It is a pleasure to present the eighth installment in the series of articles written by our friend, Solomon Rajaram Hariharan, a member of the “Dream team 2012” of “Sri Lanka Unites”( A youth movement for hope and reconciliation).
“Peace and Conflict resolution” is a vast field of study and in fact, one Sri Lankan university offers a degree on the subject. We are thankful to Solomon for providing us a brief introduction to the theoretical side of this subject…
The ‘Road Trip’ syllabus provides many definitions for the word “conflict”. Conflicts arise when two or more individuals or groups pursue mutually incompatible goals. It is also defined as a struggle between opponents over values and claims to scarce status, power and resources. Conflicts can be solved either by war or elections. It is the decision of the advisory committee of the leader to resolve the conflict in either way. A single person should not be able to make the decisions. When approaching the conflict we should ask ourselves, “Am I fighting for the right cause? Can I compromise?” It is not wise for a leader to get the followers involved to achieve his or her personal gains. But no matter what, a leader should not compromise on their values as values are the foundations of beliefs.
Types of Conflicts
There are 6 types of conflicts and are as follows,
- Intra-personal conflict:- Conflict within a person
E.g. thesecan be internal conflicts which can traumatize a person, causing the individual to fight with his/her mind, Questions on career paths arise in a person.
- Inter-personal conflict:- Conflict among two or more people
E.g. therecan be small problems between two classmates.
- Intra-group conflict:- Conflict within a group
E.g. Even in a clique, people with different opinions are present. When different opinions clash, conflicts might occur.
- Inter-group conflict:- Conflict among two or more groups
E.g. Group fights usually arise because different cliques are based on different values.
- Intra-state conflict:- Conflict within a country(civil conflict)
E.g. The three decade war in Sri Lanka, Conflicts in Ireland
- Inter-state conflict:- Conflict among two or more countries
E.g. India has fought with every country around it except Maldives, World Wars
We get tested and fall into conflicts. Do we have the courage to stand through it? We should first understand if it is worth fighting for. Many countries have had civil conflicts. What can we do as Sri Lankans to prevent such a conflict from repeating in the future? This question should be asked and answered by the citizens of the country. If we do not learn from history and change ourselves, conflicts will continue to repeat leading to loss of property and life. A question arose whether Hitler was following a cause based on values. What we can see from history is that Hitler had an egoistic attitude. He lived in isolation. He did not follow any ideology or doctrine but only had the hatred within. If we know that the cause is right and the society affirms it, we should move forward and fulfill the cause.