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Title: Resettlement Scheme for the Displaced of Oluvil Harbour: Recovery or Renewing Crisis?
Authors: Shameem, A.L.M.A.
Issue Date: 23-Aug-2009
Publisher: International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES) and University of Peradeniya
Abstract: Resettlement Scheme for the Displaced of Oluvil Harbour: Recovery or Renewing Crisis? ALMA.Shameem & SH.Hasbullah Doubts have been raised on outcomes of resettlement schemes implemented for displaced worldwide. Questions are been asked whether those schemes were actually achieved expected objectives, giving a foundation to start new life in the place of resettlement. Option found that this was not the case. Scheme itself has become a burden not only for the occupants but also it rarely fits into broad environment of the place of resettlement leading to serious of new problems. This is to understand the post-resettlement scenario of a resettlement project - Displaced Resettlement scheme of Oluvil Harbour. A large number of fisher folk and others living along the beach had to be forcibly displaced for the purpose of a harbour project recently initiated in Oluvil of Southeast coast of Sri Lanka. The study is about suitability and sustainability of the project from beneficiary perspectives. The study based on interviews and focused group discussion of different types residences of this resettlement project and village. The study finds the following: this resettlement of this village was started in 2007-2008 with the purpose of facilitating and accommodating the development of port harbour in Oluvil. People who displaced were to leave their ancestral land, properties and own houses to response to the requirements for port development. Before leaving the port development area they were doing fishing for their daily livelihood and family management and make contribution to their social well being. Educationally they had limited benefits and economically they were very poor. But living happily as that environment was comfortable to their daily activities. At present, they are facing many difficulties and shortcomings in this new village of resettlement. They are unable to go the sea to do fishing for their daily income as that area is reserved for port development. Investigation also revealed that the residences of the resettlement were not happy about place of relocation, design of the houses, the way the houses were allocated, facilities provided within and outside of the scheme, and infrastructure facilities etc. Findings from the study raise many questions concerning many on-going resettlement schemes. Are these for the purpose of the recovery of the displaced? If these schemes have failed achieved the said objectives on the study, where it will lead to? These questions have to be answered not only from policy perspectives but also from conceptually as well.
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