Sri Lanka at independence in 1948 was an oasis of stability, peace and security. It was a shining example of parliamentary democracy in the Third World. During the 1980s, however, violent ethnic conflict, emergency rule, the manipulation of the electoral process, and the erosion of the welfare safety-net transformed Sri Lanka into a highly volatile locus of ethno-political conflict with severe human security deficit. The book explores the symbiotic relationship between traditional and human security in Sri Lanka in academic as well as in practical terms. It argues that human security discourse may bring about conceptual breakthrough on the security of the state, which is essential to find a way out of the complex emergencies arising from the internal crisis of Sri Lanka.
Gamini Keerawella is presently Head and Professor, Department of History, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. He was the recipient in the Department of Politics at the University of Western Australia in 1991 and the Senior Fulbright Fellowship at the University of California, Berkley, USA in 1993-94. During 2003-04 he held the Visiting Research Fellowship in the Institute of Developing Economics, Tokyo, Japan. He also served as the Secretary, Ministry of Ethnic Affairs, National Integration and Mineral Resources Development (2001-2002), the founder Director, National Integration Programme Unit, Ministry of Justice, Constitutional Affairs and National Integration (1997-2000) and advisor to the President of Sri Lanka on Peace and National Reconciliation (2002-2003 and 2004-2005). Prof. Keerawerlla’s research interests include conflict management and peace