US Prof. Arie Kruglanski, who has a wealth of experience in de-radicalization programmes in several trouble-torn countries, was one among keynote speakers in the Session-1 of the ‘Defence Seminar’, now in progress at Colombo Galadari Hotel for the second consecutive day (Thursday 9).
Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya listened to all the contributors to the sessions attentively throughout Thursday (9) sessions.
Prof. Arie Kruglanski, Dr. Malkanthi Hettiarachchi, Dr. A.S.A Safras, Dr. Douglas Stone, USA and Dr. Bill Jeffrey, UK contributed to the sessions under thematic topics such as ‘De-radicalization model of Sri Lankan Ex-Combatants’, ‘Psychosocial aspects of De-radicalization of Ex-Combatants’, ‘Best Practices and Guidelines for Rehabilitation and Reintegration’ and ‘Counter insurgency and post-conflict settlements: reflections on the British experience’
Approaching the question of ‘LTTE de-radicalization’ and his findings during several visits to the country’s rehabilitation centres, the veteran Professor Kruglanski, admitted that Sri Lanka is unique in a way as regards its rehabilitation and reintegration programmes. His several interactions with Sri Lanka’s rehabilitation programmes, implemented by the Army are needed to be analyzed, he said.
In his critical analysis he said the rehabilitation was a success based on scientific assessment and the entire drop in radicalization was attributable to the direct result of the programmes and the manner, in which the staff conducted the programmes. It has been scientifically proven statistically that it was so due to significant direct result of the programmes and the staff.
LTTE’s defeat etched on memories of those ex-combatants would drive them to possible self-deception in this context and they might find it difficult to be orientated towards objective gaining and affordance of improvement. ‘Smiles address the heart but attitudes change the mindset. It is pertinent to ask whether our rehabilitation has really worked through close supervision. Maleability of human psyche always goes with the possibility of re-radicalization. Group level analyses are needed as far as beneficiaries are concerned. So it is all philosophy and dynamics that need to be taken into account, Prof. Arie Kruglanski added.