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Conflicts


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Sri Lanka


Soon after Sri Lanka's independence, Sinhalese nationalists were voted into power by the country’s Sinhalese majority. Discriminating laws establishing the dominance of Buddhism and the Sinhalese language were put in place quickly, outraging minorities. A large number of militant groups emerged as a reaction, the strongest of which was the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), emerging from the Tamil population as Sri Lanka’s largest minority. Terror campaigns launched from both the government and LTTE soon resulted in countless bloodbaths costing the lives of thousands of unarmed civilians. This most violent episode of the conflict ended in 2009 with a military defeat of the LTTE, with civilians again bearing the brunt of horrific human rights abuses from both sides. Today, the conflict is still unresolved, Sri Lanka’s minorities are still suppressed through legislation and state repression, while Sri Lanka is internationally often falsely regarded as “post-conflict” context.


Thailand (Patani)


In 2004, violence returned to the Southern tip of Thailand and the conflict continues today with almost daily violence, having killed over 5,000 people and injured over 8,000. The insurgency is being fought to gain independence of the Patani region from Thailand. However, the conflict is untypically faceless compared with other conflicts around the world, with insurgency groups not claiming responsibility for their attacks and having no visible leadership. With no leadership to approach, this makes political negotiations impossible for the moment and violence will continue until there is some popular momentum for peace.


Armenia-Azerbaijan


Nagorno-Karabakh (also spelled Nagorny-Karabakh, to respect Russian transliteration) is a landlocked secessionist region of the South Caucasus officially located in Azerbaijan. It is inhabited today by around 94% of Armenians. Nagorno-Karabakh authorities have been wishing to secede from Azerbaijan for several decades now. They unilaterally proclaimed their independence in 1991 and became a de facto republic, which is not recognised by any country in the world today. Tensions remain very high with Azerbaijan seeking to recover its territorial integrity, Nagorno-Karabakh pushing for international recognition and Armenia supporting the self-determination of the region.