Article of American Journal of Social Research 

Political, social and economic issues of the rehabilitated ex-combatants in the Sri Lankan Northern Province


Politically, socially and economically, Tamils in multi-ethnic Sri Lanka struggled to win their self-determination due to external bias based upon an international perception of their organization. Initially, these struggles along the lines of non-violence were later transformed into armed conflicts; Those involved in armed conflicts have identified themselves as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). In the early days, the afflicted Tamil people joined the protest in the name of their own choice. The escalating conflict between them and the Sri Lankan army in 1983 ended with the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2009. After the end of the 30-year war, the Sri Lankan government has taken a keen interest in the transition to conflict and has taken various steps in this regard. Most notably, the LTTE was rehabilitated and reintegrated into society from the rehabilitation camps by the Sri Lankan military. Some international studies have indi-cated that the rehabilitated ex-combatants are now facing various difficulties. Difficulties ranging from em-ployment to daily sustenance and adjusting to the mainstream population of Sri Lanka. Most of the ex-combatants feel they do not belong or fit into mainstream Sri Lanka. Given the importance of good govern-ance and national reconciliation today, it remains to be examined what political, social and economic issues the rehabilitated ex-combatants face after reintegration. This is an attempt to uncover the empirical evidence of the daily challenges faced by the rehabilitated ex-combatants. They are unable to make a living with their temporary livelihood and face their respective struggles just to survive every day. They live in fear perpetu-ally and they are losing hope fast. Former women cadres of LTTE are increasingly ignored in society. Their political rights and independence are questionable, and the government has not taken any serious steps to reintegrate them into society. They also fear that their political, social and economic neglect will pose a so-cial danger in the coming years. Their only aspirations moving forward is to have a peaceful life and con-tribute positively to the general society concerning Sri Lanka's plural landscape in terms of ethnicity and re-ligious affiliation.

Rehabilitated, Ex-combatants, Reconciliation

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