Women in the Sri Lankan War and Peace-building Process

Champika Soysa

April 14, 2011

UMass Boston

The war in Sri Lanka raged for 26 years spanning the regime of four heads of state, before ending in May 2009. The war was fought over the establishment of a separate Tamil State of Ealam in the North-East of the country. Champika Soysa briefly outlines the factors and opportunities that precipitated the war, and then examines the many roles of Sri Lankan women in both the war and in peace-making, including the female cadre of the LTTE, the peace initiatives of the female head of state President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, the women’s movements in the war-torn North and the South, and the impact of war on civilian women across the country. Finally, the challenges of moving from post-war to post-conflict status are addressed.

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