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Research Report

The Netherlands and Sri Lanka: Dutch Policies and Interventions with regard to the Conflict in Sri Lanka

Georg Frerks
Mathijs van Leeuwen
Copyright Date: Nov. 5, 2004
Published by: Clingendael Institute
Pages: 113

Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. 1-2)
  2. (pp. 3-4)
  3. (pp. 5-6)
  4. (pp. 7-9)
  5. (pp. 11-15)

    This study has been undertaken within the framework of the ‘Conflict Policy Research Project’ (CPRP) carried out by the Netherlands Institute of International Relations ‘Clingendael’ for the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The aim of this project is to formulate a model for conflict prognosis as well as identifying policies and instruments (the ‘policy mix’) for interventions related to intrastate conflict. These goals are to be achieved on the basis of a review of relevant literature, a study of the policies and practices of selected major other donor countries, and in-depth case studies into the specific Dutch policies and practices...

  6. (pp. 17-44)

    To set the Dutch policy interventions in their proper context, a minimum of history and analysis of the conflict in Sri Lanka is necessary. Generally speaking, by ‘the conflict in Sri Lanka’ observers refer to the ongoing war between the government of Sri Lanka, mainly representing the island’s Sinhalese population, and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), an armed group claiming to represent the interests of the Tamil minority. However, describing the situation in Sri Lanka as a straightforward conflict between a government and a separatist movement or as a civil war does no justice to the complexity of...

  7. (pp. 45-66)

    Observers have pointed to the lack of concerted international political attention or intervention in the conflict in Sri Lanka. ‘There has never really been a concerted, common, framework by donors to influence the (dis)incentive structure’.109 The (lack of) international response to the violence in Sri Lanka can to some extent be explained from the lack of a critical mass favouring political pressure. Interpretations by international donor agencies, NGOs and governments of the violence and possibilities for an international response have been influenced by the representation, ventilated by the Sri Lankan authorities, of the conflict as an internal struggle against a...

  8. (pp. 67-86)

    This chapter explores the instruments used by the Dutch government to intervene in the conflict and gives, where possible, indications of their effectiveness. First, however, the bilateral relationship between the Netherlands and Sri Lanka is considered and how it has changed in the light of the conflict situation. The period prior to 1983 will not be considered. Before 1971 the relationship between Sri Lanka and the Netherlands was very limited. In this period, development cooperation hardly existed and even less has been documented. Between 1971 and 1983 the relationship of development cooperation extended and Sri Lanka was attributed the status...

  9. (pp. 87-92)

    This study focused on Dutch foreign policies towards the conflict in Sri Lanka and the specific role of Dutch interventions in this connection. Attention was paid to Dutch policy formulation and the specific interventions and instruments identified. Finally, there was an attempt to determine the results of these interventions and the lessons learned from experiences so far. As a background to this study, the nature and course of the conflict and international responses to the conflict have also been described.

    Regarding the understanding of the conflict, the study showed that this was a contested area of analysis. The reason for...

  10. (pp. 93-96)