who shared a perspective from Pakistan, Dr.Adib Sarairah a view on Libya, Dr Anat Kruz on Palestine Israel, Mina Tahir and Ms.Sekeram on Sri Lanka for their contribution. Now let me share abstracts of few findings from our group.

From Pakistan Dr.Arshi Saleem Hashmi of National Defence University Pakistan shared her perspective on Conceptual Understanding of Post Conflict Reconciliation. She explains the reconciliation process, what’s not on the process and ingredients of reconciliation. She explains about the spoilers who would derail the process. According to her the final outcome of the reconciliation  process  must, therefore, leave people  better off than they were before the conflict. This means  that  long-term  reconciliation depends on the resolution of structural violence, which includes the transformation  of socio-economic and political systems. In  essence, forgiveness and  reconciliation mean moving beyond truth, acknowledgement and restorative justice to addressing all the necessary conditions. It is important to note that reconciliation takes a very long time, and is often  subject  to reprocessing. Truth commissions, reparations or trials begin the process of healing, but the memory of the pain and injury continues to haunt future generations and demand attention for years to come. Nonetheless, as the icons of forgiveness such as Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu of South Africa have taught humanity to never lose hope, it is one of the prerequisite to have faith in the process and patience for continuation.

From Centre for Strategic Studies,Jordan Dr. Adib Sarairah shared a perspective on Libyan State Reconciliation some Recommendations for Libyan State-Building. According to him the Libyan interim government continues to struggle to maintain law and order while simultaneously facing the daunting tasks of state-building, the United States, UN and other leading actors in the international community can assist in maintaining stability by engaging and providing vitally needed assistance essential to avoid destabilisation and deterioration within Libya, gravid with consequences not only for Libyan citizens, but for neighbours and energy consumers both in North Africa and Europe. The involvement of the international community should be focused on what Libya needs in order to perform its functions as an effective sovereign state, both at a national and international level.

The ambitions of the interim government are inhibited by the lack of a clear security reform strategy that includes specific measures for the disarmament and reintegration of revolutionary fighters, and the management of legacy armaments in general. The sooner the interim government launches its security reform plan, the better the chances of success for political transition. Assistance to the interim authorities in implementing security reform in order to mitigate the risks outlined above should therefore be a priority of the United States and other foreign partners.

Tribes play an important role in the daily life of many Libyans, and are likely to continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Under a new regime that does not favour tribal politics, tribal leaders might agree to take a limited role at the national-political level, but will be likely to want to keep their political influence at the regional level. Leading tribes in different areas of the country will have great aspirations to play an important role in their respective regions.

An important task for the interim government, and an important step for the stability of the country, is to organise a truth recovery and reconciliation initiative. International experience shows that reconciliation initiatives in post-conflict situations or following regime or political change constitute an important step toward healing the wounds of the past and strengthening political transitions.

Preventing the hostile exploitation of Libya’s vast territory and largely uncontrolled borders remains a key task for the international community while Libya still lacks an adequate national army. The new Libya needs well-equipped and well-trained military forces to protect and secure its borders and national territory. The new security apparatus that will be put in place should be trained to play a neutral role in internal political life, and specifically avoid domination by or favouritism toward specific tribes or political group over others. The new security system will reduce the risk of intimidation and violence during Libya’s political transition.

International nongovernmental organisations have much to offer the nascent democratic political culture and civil society in Libya. The new Libya requires the establishment and strengthening of a party system, elections, media, and an independent judiciary. Technical assistance in setting up legal systems on political and economic fronts is an essential prerequisite for Libya’s transition toward democracy.

From Israel Anat Kurz of INSS, Tel Aviv University shared her view on The Israeli–Palestinian Arena and What should be Done? It is possible that a gesture by Israel, first and foremost a freeze on construction in the settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem or at least ensuring that this issue assumes a much lower profile on the public agenda as well as the gradual transfer of territories to the control of the PA and the release of political prisoners, would reduce the motivations for an uprising on the Palestinian street and soften international criticism against Israel due to its conduct in the West Bank and towards the PA.

Should Israel offer gestures without a direct stipulation of a return gesture from the PA, this would aid in quieting protest among Palestinians against the PA for cooperating with Israel, which is interpreted as surrender without assurance of a political gain, particularly progress towards realising the vision of Palestinian statehood.

Additionally, the government of Israel would do well to re-examine the issue of international recognition of a Palestinian state and focus on negotiating advantages that might be provided by a declared Palestinian state’s need to conduct negotiations with Israel so as to implement concrete sovereignty and become sustainable. This position would aid Israel in mobilising domestic and international support for its positions on the contours of a permanent agreement and understanding for its demands, especially in the security context.

As to the PA, it should sustain and even reinforce the security coordination with Israel in the West Bank, to prevent spill over of the hostilities between Israel and Hamas into the overall Israeli-Palestinian arena. A renewed engulfing confrontation (which has been titled in advance ‘the third intifada’), would make it even harder than under the present problematic conditions for the two sides to renew the dialogue on terms for a breakthrough in the political process.

More on the Palestinian domestic scene: a functioning PA is a vital interest of both Israel and the Palestinians. The political, economic and security implications of the alternative are well known: a division of the Palestinian arena into two authorities, with the Hamas-led authority aspiring to undermine the position of the authority headed by Fatah, through escalation in waves of violent conflict with Israel. As for the Fatah-led PA, its efforts to push Hamas to the sidelines of the political arena have thus far failed.

