Worth knowing - Facts on the civil war

In May 2009, after more than 25 years, the  civil war in Sri Lanka comes to an end. More than a quarter million people in the north of the island had been displaced from their villages. Many were caught between the front lines; their only means of escape the open sea.

There is little reliable information. Eyewitnesses report that ships with 300 - 400 wounded reached the hospitals of the nearby coastal areas around the clock. Due to the numbers of patients treatment could hardly be adequate. Amputations had to be performed as if in an assembly line, and difficult hygienic conditions in the provisional medical camps coupled with the tropical climate frequently lead streptococcal infections, turning the amputation stumps green.

Even today, the refugee situation is still difficult. Still, many people live in refugee camps, their resettlement is proceeding slowly. Maintaining medical care of refugees and supplies of basic foodstuffs remain major problems for  the government and aid agencies.

These reports are in contrast to a great hope that is clearly felt everywhere in Sri Lanka. Everyone is happy that peace has finally returned. All seem intent on coming together.

But what about those who have survived the terrible fighting? How does a small country as Sri Lanka deal with such a vast amount of traumatized people? How to return to normal life?

The war has heavily traumatized the players on both sides physically and mentally. Young soldiers now are due to marry and have a family, but what effect will the recent past have on family life? Still, thousands of Tamil people are living in temporary camps, waiting for permission to return to their villages. How will they return to a normal life in the new Sri Lanka?

The civil war has ended. But Sri Lanka may need quite some time to recover from it- materially, socially and pycholgically.

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Sri Lanka Info

Area:65 610 km²
Population:app. 20.5 Mio, 80% Sinhalese, 10% Tamils, 7% Sri Lankan Moors, 0.8% Burghers
Religion:

Buddhism 70%, Hinduism 15%, Islam 7.5%, 

Christianity 7.5% (source: Wikipedia)

Languages:Sinhala and Tamil, English as language of education and commerce
Life expectancy:72 years