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Monday
Mar122012

Gendered Violence in the North and East of Sri Lanka

The Sinhala service of the BBC, reported a few hours ago, of an "alarming rise of sexual abuse in Jaffna." They quoted Dr S Sivaruban, the Judicial Medical Officer (JMO) of the Jaffna Teaching hospital: "There were 102 cases of sexual abuse reported in Jaffna in 2010 and it has increased to 182 in 2011," said Dr Sivaruban.

This, sad, troubling statistic and statement is indicative of the breakdown of social structure in Jaffna, something that I've been picking up on through anecdotal evidence, on the one hand, and published reports on the other. The break down can be attributed to wild swings in explicitly and implicitly enforced social norms, given a pre war, and war time social structure which saw an intertwining of both extreme patriarchal and puritanical ideologies.

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