Beyond Disaster: A Comparative Analysis of Tsunami Interventions in Sri Lanka and Indonesia/Aceh
This article investigates the impact of the tsunami and the tsunami interventions on the protracted conflicts in Sri Lanka and Indonesia/Aceh. Several variables helped to advance peace in one country and drove the escalation of violence in the other. Natural catastrophe alone did not lead to the mitigation of conflict: where neither side perceived an option for military victory, the tsunami itself, coupled with international support and pressure, offered a way out. However, lessons repeatedly learned during humanitarian interventions were not applied. The tsunami interventions were marked by major shortcomings, among them the failure to reach thousands of people displaced by conflict, a lack of effective coordination, conflict insensitivity, low levels of beneficiary participation, and the undermining of local capacities.