The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) – commonly known as the Tamil Tigers – were militarily defeated by the Sri Lankan government in 2009 after over twenty-five years of armed conflict.
GCCT members from Sri Lanka:
- Association of War Affected Women
- Initiative for Political and Conflict Transformation
- Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice
De-mining technicians from the UK charity HALO Trust at work early in the morning, on the edges of a paddy field near Thunukkai, northern Sri Lanka. Around 300,000 people were displaced in the latter stage of stages of the conflict (between the forces of the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE ‘Tamil Tiger’ movement) in 2008-2009. As of March 2010, approximately 200,000 of these displaced people are in the process of being allowed to return to their homes – having spent many months living in camps – but only after specialist de-mining agencies such as HALO have clearly marked dangerous areas and, where possible, cleared residential and agricultural land of mines and un-exploded ordnance left over from the conflict. Working in conjunction with the Sri Lankan authorities, areas that have been mined are being clearly marked with warning signs and then systematically cleared before people are allowed to return. This vital work by HALO is being supported with funding provided by UK aid from the Department for International Development. In the first 10 weeks of 2010 alone, HALO has already safely disposed of nearly 16,500 anti-personnel mines in just a few districts in northwestern Sri Lanka, illustrating the scale of the challenge that lies ahead (photograph courtesy of DFID – UK Department for International Development)