Peace Religiosity and Forgiveness Among War Victims in Sri Lanka

  • Shirley Lal Wijesinghe
  • John D. Brewer
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Compromise after Conflict book series (PSCAC)


The expression ‘No Future without Forgiveness’ of Archbishop Desmond Tutu seems to eternalize an existential truth about forging a way forward with victims and perpetrators in contexts of conflicts. This study on the post-war situation of Sri Lanka enquires into the possible religious resources which the victims of the 30-year-long civil war in Sri Lanka had recourse to in imparting forgiveness to erstwhile perpetrators. Religions are ambivalent in that they could mediate and promote peace and reconciliation and fuel conflicts as well. Home to four major religions, namely, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam, Sri Lanka is rich in religious resources of reconciliation, though these same religions have been guilty of inciting dissention and violence. Among the 75 interviewees who participated in the research on ‘Compromise after Conflict’ there were some who were suspicious of any possible religious contribution toward reconciliation between the Sinhalese and Tamils, though most victims had found religious resources helpful for regaining selfhood and courage to face the future with optimism.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shirley Lal Wijesinghe
    • 1
  • John D. Brewer
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.University of KelaniyaKadawataSri Lanka
  2. 2.Queen’s University BelfastBelfastUK
  3. 3.Stellenbosch UniversityStellenboschSouth Africa

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