RESETTLEMENT AND REHABILITATION OF IDPS IN POST-CONFLICT SRI LANKA : A CASE STUDY OF A VILLAGE IN VANNI
Abstract: The 2002 Ceasefire Agreement in Sri Lanka has resulted in mass-migration of IDPs back to their places of origin. Vanni, in the northern LTTE-controlled part of the country, is also seeing a large number of IDPs coming to settle, including Muslims that had been forced to leave the area by the LTTE. The question is how this resettlement process is taking place, who is involved in it, and what are the conditions for rehabilitation in this war-affected area. In order to investigate these questions, a case study was conducted in a village in Vanni. The data was collected through interviews with villagers and involved NGOs. The study found that the voluntary return of Muslims is mostly due to a low quality of life during their resettlement, and the opportunity to generate income from their land in Vanni. There appeared to be little interaction between the Muslim returnees and the current Tamil population in the village, causing some tension. Also, the indirect control of the LTTE seemed to have influenced the implementation of some rehabilitation projects. Still, the involvement of the government, the LTTE, and NGOs in the resettlement and rehabilitation efforts may be an indication that materialisti and civic development will take place in the village.
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