“Socio-Religious Desegregation in an Immediate Postwar Town Jaffna, Sri Lanka” by Delon Madavan (Carnets de géographes)

ABSTRACT
The cease-fire agreement of 2002 between the Sri Lankan state and the separatist movement of Liberalisation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), was an opportunity to analyze the role of war and then of the cessation of fighting as a potential process of transformation of the segregation at Jaffna in the context of immediate post-war period. Indeed, the armed conflict (1987-2001), with the abolition of the caste system by the LTTE and repeated displacements of people, has been a breakdown for Jaffnese society. The weight of the hierarchical castes system and the one of religious communities, which partially determine the town’s prewar population distribution, the choice of spouse, social networks of individuals, values and taboos of society, have been questioned as a result of the conflict. Indeed, the town of the immediate post-war has a different structuring and functionality model from that of before the war. Identity-based segregation, associated to belonging to a caste, is thus in phase of disappearance. However, the end of the caste system (discriminations, socio-economic interdependence) does not prevent the persistence of the caste reality (endogamy, the bonds of solidarity by caste). At the same time, the existence of a large diaspora is the source of a new factor of segmentation in the society. Their support plays a leading role in the reconstruction, economic development of the town and the upward mobility of people. Finally, if inhabitants live in large majorities in neighborhoods traditionally occupied by their caste, the process of space desegregation seems to be engaged.

Keywords : Urban segregation, Territory, Identity, Caste, Religion, Jaffna, Tamil, Sri Lanka

To read the article please click the link: http://www.carnetsdegeographes.org/carnets_recherches/rech_02_04_Madavan_eng.php 

 To quote this article:
MADAVAN D., (2011), «Socio-Religious Desegregation in an Immediate Postwar Town Jaffna, Sri Lanka» in Carnets de géographes, n°2, mars 2011, Rubrique Carnets de recherches http://www.carnetsdegeographes.org/carnets_recherches/rech_02_04_Madavan_eng.php

 


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