Beyond Mediation, Negotiation and Negative Peace: Towards Transformative Peace in Sri Lanka – Jayadeva Uyangoda

The negotiation initiative between the UNF government and the LTTE in 2001 had led to an engaging public debate concerning the strategies and objectives of the two sides as well as the possible outcomes of the process. Although there had been high public expectations for early peace, Sri Lanka’s many political actors did not seem to be in a great hurry to ensure a decisive shift away from the conflict, violence and civil war at the time. This essay, while exploring the rationale and nature of the UNF-LTTE negotiations, proposes that even a limited, pragmatic peace agenda could have made a significant contribution towards transforming social and political conditions that could have delinked the ethnic conflict from war and violence. Drawing on some of the scholarly debates on issues relating to transition from civil war to peace, this essay also develops a theory of ‘transformative peace’.