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Title: The Sri Lankan insurgency: a rebalancing of the orthodox position
Authors: Roberts, Peter Stafford
Advisors: Gustafson, K
Keywords: Counter-insurgency;Tamil diaspora;Eelam wars;Prabhakaran;Civil military leadership
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Brunel University London
Abstract: The insurgency in Sri Lanka between the early 1980s and 2009 is the topic of this study, one that is of great interest to scholars studying war in the modern era. It is an example of a revolutionary war in which the total defeat of the insurgents was a decisive conclusion, achieved without allowing them any form of political access to governance over the disputed territory after the conflict. Current literature on the conflict examines it from a single (government) viewpoint – deriving false conclusions as a result. This research integrates exciting new evidence from the Tamil (insurgent) side and as such is the first balanced, comprehensive account of the conflict. The resultant history allows readers to reframe the key variables that determined the outcome, concluding that the leadership and decision-making dynamic within the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had far greater impact than has previously been allowed for. The new evidence takes the form of interviews with participants from both sides of the conflict, Sri Lankan military documentation, foreign intelligence assessments and diplomatic communiqués between governments, referencing these against the current literature on counter-insurgency, notably the social-institutional study of insurgencies by Paul Staniland. It concludes that orthodox views of the conflict need to be reshaped into a new methodology that focuses on leadership performance and away from a timeline based on periods of major combat.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and awarded by Brunel University London.
Appears in Collections:Law
Dept of Politics, History and Law Theses

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