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Political Science
POLI 322
Narendra Subramanian

Continued from secessionist movement and civil war in sri lanka Civil war in Sri Lanka - Opportunities for compromise were missed - 1987: Indo-Sri LankaAccord o it didn’t lead to a stable settlement because it was a return to war involving the Indian army against the LTTE - War with the Tigers brought the Indian army into Sri Lanka, with support of the majority of Tamils o They saw the Indian army as a source of support o But soon, it led to a war between the Indian army and the LTTE, which became a war against the civilians - Indian presence contributed to the reemergence of an extremist armed group, the JVP (Sinhalese nationalist group) - Sri Lankan government wanted the army out, to limit opposition After the Indian army was asked to leave in 1989, - India’s role in the conflict became distant - Refugees in India, and periodic pressures - 1991: Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by LTTE Tigers continued to kill other politicians Return to civil war, ethnic antagonism From mid 1990s to mid 2000s, there was a change - More opportunities for compromise - Due to prolonged war; war weariness - Inclination to compromise - Felt couldn’t win the civil war - Some extremist groups began to explore compromise - Late 1980s, the Sri Lankan army annihilated the JVP that hindered compromise Ethnic outbidding among Sinhalese was weakened - Started in 1994, when the PM and President (daughter of Mr. B) succeeded her mother as leader of Sri Lankan Freedom Party (SLFP) - But before, she was a part of a small, pluralistic Sinhalese party - Her political vision - In 1994: she led a People’sAlliance, arguing for end of civil war, and devolution of power to provinces o She won the election and beat the UMP - Later, SLFP moved away from compromise o Triggered by LTTE because of attempts on her life - SLFP pushed for military victory - The UMP began to push more strongly for compromise By 2000s: Sri Lankan government increasingly offered federalism - Support among Tamils for compromise, not secession - But the leadership of LTTE resisted compromise - 2005-07: violence, return to war Why insurgency got crushed: Domestically: - LTTE ran out of soldiers - Child soldiers Internationally: - Sri Lankan government was moving forward for peace, but LTTE was intransigent - Thus more aid for Sri Lankan government and army - And more pressure on resource supplies for the LTTE - Especially after 9/11 After the last effort at compromise, the Sri Lankan government moved towards military victory - Began with 2005 election - Alot of civilian support among Sinhalese for military victory - International opinion and resource supplies favoured the Sri Lankan army Decrease support for LTTE among Tamil population and their lack of resources led to their demise - Sri Lankan army defeated the Tigers - Civil war ended in 2009 - Bloody end: forced Tamil civilians to march with them at gunpoint, as a shield - 20,000 and 150,000 casualties, almost all Tamils End of civil war didn’t strengthen democracy - Independent press was attacked - Main opposition candidate was imprisoned after the elections Comparison of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh: - Ethnic groups excluded from power and privilege - Responded to its exclusion after a generation of independence - By demanding autonomy then secession - Indian and the Indian state got involved in the conflict - But their outcomes were different o Bangladesh: secession happened o Sri Lanka: after war, secession failed and movement was crushed Various reasons why secession would succeed in Bangladesh than Sri Lanka: - Population ratios were different - Excluded group was larger in Bangladesh - Dominant ethnic group was more cohesive in Sri Lanka (Sinhalese) than in Pakistan o Ethnically more cohesive - Only Sri Lankan Tamils demanded secession - They weren’t territorially concentrated like the Bengalis - More divided opinion among the Tamil minorities about the demand for secession - Exclusion was more explicit in Pakistan than in Sri Lanka o Excluded from all spheres of privilege - In Sri Lanka, Tamils had disproportionate share of professional powers before 1970s - There was still a significant Tamil elite - Tamil speakers were divided: between Sri Lankan Tamils and Muslims and Plantation Tamils Secession and new country for Tamils seemed less feasible, economically Indian government intervened differently - Limited enmity with Sri Lanka - India never supported SL secession - Turned against LTTE - Nature of interstate relations: Pakistan was an enemy - Domestic policies: late 1980s, India had many secessionist movements within its borders too Women’s movement in India Mass politics began with Indian Nationalism Main movement that mobilized women as well Most important women’s organizations of the colonial period were Indian nationalist organizations - TheAll India Women’s conference - National Council of women This kind of mobilization of women influence how their politics operated - Meant that their movement didn’t have a lot of autonomy - Accepted male leadership of Nationalist movement (Gandhi, Nehru) - They felt the need to frame their demands as part of the demands of the nation as a whole - Were more open to being pressured into abandoning their demands sometimes o In the name of unity - Not specific to India: in many colonies - Anticolonial nationalism was the main form of nationalism and the vehicle for early mobilization of women No woman became leaders Gandhi gave women a big but secondary role in his political activities Despite this, some modernist male nationalists supported women’s rights - National project had to involve women - Pushed for more education for women - Also greater workforce participation for women They gave more importance to social reform to empower women - Pushed for end to child marriages - Giving widows right to remarry - Other modest reforms in family life, presented as building companionship marriages Participation of women in nationalist movement urged some male leaders to take up their demands - But very few supported more extensive rights - Not much support for increasing women’s property and inheritance rights - Divorce rights - Strong laws against domestic violence, rape After independence, first postcolonial generation - Mobilization of women declined - Some women used their higher positions to push for more rights, but in vain - Limited influence - Some accepted the fact that after independence, the focus had to be on national development and not pushing for women’s rights Since 1970s - Increased women’s mobilization o Gap between men and women in voter participation decreased - More active participation of women during movements against authoritarian regimes in 70s, including vs. Emergency - More autonomous of political parties - Protest and engagement in policy making - Their strategies changed: o Less attention on framing their demands in terms of a discourse of nationhood o More attention on women’s rights only o Concerns of poorer women, women from less privileged groups, and of religious minorities o Shift from a focus on women’s rights as primarily social issues, primarily focused on family and cultural life, to something central to political economy o Shift from focusing on protest as the means to involving in policy making - Committee on status of women in India o 1974: Towards Equality o Major agenda for women’s empowerment Violence against women is a major concern - But their emphasis shifted from demanding laws against gender violence, to making laws sensit
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