Sri Lanka: Conflict-insensitive aid has been exacerbating the conflict Making Ethnic Conflict: The Civil
War in Sri Lanka, Ronald J Herring in Carrots, Sticks and Ethnic Conflict(2003): ‘’The Sri Lankan case suggests how the carrots of foreign assistance may be as disruptive as the sticks. Civil war in Sri Lanka cannot be understood without the attention to external development flows. The sticks often deployed to enforce compliance were mildly used. The carrots – relatively large flows in per capita terms and esp in relation to the size of the economy – exacerbated ethnic tensions through their effects on patronage and ethnic territoriality. The regime could not have survived so long without the carrots provided by international actors. The regime fuelled escalation of ethnic conflict. Donors repeatedly expressed concern about human rights abuses but were unable to act in concert, continuing instead to support the regime at critical junctures. A senior Canadian diplomat: ''we weren't happy about our money going into something that was going to cause more dissension and in fact a scheme you would argue simply wasn't fair''. After failing in its efforts to convince the government to avoid ethnically provocative policies, Canada eventually withdrew its support for Mahaweli , but only after much of the damage had been done. The government of Sri Lanka was reluctant to agree to compromises proposed by Canada. Long arguments ensued over two years. One diplomat said in retrospect that the Sri Lankan government's position was ''you sign the cheques, fella, let us deliver the goods''(Gillies 1992). Political economy of Internal conflict in Sri Lanka, SWR de A Samarasinghe(2003): Donor funding has been crucial to Sri Lanka's economic survival in the past twenty years. Some of the major donors, most notably Japan , tried to work around the conflict. Some others, notably Nordic countries and Canada became more sensitive to the possible linkages with the 'Do No Harm' principle. Aid, Conflict & Peace Building in Sri Lanka 2000 – 2005, J. Goodhand and B. Klem(2006): '' Although many of the smaller bilateral donors have become more conflict sensitive in terms of how they engage with the peace process and programming in the North-East, development policies in the South, funded principally by the larger bilaterals and multi-laterals continue as they always have done. ..... The common position expressed in Tokyo was subsequently undermined by the reticence of the larger donors to attach political or conflict related conditions to their assistance. Disaster Response, Peace and Conflict in Post-Tsunami Sri Lanka, Simon Harris, February 2006(University of Bradford, UK):'' Had international humanitarian interventions understood the dynamics of conflict and the role of assistance in informing such relationships, they might actually have helped contribute to peace building by tackling the underlying structures and root causes, or more minimally, by at least not making situations worse.'' DO NO HARM : How Aid can support Peace -or War, Mary B Anderson(1999): ''When international assistance is given in the context of a violent conflict, it becomes a part of that context and thus also of the conflict. In some ways it worsens the conflict and in others it supports disengagement. But in all cases aid given during conflict cannot remain separate from that conflict. Aid must support systemic change toward justice rather than simply keep people alive to continue to live in situations of injustice. Societies should use available diplomatic and political avenues to attain a desired end, but if those avenues fail, war as a last resort is an effective instrument through which to achieve ends that cannot be achieved in any other way. Avoidance of conflict for its own sake is wrong-
minded because people contend for important purposes. By failing to support people engaged in a battle for justice, we support the status quo of injustice. Most would agree some wars are motivated by a root cause. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the struggles of East Timor-Indonesia, northern Ireland-England, the Tamils in Sri Lanka and the Kurds in Turkey and Iraq – to name a few – represent historical contests for political rights and end to oppressive relationships. Development Dilemmas: Challenges of Working in Conflict and Post Conflict situations in South Asia, DFID Conference, 5 - 6 March 2007: ‘’Economic growth is not an alternative to political conflict resolution. In Sri Lanka donor pressure to address development issues and post conflict reconstruction in 2002/3 could not make up for the lack of political progress in dealing with the central issue of the conflict. Aid became a distraction from the peace process, and then a point of division. Donors had inflated ideas about the importance of economic incentives, whereas for the LTTE the political factors were far more important.'' Approaches to equity in post-Tsunami assistance. Sri Lanka: A case study(funded byUN), Mandeep Kaur Grewal(DfID), 2006: ''Affected communities in the east and the north have experienced a slower pace of progress than those in the south and the west of the country. Undermining more equitable outcomes has been political will, both on the part of development partners and the government.'' Tsunami and conflict in Sri Lanka, Randall Kuhn, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver,: ‘’Over two-thirds of tsunami damage was concentrated in Northern and Eastern Provinces, home to much of the Tamil and Muslim minorities. Expenditures in the all important housing sector were considerably higher, on a perdestroyed-home basis, in Sinhalamajority Southern and Western Province than in Northern and Eastern Province.’’ Colonization and ethnic conflict in the Dry Zone of Sri Lanka, Patrick Peebles, February 1990, Journal of Asian Studies : ‘’Patrick Peebles attempts to clarify the issues underlying the current crisis in Sri Lanka. After tracing the history of interethnic relations in the region, he focuses on the Accelerated Mahaweli Programme, designed to promote development in the Dry Zone between the Sinhalese and Tamil majority areas. Because of such colonization plans, he argues, government policies have transformed the ethnic composition of certain areas and exacerbated the ethnic conflict’’ – The Material Basis for Separatism:Tamil Eelam Movement in Sri Lanka, Amita Shastri, Asst Professor of Political Science, San Francisco State University - February 1990: ''The state used the instruments of central investment in infrastructure, irrigation, resettlement, and agricultural development to penetrate and consolidate its control over previously peripheral areas to the advantage of the majority community supporting it.’’ Can foreign aid moderate ethnic conflict?, Milton J Esman, US Institute of Peace 1997: '' Aid agencies must first equip themselves with as much reliable information about a host country's ethnic dynamics and relations as they routinely gather about local economic conditions. For each proposed policy or project intervention, they should prepare an "ethnic impact statement" similar to the environmental impact statements that are now required ….. Given the knowledge that is now available, development assistance can no longer be excused for blundering into ethnic quagmires as innocents abroad.''