Livelihoods under protracted conflict: a case study of Sri Lanka
Sasini T. K. Kulatunga, Rajith W. D. Lakshman
Populations affected by violent conflicts often withstand threats to their security and livelihoods. Their response to the former threat affects their response to the latter, and vice versa. This paper identifies and assesses the effectiveness of certain responses used in a protracted conflict setting by households in Medawachchiya DSD of the Anuradhapura district in Sri Lanka. The field work for this study involved a sample of 82 households and was conducted during January-April 2008. It finds evidence that the protection and livelihood strategies of households affected by protracted conflict are often interlaced. It also finds that Sinhalese and Muslim households had largely responded to the protracted conflict in ways that were unique to their ethnic groups. This is evident as certain vulnerabilities that impinge upon protection and livelihood opportunities are ethnically biased. The differences in responses meant that the final outcome of these responses, mainly the income, also tended to differ across ethnicities.