Putting houses in place: re-building communities in post-tsunami, Sri Lanka
Disasters: The Journal of Disaster Studies, Policy and Management
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This paper interrogates the geographies of resettlement and reconstruction,
both temporary and permanent shelters, which is fundamental to rebuilding tsunami-affected
communities. War and ethnic cleavages are an endemic feature of Sri
Lanka’s social polity. Uneven development processes too are visible. There is,
therefore, a need to pay attention to the spaces of inequality. This paper draws upon
in-depth interviews and participant observation research done in Eastern and
Southern Sri Lanka. It argues that communities’ concerns and anxieties regarding
displacement and resettlement 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 how it is critical to understand that
disaster and development relief should be ingrained within context specificities.
These efforts recognize the embeddings of the social processes of "putting houses in
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