Conflict, Displacement and Post-War Recovery: A Community Profile of Passaiyoor East in Jaffna, Sri Lanka
Groups affected by conflict find it difficult to recover due to the extent of the violence they have faced and the scale of losses incurred. The impact of a war spans individual, family and community levels, and with the casualties they lose their lands, homes, valuables, livelihoods and networks, and face challenges accessing assets, health, education, sanitation and more. Shocks, such as forced displacement due to war, can also cause disruptions in social and cultural practices affecting people’s traditional ways of life. When displaced groups return and resettle they depend on various means to meet the resources needed to rebuild their fractured lives. These resources, or capital, are human, natural, social, physical, financial and political support, and can be drawn from within themselves, friends and family, community or other actors, such as the government, elected bodies, community-based organizations, NGOs and donors, to be utilized in ways that are most useful.
This study is based on a comprehensive community profile conducted in a war-affected fishing village called Passaiyoor East in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. The village is one of twenty-five Grama Niladari Divisions in the Jaffna Divisional Secretariat and the research sets out to understand the scope of the inhabitants’ recovery and the strategies they used to achieve it after their resettlement. The study explores the outcomes of various resources across six aspects in relation to area, which include: 1) a part of the city 2) a place to live 3) social community 4) economic community 5) political community and 6) personal space. Principally a mixed methods field research, the study relied on primary, secondary, quantitative and qualitative data to triangulate findings and draw up a comprehensive view of the community. A number of techniques were used to gather data from individuals, households, fishermen, village elders, local societies, clergy, businessmen, health officers, government officials and aid actors. The fieldwork was conducted during 2014 and 2015.