The post conflict role of security forces in Sri Lanka
The emergence of the prolonged conflict in Sri Lanka occurred due to narrow political ideologies ignited in the minds of our communal leaders. As a result, certain sectors of the society breached the strong bond that they had with the State and it eventually disturbed the smooth functioning of the governance structure of the State. Sri Lankan security forces played the pivotal role in this crucial moment in safeguarding the national interest of the country. The role of Sri Lankan security forces after the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has become rhetoric in many national and international theatres. It is a well-known fact that after any prolonged conflict a victorious security force has to take over the civil administration until the society returns to normalcy. In such a context Sri Lankan security forces also took the responsibility of enhancing the capacity and assisting the administration in the conflict-affected areas during and after the humanitarian operation. Even at present Sri Lankan security forces are entrusted with administrative and development work in order to win the hearts and minds of the conflict affected communities. This paper reveals the significant role that the security forces play in reconstructing Social, Economic and Political fabric of conflict-affected communities. It further highlights their responsibility in safeguarding the traditional and human security psyche of the society in order to prevent another insurgency in the future. In this context, the author argues the importance of gradual departure of the security forces form Social, Economic and Political spheres of conflict affected areas while facilitating the civilian mechanisms during the transition. Within this broader conceptual framework, the author postulates the communal unity as the core factor which can construct long-lasting security of the nation. The research will be carried out mainly based on primary data including the authors’ personal experience over the last three decades.