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Governance issues in Sri Lanka : a cybernetic diagnosis and solution 'process' proposal

The intensity of negotiations, including war and Peace Talks, are driven by the threat of identity disintegration. Sri Lanka negotiates to preserve territorial integrity. Tamils argue for secession to preserve their identity. How is each to adapt their identity so that they can peacefully co-exist within the island? The current peace process began in 2002. The principles of Organizational Cybernetics show distinction is warranted between External Self-Determination (secession) and Internal Self-Determination (a single sovereignty recognised by the international community) as the negotiating systems occupy different recursive positions relative to each other. In each context, the systems gravitate differently towards cohesion and autonomy. Equally vital is to distinguish between systems, their embedments and their representatives. Diagnosis of the peace process seeking an internal self-determination solution does not display these distinctions. At the 2002 Peace Talks the only system permitted to negotiate with Sri Lanka (the encompassing system) was confined to one of the embedded systems (the Tamils as represented by the LTTE). Structurally this risked the encompassing system collapsing to represent its missing embedded systems. To rectify this Team Syntegrity is proposed, whose sequence of design in its multiple cascades enables representation issues to be resolved without it being confined to political parties. Content solutions are matters for Sri Lankans to design. However, they are considered in order to design and propose a ‘process’ solution. The journey this thesis takes is to arrive at designing the ‘how’ of negotiations so that it can accommodate the myriad of ‘what’ needs to be negotiated. A meta-level logic is required to resolve the undecidable proposition of preserving territorial integrity or secession. Working with the levels of recursion - the UN, the State and its embedded systems, this thesis proposes a way to absorb residual variety to gain agreement to negotiate internal self-determination based on interlocking negotiations involving those seeking cohesion and those seeking autonomy. This process also opens the way to address the solution design of the other interacting crises afflicting Sri Lanka. The uniqueness and contribution of this research is that it is the first time Organizational Cybernetics has been conceptually applied to diagnose and design a peace process involving a sovereign State.
Date January 2008
CreatorsSolomons, Leonie
PublisherUniversity of Sunderland
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

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