April 3, 2013

Haunted by Her Yesterdays: Female Ex-Combatants in Post-War Sri Lanka

March 27, 2013

This documentary tells a story of silent agony, trapped screams and repressed mourning. A story of women forced to deny their identity – who are trapped in between a government which sees them as “Tigers,” and a society whose norms they are no longer deemed worthy of.

These women fought bravely alongside men as members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) during Sri Lanka’s bloody thirty-year civil war. From protectors and defenders of their families, villages and nation, thousands of female ex-combatants have now returned home to assume more traditional roles as mothers, wives, widows, and teachers – in communities where they are perpetually shunned. Through several powerful voices, “Haunted by Her Yesterdays” allows a few to share their pain and suffering – the wounds that remain unhealed, the scars that are impossible to ignore and the hearts that still burn with pain, passion and grief – for the world to hear. This film is a gripping tale of loss, betrayal and struggle, but –above all else – it is a search for inspiration and a call for action. As the country’s war-torn North and East struggles to rebuild itself, this documentary tells a deeply moving story that has been overlooked for far too long.

The Social Architects (TSA) were created in 2012 and are composed of a diverse group of writers, intellectuals and working professionals. While most of TSA’s members hail from the country’s North and East, the group also includes other scholars and activists who have been working on Sri Lankan issues. TSA seeks to educate, to inform and to provide timely, thoughtful analysis on a range of topics.

TSA has written numerous reports and articles including: Salt on Old Wounds: Post-War Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka’s Next Steps: A LLRC Shadow Action Plan. The organization’s writing has appeared in a range of outlets such as International Policy Digest and Groundviews.

This March TSA released The Numbers Never Lie: A Comprehensive Assessment of Sri Lanka’s LLRC Progress. The report examined the Sri Lankan government’s implementation of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation (LLRC) Recommendations and contributed directly to advocacy efforts at the 22nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

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