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Spatial practices of integration and segregation among internally displaced persons and their hosts in Sri Lanka

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This article recounts how a group of Muslim internally displaced persons from the Northern Province of Sri Lanka arrived and settled in the North-Western Province of the island. The account is placed in the context of local integration, as one of the so-called durable solutions for refugees and displaced people. It is argued that it is useful to study integration and segregation as related processes. The main focus of the article concerns the development of resettlement villages for displaced people and how this has made it necessary for local people to reconstruct and redefine their places. One particular confrontation that took place between local Sinhalese people and displaced Muslims is discussed, to show how the negotiation of place may become violent. The article concludes by arguing that, in order for the process of local integration to succeed, active participation by all groups involved in the local integration process is a prerequisite.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Geography, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, N-7491 Trondheim, Norway

Publication date: September 6, 2000

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