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Sri Lanka’s post-war struggle
Two years after war between government forces and separatist Tamil Tigers ended, poverty and discrimination remain.
Psychologists say many children in the north of Sri Lanka are suffering mental trauma from the war. There are currently no hard estimates on how much of the population may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In adults, doctors are reporting growing cases of alcoholism, violence and suicide in many communities, all linked to PTSD [Photo: Steve Chao]
15 Aug 2011
A child reads to her younger sister about their father. The Uthayakumar children lost their father to shelling in the final days of war, as they, along with several thousands of other civilians tried to flee to safety [Steve Chao]
Two soldiers wait for electricity to power their sewing machines at a tailor shop opened up in front of their unit(***)s headquarters, just outside Kilinochchi, northern Sri Lanka. The military has started opening cafes, tailor shops and other businesses throughout the north, but it has led to accusations that they are stealing much needed jobs away from the local Tamil population [Steve Chao]
According to UNICEF, the humanitarian need for basic foods such as bread remains for the high number of displaced people. Two years after the end of the war, about 100,000 people are still threatened by poor nutrition and health care [Steve Chao]
One of the tragedies of Sri Lanka(***)s three decades of civil war is that much of the Tamil population lost the skills in various sectors of industry. Slowly, they are rebuilding businesses and starting apprenticeships to relearn various trades. One of the resentments has been that many construction jobs have gone to the majority Sinhalese population in the south [Steve Chao]
After bringing an end to the civil war, Sri Lanka(***)s president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, has called for reconciliation with the Tamil minority in the north. But many question his sincerity, saying the government has done little to bring about reconciliation [Steve Chao]
A police officer stands guard outside one of the gates of Nallur Murugan Kovil, Sri Lanka(***)s most significant Hindu temple, located in the city of Jaffna. The public has called for a reduction in the military presence in the north, and an increase in the hiring of Tamils for the local police forces [Steve Chao]
Two theatre performers raise the issue of violence against women in front of an audience in a small village just outside Kilinochchi [Steve Chao]
An armed soldier observes a Hindu festival. The wearing of boots on temple grounds by the military, in a place where religious followers are supposed to be barefoot, has fostered resentment [Steve Chao]
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