Healing through harmonies in post conflict Sri Lanka

| May 12th, 2017

Indhumadhi sits on a small wooden stool proudly displaying a photograph of her son pictured in his school orchestra. Beside her, at her home in Mullaitivu in northern Sri Lanka, a pair of crutches are propped up against a decaying brick wall.

Indhumadhi, who is Tamil, lost her leg in a bomb blast during the 25-year Sri Lankan civil war between the government and the militant Tamil Tigers. After her husband died a few years ago following a sudden illness, she was left to raise two children while struggling to cope with the pain she suffers as a result of her injury.

Indhumadhi’s circumstances are not out of the ordinary in this Tamil region, where the scars of a brutal conflict still run deep.

At a political level, not much has happened to facilitate the healing. Since the war ended in 2009, the government has taken few constructive actions to address wartime accountability. A regime change in January 2015 did bring some hope for progress as the incoming coalition government promised a new constitution that would help reconcile the past as well as address the root causes of the conflict.

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