One of the worst legacies of the decades-old civil war in this island country is the culture of violence and impunity that many fear has become ingrained in Sri Lankan society — once known for ‘serendipity’ and respect for Buddhist virtues. While some believe that the country is currently going through yet another periodic cycle of violence and uncertainty, others think that the situation has reached a nadir. ‘’This is the worst period I have known in my lifetime,’’ contends A.T. Ariyaratne, one of Sri Lanka’s best-known thinkers. ‘’Earlier there were directions we could turn to. Now we have no direction,’’”the veteran social rights campaigner and founder of the 50-year-old village awakening movement called ‘Sarvodaya’ told IPS.