Perceived Readiness of Educated Youth towards Ethnic Integration in Sri Lanka

M.S. Dimuthu Kumari


Sri Lanka is a multi-ethnic society hence the ethnic integration has been a hot topic for decades.   By 2021, it has been 73 years after the independence from British empires, however, natives still struggle for the reconciliation among themselves. Often occurred ethnic clashes usually account for a huge social and economic cost.  Various scholars have highlighted that youth is highly active in initiating ethnic clashes. And, it is quoted specifically for the ‘Educated youth’ in Sri Lankan context. Therefore, this study explores the perceptions of ‘multi-ethnic, educated youth’ in heightening ethnic integration in Sri Lanka. This study utilized quantitative research approach and survey method. Primary data was mainly used for the study and collected through an online questionnaire. 100 multi-ethnic youth who are studying in higher education institutions in Sri Lanka selected as the sample using random sampling technique.  The readiness of respondents was basically measured through their perceptions with respect to the social integration model proposed by Awang et al (2019). Descriptive statistics were used in analyzing data. The results showed that the overall readiness of educated youth in promoting ethnic integration is high in Sri Lankan context. The respondents are almost ready for the social acceptance and cultural appreciation levels of the model. However, they have showed, relatively a slight attraction towards compromisation and adaptation levels for which a high degree of ethnic tolerance is required. Therefore, it can be concluded that the majority of educated youth are social extroverts and are aware the importance of integration. However, since they showed a little attraction towards the upper layers of integration pyramid, there is a need of re-evaluating existing social integration policies. So that, some policy recommendations are suggested to enhance more operational activities in reconciliation process to reach the upper levels of ethnic integration (compromization and adaptation) in Sri Lankan context.


Perceived Readines; Educated Youth; Ethnic Integration; Policy Implications

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