Sunday, November 15, 2009
Tsunami Recovery in Sri Lanka
The People's Verdict on Tsunami Recovery in Sri Lanka by Muttukrishna Sarvananthan (International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Colombo, 2007, ISBN: 978-955-580-114-0) provides an useful analysis of the recovery operations after the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. The emotive title of "people's verdict" is unfortunate, as it may make the reader think this is some sort of left wing political propaganda, rather than the careful empirical research it is. The book is based on an extensive survey of tsunami survivors and provides useful lessons for future disaster recovery operations,. Unfortunately even so long after the events of 2004 it also notes where the recovery operation is still lacking, particularly with housing and schooling. Some surprising findings were that there was little corruption or discrimination in the distribution of aid. The provision of employment and schooling were identified as important issues. I acme across this book by accident in the new arrivals at the Australian National University Library. The International Centre for Ethnic Studies might wish to consider distributing excepts from this book online for free, so as to make the information more widely available.