The Heat: Is reconciliation possible after Sri Lanka’s civil war?

The Heat

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After a bitter 36-year civil war, can the people of Sri Lanka be reunited?

The United Nations estimates that as many as 40000 people were killed in the final phase of a war between Sri Lanka’s majority Sinhalese and the Tamil minority.

The hostilities finally came to an end seven years ago when government forces overtook the last area controlled by the Tamil Tiger rebels.

Fast forward to the 2015 election when, amid charges of corruption, human rights abuses and growing authoritarianism, former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapasksee lost his bid for a third term in a stunning upset.

The winner, former Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena, has pledged to persuade his Sinhalese followers to support a new Constitution that shares some central government powers with minorities. But considering the lingering animosity between the Tamils and majority Sinhalese, the question is – after a quarter century of conflict – can true reconciliation be achieved?

To discuss the situation:

The Heat: Is reconciliation possible after Sri Lanka’s civil war? PT 1

The Heat: Is reconciliation possible after Sri Lanka’s civil war? PT 1

The hostilities finally came to an end seven years ago when government forces overtook the last area controlled by the Tamil Tiger rebels. Prasad Kariyawasam, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the United States

For more on Sri Lanka’s future:

  • Elias Jeyarajah, vice president of the United States Tamil Political Action Council
  • Nimmi Gowrinathan, former director of South Asia programs and UN representative for Operation USA
The Heat: Is reconciliation possible after Sri Lanka’s civil war? PT 2

The Heat: Is reconciliation possible after Sri Lanka’s civil war? PT 2

To take a look at Sri Lanka's future, Elias Jeyarajah, vice president of the United States Tamil Political Action Council, joins the show.