ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Post Civil War Sri Lanka

In his article “Second Wave of Neoliberalism: Financialisation and Crisis in Post-War Sri Lanka” (EPW, Web Exclusives, 31 August 2013), Ahilan Kadirgamar terms the economic policies and programmes of the current regime in Sri Lanka “neo-liberal”. He also indirectly suggests that the current “second wave of neo-liberalism” is a continuation of the open economy policy introduced in 1977 by the then government and the latter coincided with the armed struggle of Tamil militants. The insinuation is that the armed struggle of the Tamil militants was caused or aggravated by the open economic policies pursued from 1977 onwards and that the current “second wave of neo-liberalism” could also potentially renew a conflict between the state and the minority communities, especially the Muslim community, which has become the target of a hate campaign by fringe but hyperactive groups of deviant Buddhist clergy in the past year or so.

Ahilan Kadirgamar is not the first one to suggest causation between open economic policies and the civil war in Sri Lanka. To my recollection, it was Charles Abeysekera and Newton Gunasinghe who were the first ones to suggest such causation in 1987, followed by David Dunham and Sisira Jayasuriya in 2001. None of the foregoing convinces this author.

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