Decades of violent conflict between the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the government ended in victory for the government forces in May 2009. But the wounds are not yet healed.
Many on both sides of the civil war have been left with physical disabilities or emotionally traumatised. Families returning after years in displacement camps find their homes destroyed, their possessions looted, and their painstakingly cleared farmland swallowed back up by nature.
Suffering is by no means confined to the former war zone. The country’s entire economy was severely damaged, and its official classification as lower middle income masks huge inequalities. Half the population lives below the poverty line, and the previously high level state support for education, health and other social services has been steadily cut down.
CAFOD in Sri Lanka
Through our partner Caritas Sri Lanka we are helping war-affected families, particularly in the north and east, to rebuild their homes and their lives. We also work with other partners around the country to promote social cohesion between different ethnic and religious groups, and support them to work together to find solutions to the underlying problems that fuelled the conflict.
I felt very happy when I found out I was going to get a house. Now we feel much more secure, especially in the rainy season and in the dark. Once I could only dream about having such a huge house. When it was complete I felt as if my dream had come true.