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Inside Camps, Outside Battlefields: Security and Survival for Tamil Women

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In May of 2009, images of displaced Tamil people trapped behind the barbed wire of internment camps flashed across the world. “Everybody wanted to get out of those camps, but they were too scared to discuss their rights”, one priest recalls. The Government of Sri Lanka had just declared a military victory over the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (ltte), an insurgent group that waged a thirty-year war for a separate state for ethnic Tamils living among other minorities and the Sinhalese majority on the island. On the front lines of this resistance movement, Tamil women were in constant motion. Displaced, resettled, and recruited, these women are part of a growing number of female combatants in rebel groups whose experiences, motivations, and politics continue to complicate our understandings of warfare.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2013

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  • The St Antony's International Review (STAIR) is the only peer-reviewed journal of international affairs at the University of Oxford. Set up by graduate students of St Antony's College in 2005, the Review has carved out a distinctive niche as a cross-disciplinary outlet for research on the most pressing contemporary global issues, providing a forum in which emerging scholars can publish their work alongside established academics and policymakers. Past contributors include Robert O. Keohane, James N. Rosenau, and Alfred Stepan.
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