Sri Lankan perceptions on life post-war

May 30 2015, Colombo, Sri Lanka – Six years after the end of war in Sri Lanka, the four main ethnic communities are still divided when it comes to issues related to reconciliation. ‘Sri Lankan perceptions on life post war’ is a series of infographics looking key public opinion data from CPA’s ‘Democracy in Post War Sri Lanka’ survey (conducted annually since 2011) on the theme of reconciliation.

Since 2011, a question that showed much division between the Sinhala and Tamil community has been on whether the Government has done enough to address the root causes of the ethnic conflict. While majority from the Tamil community has said that the Government has done nothing (32.3% in 2011 increased to 39.9% in 2014), majority from the Sinhala community has said that the Government has done a lot (41.1% in 2011, 35% in 2014).

When asked in March 2015 about whether there should be a credible mechanism to look into accountability of what happened during the last stages of the war, most people from the Sinhala community (44.4%) said no while majority from the other three communities said yes (Tamil – 83.9%, Up Country Tamil – 75.6%, Muslim – 61.7%). Those who said that there should be a credible mechanism were asked whether this mechanism should be exclusively domestic, exclusively international or both domestic and international. Again, the communities are divided on this with 57.8% from the Sinhala community stating that it should be an exclusively domestic mechanism while 44.9% from the Tamil community and 35.5% from the Up Country Tamil community stated that it should be exclusively international. 43.9% from the Tamil community stated that it should be a mix of domestic and international while only 7% said that it should be exclusively domestic, a clear indication of a lack of faith in an exclusively domestic mechanism.

The National Anthem being sung in both Sinhala and Tamil is another issue that divides the communities. 42% from the Sinhala community strongly feel that it should not be sung in Sinhala and Tamil while 82.9% from the Tamil community, 86.6% from the Up Country Tamil community and 69.4% from the Muslim community strongly feel that it should be sung in both languages.

These findings are all from CPA’s annual ‘Democracy in Post- War Sri Lanka’ survey, an island wide public opinion poll conducted annually in all districts since 2011. The infographics were designed by Shanika Perera.

Download these infographics as a PDF here.

reconcilication-01 reconcilication-03 reconcilication-02 reconcilication-04

Centre for Policy Alternatives

The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) was formed in 1996 in the firm belief that there is an urgent need to strengthen institution- and capacity-building for good governance and conflict transformation in Sri Lanka and that non-partisan civil society groups have an important and constructive contribution to make to this process. Focusing primarily on issues of governance and conflict resolution, CPA is committed to programmes of research and advocacy through which public policy is critiqued, alternatives identified and disseminated.