Sri Lanka: ambitious plan to rebuild 'ground zero' in war with Tamil Tigers
Christian Science Monitor,
Feb 27, 2009.
Jaffna, Sri Lanka
In chartered buses and private cars, Sri Lankans pour into this war-ravaged city, finally rejoined to the rest of the country.
Some are ethnic Tamils coming home to see relatives after decades living elsewhere. Others are Sinhalese tourists from the south, curious to see a long-denied corner of their island.
Jaffna served as ground zero in Sri Lanka's 26-year civil war, which ended last May with the defeat of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The city remains run-down, hollowed out by war, occupation, and isolation.
But nine months of peace has opened up road links, pared down the number of military checkpoints, and ended a nighttime curfew in Jaffna. Ambitious postwar plans call for the rebuilding of its cratered downtown, though it will take more than money to undo the damage of a bitter, ethnic-based conflict over land and power.
"It will take many, many years," says S K Sirtrampalam, a retired historian
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Published: Fri Feb 26 20:44:25 EST 2010