Sri Lanka

The ceasefire between Sri Lanka Security Forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), has lasted now for two years though many issues have not been dealt with and tensions remain. Nevertheless people are now turning their attention from the immediate fear of direct attacks to reconstruction, rehabilitation, and resettlement of displaced and war affected communities. In addition to this some who have long-term vision want to pose questions related to the responsibility for war crimes and the remedial measures for those who under went trauma. Unfortunately, many people from the international communities as well as national agencies do not see the importance of this aspect. They would like to focus on the physical and physiological changes. But what is really missing there is the social and psychological changes and the need for healing of the memories of people who were exposed to the direct violence and atrocities. There is a question of how the war damaged minds could be rebuilt to face the world reality.

As there has been much work done in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, WRI has decided to focus its work in Batticaloa, which is now an almost exclusively Tamil city, beatifully sitting between lagoons, rivers and the sea on the east coast of Sri Lanka. The Batticaloa region has distinct and complex conflict dynamics as it has been a crossroad at the centre of most of the war's conflicts. Batticaloans have experienced tendency and violence between government soldiers, LTTE, muslim groups and various non LTTE tamil paramilitary groups.