Architects of change | TV Program | Rebuilding with Our Own Hands
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Paul HOGAN

Issue / The Civil War in Sri Lanka

Between 1983 and 2009, Sri Lanka was the scene of continuous clashes between the Sinhalese Buddhists majority and the separatist Tamil Tigers. Extortion, murder, abduction, torture, rape and public executions were daily occurrences during the conflict. Children were particularly affected, serving as recruits in the armed forces or as spies. An estimated 300,000 children were taken from their homes during the war.

This conflict spanned over 28 years, causing irreparable harm in Sri Lanka and terrible psychological trauma among its inhabitants. It is estimated that over 95% of children personally witnessed atrocities during the civil war. Further compounding the problems, an already weakened Sri Lanka was hard hit by a tsunami in 2004. This new disaster added to the trauma and suffering of the people who were already struggling to cope.