On May 19 six years had passed since the war ended. Six years ago former president Mahinda Rajapaksa spoke to the people of Sri Lanka commenting the final battle of the war: “Our troops went to this operation carrying a gun in one hand, the Human Rights Charter in the other, hostages on their shoulders, and the love of their children in their hearts.” In Colombo people were singing and dancing in the streets. The war was over and so were an everyday life in fear of suicide bombs and public attacks. Meanwhile in the Northern province, few were celebrating. Some people call Sri Lanka the divided island – separated on May 19, 2009 between the so-called winners and the losers.
The Rajapaksa-government faced a huge challenge in the post-war years uniting a country so badly torn apart. Six years has now gone by and it’s time to evaluate how far Sri Lanka has gone in relation to reconciliation and re-building – physically and mentally. Groundviews visited the Northern Province and talked to citizens. Here are their stories and through them, an insight into the post-war realities in an area still very much affected by the aftermath of the war.
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