Minna Taheer from Sri Lanka shared her view on A brief introduction to the history and sources of Conflict in Sri Lanka: Where do we stand now? She explains that following the cessation of hostilities, a long drawn relief and rehabilitation process was launched by the government of Sri Lanka. As of 2014, the Government claims have resettled all the displaced people in the Vanni. The government has justifiably claimed progress in improving infrastructure development in the North and East. The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) appointed by the Government has made recommendations which were widely acclaimed by Tamil political parties and also the international community. They contained far reaching measures on a whole range of post-war reconciliation- related issues.

The LLRC also addressed key issues such as land, language and most importantly governance. The government claims that it has implemented most of the recommendations and that it would complete the process by 2014. The TNA (The Tamil National Alliance, the largest coalition of Tamil political parties), accuses the government of restricting or neglecting development activities in the North-East areas. They condemn what they call Sinhalisation schemes that alter the demography of a historically Tamil speaking region; the continued militarisation of the war zones that hamper inclusive growth and development of people and places that were long marginalised during three decades of war.

A new post war dimension is the emergence of new forms of religious conflicts. The post-war resurgence of Sinhala Buddhist nationalism and hate campaigns against ethno-religious minorities have begun to unfold. Attacks on non-Buddhist religious places of worship (i.e. Islamic, Hindu and Christian) continue to take place disturbing post-war phenomena.  The second minority community in the country- the Muslims are now under increasing threat while the Muslim community is also embroiled in purity-drives and self-isolation practices. These in turn are cited as provocative acts that create suspicion among Buddhists. There is little or no will among political leaders to arrest these disturbing trends.

Post-war research findings reveal that the key determinants in achieving reconciliation are human security; political rights and economic progress, where security, truth and justice are pre-requisites. The Government’s commitment to reconciliation is confined to implementation of economic and infrastructure development projects based on its own priorities that are short-term benefit-oriented, and top-down in approach. (Thaheer, Pieris et al 2014).

It is critiqued for its top-down approach and the non-inclusivity of the affected communities needs. Reconciling ethnic relations is an area that needs to be addressed in post-war reconciliation. The research findings in the publication Reconciliation in Sri Lanka, Voices from Former War Zones (2014) reveal through interviews and surveys that there is little confidence among the people that the Sri Lankan State would use this opportunity to build plural values and co-existence among different communities. (Thaheer, Pieris et al 2014:160).Political equity and accountability is another important aspect of reconciliation. The research reiterates that a meaningful, power-sharing mechanism is the crucial need that can appease a war-ravaged community.

It will effectively help address the root causes of the conflict. There prevails a no-war, no-peace situation that demonstrates the absence of a meaningful resolution of the conflict or a steady path to lasting peace.

Ms.Sharanya Sekaram Former Research Analyst from Kadirgamar Institute explains on Sri Lanka: The Road to Reconciliation. She explains that Sri Lanka has indeed made immense and remarkable strides in improving their post-war situation in the short half a decade after the conflict. This is highly commendable and must be acknowledged and applauded especially in regard to the impressive infrastructure development. However there are many pressing concerns and issues that must be addressed by the Government as they are the key to lasting, sustainable peace and development. A more holistic approach must be taken to address all problems that exist and ensure that all citizens’ rights are granted to ensure the road to reconciliation is moving forward. While the rapid economic development and formulation of the very holistic LLRC report have displayed a great improvement for Sri Lanka – the need for human development and reconciliation play a large role in ensuring that the wounds heal and a nation is able to move forward.

Now let me present some of my thoughts and conclude. When I took the flight from Colombo I saw the a picture on the front page of a leading news paper (22nd Sunday Island) a weeping mother due to loss of her son due to the three decade conflict we had in Sri Lanka with the LTTE. We have more than 40,000 war widows in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s nearly three decade brutal war finally ended in 2009 this was a great relief to our entire society. We believed the Government at that time would work hard on post conflict reconciliation which was the top of the agenda and recommended by the LLRC. Previous Government worked hard on resettlement reconstruction of the war affected north east area but it failed to win the votes of the north east people. This maybe due to the fact of less work carried out on reconciliation process. According to John Paul Lederach “Reconciliation is the meeting point between the painful past and the future”, restoring relationships with past bitterness and forgiving the perpetrators, building new relationship, new attitude, inclusion ,empathy , respect and shared future is the way forward.

The reconciliation conferences conducted at my previous institute Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute was not taken forward after I conducted the role of religious leaders in reconciliation. We managed to bring all major religious groups Buddhist Christian Hindu and Muslim representatives to talk on this important subject of post conflict reconciliation.

Religious co existence was there from the ancient days, on an interesting discussion with the chief priest of a popular temple in Colombo Gangaramaya Ven.Galaboda Gnanissara Thero I learned even that temple and the surrounding construction was done by the Islamic community of Sri Lanka. We should promote inter religious harmony an essential element in our society and too many other nations. The idea was to bring the public close to the process and get public opinion for the reconciliation process. The ideas shared were very valuable during these discussions.

In Sri Lanka we should declare a national reconciliation day by the Government, it’s more important than the existing victory day parade. Many nations are experiencing and struggling to find processes to improve the reconciliation process. Each conflict could be different but there are similarities and sometimes we might not need to re engineer the whole process but adopt few best practices.

 

Thank you!

http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2015/04/05/post-conflict-reconciliation/

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