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Dr-radicalisation of Tamil Tigers group members

Can the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam be de-radicalised ?

To answer that question a group of scientists, Kruglanski, Gelfand, Belanger, Gunarana and Hettiarachchi traveled to Sri Lanka to conduct this research.

The process of radicalisation often takes place in prisons, because prisoners continue to live in a state of fear, and experience a loss of personal significance. They feel weak, without being in control. Their ideology and belonging to their in- group brings significant meaning to their lives.

Apparently, prisons create a great environment for deradicalisation for psychologically similar reasons. The state of cognitive openness can open one’s mind to more constructive and non-violent paths.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are one of the most vicious terrorist organizations known in history. The majority of the members were put in rehabilitation centers, which were great places to use deradicalisation programs. The program have four stages: (1) separation of the moderate LTTE members from members highly committed to the cause, (2) increase the significance of the prisoners, (3) focus on the individuals rather than on collective group members and (4) create education courses, which helps integration with society after their release.

The program was implemented with 1,906 individuals. The prisoners changed their behaviour thanks to the intervention, but didn’t depend on the degree of their belonging and identity with the LTTE terrorist organisation. That is, even those individuals extremely committed to the cause of LTTE had potential to change.

What are your thoughts about this? Can the results be generalised to other radicalised groups?

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