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Engaging Diaspora in Reconciliation Efforts in Sri Lanka: Lessons Learnt

Amjad Mohamed-Saleem


With nearly three million Sri Lankans living overseas, across the world, there is a significant role that can be played by this constituency in post-conflict reconciliation.  This paper will highlight the lessons learnt from a process facilitated by International Alert (IA) and led by the author, working to engage proactively with the diaspora on post-conflict reconciliation in Sri Lanka.  The paper shows that for any sustainable impact, it is also critical that opportunities are provided to diaspora members representing the different communities of the country to interact and develop horizontal relations, whilst also ensuring positive vertical relations with the state. The foundation of such effective engagement strategies is trust-building. Instilling trust and gaining confidence involves the integration of the diaspora into the national framework for development and reconciliation. This will allow them to share their human, social and cultural capital, as well as to foster economic growth by bridging their countries of residence and origin.


trust; diaspora; capital; reconciliation; definitions

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