Asian Journal of PEACEBUILDING

Volume 11 Number 2 (November 2023)

Table of Contents

Research Article

Context of Denial in the Practice of Local Knowledge during Grassroots Peacebuilding: An Analysis of Grassroots Activists’ Experiences in North and East Sri Lanka

Shameera K. Walpita pp. 237-256 doi: 10.18588/202311.00a348
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Lived experiences of conflict-affected locals are an important source of local knowledge that should be incorporated into peacebuilding. However, the national project of peacebuilding in post-war Sri Lanka has failed to consider local knowledge and voices. Utilizing a grassroots perspective, this study examines the experiences of grassroots activists in north and east Sri Lanka to understand the various challenges that have hindered their attempts to share experiences and narratives of war and cultural practices across communities. The findings show that a “context of denial,” identified variously as institutional denial, fear-based denial, and community denial, has prevented grassroots activists from engaging in a meaningful dialogue about peace, reconciliation, and justice. This study helps build an understanding of how grassroots activism functions and is challenged.

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