Chandrika Kumaratunga, former President, Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and Club de Madrid Member, gave a Public Lecture on Terrorism & the State: Transforming Conflict, Building Peace” in the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS), National University of Singapore on 24 June, 2016.
Practitioners have indicated that neither poverty nor socio-economic deprivations are direct causes of terrorism. However, most experts would agree that social exclusion can be one of the drivers of violent extremism and conflict. However, it is only one of many drivers. There are additional political, social, religious and ideological sources of violent extremism and radicalization that lead to terrorism.
While recognizing that the phenomenon of violent extremism is both complex and multi-causal, President Kumaratunga stressed that identity is the most important source of violent conflict nowadays. In this sense, the political grievances when people are excluded and human rights are denied – particularly along sectarian lines or ethnic lines – often can feed violent extremism.
Governments have an important role to play in addressing socio economic and political drivers that cause marginalization, economic deprivation, lack of access to education and knowledge that ultimately result in exclusion and frustration. All communities must be included as equal partners in the implementation of politics of inclusive development that guarantee political participation, respect for diversity and equal opportunity and respect for ALL.
Divisions, exclusion and discrimination are the base from which violent extremism grows. Preventing these situations from happening through facilitating the reintegration of those who have been tempted by the path by extremist groups, and by helping the community as a whole to understand and respond positively to these challenges, are key and highlight the importance of building inclusive and Shared Societies, at all levels, to counter violent extremism and allow for further progress on development.
See here the presentation of President Kumaratunga