War and Tsunami still continue to affect children?…

Jul 19th, 2010 | By | Category: Featured, Impact, Lead Article

War and Tsunami’, Sri Lanka was unfortunately hit by both! Irrespective of class or creed, young or old everyone was afflicted. The tribulations many had to face due to the war and tsunami that mercilessly plagued upon Sri Lankan society sometime back, still lingers on though not to the same extent.

Many research studies were done by local as well as foreign experts on how they affected people, some in collaboration with local experts, some independently and a few actually tried to exploit vulnerable tsunami survivors for research not applying even the mandatory set of ethics with the help of  the so called local professionals who also supported them in turning Sri Lanka into a ‘free trade zone for easy and cheap research’. Looking at the positive side, many good quality research studies were done in Sri Lanka by local and foreign experts that we could incorporate into development programmes for the benefit of the country.

One such articlewas published in Science direct on “Sri Lankan children affected by War, Tsunami, Daily stressors” on July 15 2010. Two studies done on Sri Lankan children who survived the 2004 tsunami and the war found that they were not the only stressors affecting their psychological health but also the ongoing daily stressors such as domestic violence that are actually exacerbated by traumatic events and continue after the disasters. It further states that even though war and tsunami have a direct effect, unsafe housing and povertythat arose from the War and Tsunami are continuing stressors that affect these children’s psychological health adversely.

“By making sure not to miss the importance of ongoing stressors in youths’ daily lives, our study highlights the need for holistic policies and programsthat focus on reducing these current stressors,” notes Gaithri A. Fernando, associate professor of psychology at California State University, Los Angeles, who led the study.

Children are amongst the most vulnerable group to the harmful long term consequences of violence and destruction.Children are an invaluable resource to a country and its best hope for the future. The results of research studies as above can be used when developing programmes to help these traumatized youngsters as issues such as the ones discussed in the article needs prompt action and should come in the top of any priority list for a better future for Sri Lanka.

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