Putting houses in place: re-building communities in post-tsunami Sri Lanka

Ruwanpura, Kanchana N. (2009) Putting houses in place: re-building communities in post-tsunami Sri Lanka. Disasters: The Journal of Disaster Studies, Policy and Management, 33, (3), 436-456. (doi:10.1111/j.1467-7717.2008.01082.x).


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This paper interrogates the social and political geographies of resettlement and reconstruction of temporary and permanent shelters, which are fundamental to rebuilding tsunami-affected communities. War and ethnic cleavages are an endemic feature of Sri Lanka's social polity, and uneven development processes in the country are clearly visible. This paper draws attention to these spaces of inequality by drawing on in-depth interviews and participant observation carried out in Eastern and Southern Sri Lanka. It argues that communities' concerns and anxieties regarding displacement and resettlement have tended to be articulated against prevailing fault lines of war and inequality. This is the backdrop against which communities negotiated the recovery process. My fieldwork shows that it is critical to understand that disaster and development relief are ingrained within context specificities. Relief efforts therefore need to recognise that the process of 'putting houses in place' should be embedded within local social relations

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1111/j.1467-7717.2008.01082.x
ISSNs: 0361-3666 (print)
Related URLs:
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
D History General and Old World > DS Asia
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Geography > Economy, Culture, Space
ePrint ID: 69532
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
July 2009Published
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2009
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:58
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/69532

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