Real Media: Women's Narratives – The Real Cost of Selling Weapons
Two women from conflict zones in Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe explain the costs of war and the arms trade for their homelands, and in particular the impact on women
Puni: I am from Sri Lanka. I have been living here for more than 30 years. I left my country because of ethnic conflict. Our ethnic conflict started from the time we got independence from Britain in 1948, and it’s still going on ’til today, up to this minute.
From the time of independence, the ethnic minorities have been oppressed politically, economically, socially, culturally, and now even environmentally. The first 30 years, Tamil leaders fought peacefully, nonviolently, for their rights, their own due rights. But they were not given their rights, so after nearly 30 years of independence, an armed struggle was started by young men, very young men who didn’t see any economic future, political future. That went on for 30 years, and it was brought to an end brutally, most brutally, in 2009.
One would expect a political solution after armed rebels are wiped out, but nothing like that happened in Sri Lanka. Till today, for the last eight years, no political solution, but the whole of the North Tamil area has been highly militarized. The military has taken over a lot of economic activities. The people are unable to recover and there is no development, economic development for the war ravaged people. So they are still fighting, in a way.
For the last six months, women have been tired of all this oppression, because even the aid agents, even the UN aid was prevented from reaching the Tamil people. For the last six months, they have been on the streets asking for their rights, for their lands back from the military occupying their own lands.Koko, broiles like this
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