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In an attempt to capture Kandy from the British, they attacked government buildings and destroyed some tax records. The Governor declared martial law, and the British army shot many people dead. Puran Appu was captured and executed. Gongalegoda Banda was arrested while in hiding and was sentenced to death by hanging. Later this was commuted to lashes and being deported to Malaysia. For the first time, in the Kandyan provinces, the leadership of the rebellion passed into the hands of ordinary peasants de Silva, Political violence has been broadly categorised as being caused by national fragmentation, inequitable development, cultural clashes and liberation movements Steinbach These causes do not exist in isolation, but usually interact simultaneously.

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Short-term but major political and armed conflicts manifested in the south in and then in In the Tamil-dominated north and east of the island, militant ethnic nationalist groups emerged in the early s demanding autonomy. The democratic traditions including institutionalized checks and balances that allowed the disadvantaged and non-majoritarian voices to be heard and to effectively claim their democratic and human rights have been gradually made weaker.

While it is impossible to sympathise entirely with the violence and methods used by groups in order to counter those trends, non-violent resistance to such trends also do not seem to have worked. One could say that many things have worsened with expanded armed forces, intensified violence and destruction, with increasingly intense opposition of a few to the material interests of the many in society. Political threats transformed into deadly violence in a seemingly endless spiral, in and mainly in the south, and in to in the north.

Despite the public exposure of violence and systematic human rights violations committed by the parties involved, a lack of judicial accountability has continued to perpetuate pervasive mistrust that undermined civil society. It has become necessary to focus on the legacy of state violence and its effects on society, in terms of justice, truth and reconciliation. The basis for political violence by young people, particularly in the south, is linked to the post-colonial socio-economic and political developments.

Liberia: the violence of democracy – By Mary H. Moran

The colonial rulers made privileges available to the English-educated locals belonging to all communities, while treating the rest as slave labour, thus providing a fertile breeding ground for local nationalisms. The growing influence of the left in the south and the Jaffna Youth Congress JYC [2] in the north temporarily delayed the emergence of these radicalisations along ethno-nationalistic and linguistic lines. The failure of the ruling elite in Sri Lanka to make appropriate socio-economic and political change alienated the majority of young people.

In the south, these revolutionary practices materialised in the form of class mobilisations.

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  6. The attempts in the north and east, however, took the form of nationalist aspirations. The universal franchise and the lowering of the voting age allowed young people to take part in active electoral politics. Free education was introduced in , and the medium of instruction was changed to local languages in , which expanded higher educational opportunities available to youth. The JVP militancy predominantly represented the aspirations of the rural young lower-middle class Sinhala Buddhist constituency Samaranayake The Tamil militancy represented the aspirations of the rural young lower-middle class Tamil constituency from both Hindu and Christian religious backgrounds.

    The JVP successfully mobilised the southern youth, but committed strategic and tactical errors. It was brutally suppressed twice, but was able to regroup and rejuvenate, changing its focus from class to nationalism. The political aim of the JVP was to replace the existing establishment with a fairer one.

    The first JVP insurrection in occurred predominantly in the South, because the economic and social changes they expected from the United Front government that they helped to elect in were not forthcoming. Since , the Tamils in the island have been systematically denied their legitimate rights, mainly relating to equal opportunities in areas of language, education and employment.

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    The abrogation of the Bandaranaike-Chelvanayagam pact of and the Dudley-Chelvanayagam Pact of created a lot of anger, frustration and disillusionment among Sri Lankan Tamils that eventually led to the birth of separatist militant movements. The differences between the early militant Tamil political groups in the island were based on their different interpretations of Marxism-Leninism [4] , yet the idea of achieving a separate state subsequently subsumed their commitment to socialism.

    Following the communal riots of July , the government rushed through legislation to exclude from the parliament, any party that refused to swear allegiance to the unitary state. This effectively disenfranchised Tamils in the north east and significantly weakened and isolated the democratic Tamil opposition. The Tamil militant movement was provided with a fertile ground for new recruitment.

    A Different Kind of War Story The Ethnography of Political Violence

    During the elections, many young Sri Lankan Tamils began to engage in extra parliamentary and sometimes violent measures in their bid for a mandate for a separate state. Since the s, younger generations from similar socio-economic backgrounds have revolted against the erosion of their economic, political and cultural rights. All governments regardless of their political hue have failed to see the underlying socio-political, economic and psychological causes of these revolts. The more repressive the state apparatus became the more violent the youth resistance became.

    Many socio-economic and political conditions that underpinned and contributed to the insurrections reflected the diverse, but significant and unfulfilled aspirations of the younger generations. The articulation and assertion of nationalistic and economic demands for justice by the youth underpinned the emergence of political violence. One aimed at the capture of state power and the other at autonomy from the existing state.

