Skip navigation

Competing for victimhood status: Northern Muslims and the ironies of post-war reconciliation, justice and development

Authors: Haniffa, Farzana
Keywords: Ethnic relations -- political aspects;Political science -- Sri Lanka;Sri Lanka -- History -- Civil War, 1983-2009 -- Peace;Sri Lanka -- Ethnic relations -- Political aspects;Sri Lanka -- Politics and government -- 21st century;Sri Lanka -- Anthropology and sociology -- Ethnic groups -- Muslims;Sri Lanka -- Refugees;Sri Lanka -- Internally displaced persons (IDPs);Sri Lanka -- Social conditions;UNHCR;Vanni
Issue Date: Jul-2014
Publisher: International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES)
Citation: ICES Research Paper 13
Description: "The northern Muslims together with all protracted IDPs displaced prior to 2008 became a low priority case load for return and resettlement assistance in the aftermath of the 'end' of the war in Sri Lanka in 2009. Framed in terms of an ethics of 'greatest need' connected only to funding availability, all Old IDPs lost out in the resettlement process. This paper attempts to decentre this idea of economic limits and humanitarian need by discussing the manner in which such ideas of 'greatest need' actually emerge from discourses about victimhood that are part of an ethical humanitarian project to which local politics are irrelevant. This paper will show, however that these initiatives consistently intersect with local power hierarchies and local ideas of legitimacy and belonging. Therefore this paper will look at the manner in which the war related victim discourse of International Humanitarianism, helped to exacerbate northern Muslims own marginality and continued exclusion from the north. Looking also at the manner in which victimhood narratives are mobilizsed in Sri Lanka by electoral politics, and displaced IDP activists themselves, this paper will speculate about the efficacy of the victim identity for political and social transformation during this time of transition in Sri Lanka." [ISBN: 978-955-580-154-6]
Rights: NYU Libraries is providing access to these materials as a service to our scholarly community. We do not claim the copyright in these materials, nor can we give permission for their re-use. If you would like to request that we take down any of this material, please write to with the following information: Provide the URL of the material that is the basis of your inquiry; Identify the material you have rights to; Provide your contact information, including name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address; Provide a statement of your good-faith belief that the material you identified is infringing of the material you have rights to.
Appears in Collections:South Asian Born-Digital NGO Reports Collection Project

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
NYU_SUBMITTED_Competing-for-Victimhood-Status.pdf654.49 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in FDA are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.