Since the signing of a ceasefire agreement in 2002, many donors have sought to facilitate the peace process through peace conditionalities, i.e. the provision of aid tied to commitment to conflict resolution and peace. Much of the literature stresses, however, that political and diplomatic actors and processes and efforts to address structural causes of conflict are also essential. Moreover, donors have had to recognise their responsibility to provide aid to the worst conflict-affected areas, regardless of whether conditionalities were fulfilled, weakening the credibility of their conditionality approach.
Much of the literature also seems to find that economic peace dividends were generally lacking. This is attributed largely to a focus on neo-liberal approaches by donors that centred on economic growth, rather than immediate socioeconomic relief, and in particular the reestablishment of livelihoods.
The structure of civil society in Sri Lanka and the manner in which donors funded civil society has also been critiqued. Most funding has been directed to NGOs in Colombo. This has marginalised volunteer and lower class civil society workers in other geographic areas. There is also concern that civil society activities, while essential to support the peace, are not sufficient for conflict transformation and sustainable peace. Much of the literature emphasises the need to broaden civil society and participation in the peace process to include not just different ethnic groups, but also different religious groups and classes, and also women.
Another area essential for conflict transformation and peacebuilding is the need to address the legacy of large-scale human rights violations. This has been given scant attention thus far. Nor has the national judicial system been a viable mechanism for redress.