    The economic growth and its unequal distribution in the post era did not help placating these demands; and breaking down the barriers of ethnicity and class.

    Their violence was a cry of the younger generations for economic and cultural parity. Political violence has posed a serious challenge to the existing socio-economic order and the political institutions of the country. Therefore, successive governments have more often ruled the country under the draconian emergency regulations. The state has also used brutal counter-violence strategies to neutralise and discredit its opponents.

    It has also used material incentives to get groups and factions of its opponents to side with the state.

    First Liberian Civil War - Wikipedia

    Generally, the state makes use of supremacist or chauvinist ideologies to divide and distract the people. Regimes and politicians relied on committing political violence to inspire fear among their opponents and civil society, either to come to power or to maintain their power base. This vicious cycle affected all layers of society Jayatunge, It is significant that in post Sri Lanka, any major organised political violence was absent until In the s, the state used violence to suppress peaceful protests by the Sri Lankan Tamil youth.

    Their parliamentary representatives could not achieve any positive outcomes for their constituents through peaceful, non-violent campaigns and this led to them demanding secession. This situation led to cycles of political violence and counter violence.

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    As political violence manifested in the north and east, the responses of the state and the Tamil militants caused an extension of this radicalisation and alienation within and among the Sri Lankan Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim communities. So, class mobilisation in the south became totally based on social exclusion and economic deprivation. Both state and non-state actors have used political violence including terror to target civilian populations, communities, their leaders and professionals. This sort of violent behaviour by the states has generated other forms of political violence including the use of terror.

    In addition, political leaderships of all ethnicities in Sri Lanka have opportunistically used ethnicity, language and religion as a bandwagon to establish, preserve and enhance their political, economic and social power, or to distract the people from the domestic policy and program failures of the establishment. Many analysts portray ethnicity as the central theme of the armed conflict [7] that ended in , though ethnicity and culture were used as labels, economics remained the root cause of this conflict.

    In the post phase of capitalism, lack of appropriate political and economic development, lack of equitable distribution of economic benefits, lack of equitable job opportunities, and lack of socially inclusive policy calculus provided the essential ingredients for the radicalisation of the youth in Sri Lanka.


    The post political establishment concentrated mainly on short term tactical electoral gains by engaging in nepotism, family bandyism and class collaboration. The elitist power structures have been used to achieve political control over the people. Such structures have been strengthened through various forms of patronage. The impact of these processes severely eroded whatever democratic traditions and values the country had. The changes introduced in in the form of neo-liberalism required a drastic change in the political system. The new economic and political model introduced many features that had been previously implemented under dictatorial regimes elsewhere.

    The new economic policy needed the apparatus of a very repressive form of governance. A new constitution was introduced in that led not only to an executive system with immense power concentrated in the hands of the president, but also made it almost impossible to abolish the new executive presidential system. However, many amendments to the Constitution have been made to concentrate more and more power in the hands of the executive presidency, the most recent being the 18 th amendment. These measures were and are seen as necessary to ensure political stability and encourage foreign direct investment in the island.

    These changes that were introduced to ensure rapid economic growth, led to the alienation of generations of youth away from the establishment.

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    7. Global capital, its structures and instruments will continue to use political violence through the machinery of the state and other subservient forces to repress any opposition or its likelihood by those who are marginalised by the process of neo-liberal economic restructuring.

      The marginalised will continue to resist against such violence, and such resistance may take the form political violence. Reports indicate that Sri Lankan Malaiyaha Tamil youth, particularly in the south, have been at the receiving end of racist attacks. The coming decades will be critical for these youth because without significant government intervention, the number of over-educated and under-employed young people will continue to grow.

      One of these factors was the opposition of Muslims to the merger of the North and East under the Indo-Lanka Accord. Mary H. Moran argues that democracy is not a foreign import into Africa but that essential aspects of what we in the West consider democratic values are part of the indigenous African traditions of legitimacy and political process.

      In the case of Liberia, these democratic traditions include institutionalized checks and balances operating at the local level that allow for the voices of structural subordinates women and younger men to be heard and be effective in making claims. Moran maintains that the violence and state collapse that have beset Liberia and the surrounding region in the past two decades cannot be attributed to ancient tribal hatreds or neopatrimonial leaders who are simply a modern version of traditional chiefs.

      Rather, democracy and violence are intersecting themes in Liberian history that have manifested themselves in numerous contexts over the years. Moran challenges many assumptions about Africa as a continent and speaks in an impassioned voice about the meanings of democracy and violence within Liberia. Wordery is one of the UK's largest online booksellers. With millions of satisfied customers who enjoy low prices on a huge range of books, we offer a reliable and trusted service and consistently receive excellent feedback.

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