Rebuilding Sri Lanka

The situation in Sri Lanka almost one year after the tsunami is still highly unsatisfactory for most of the nearly 800.000 people who lost their homes in the tragedy. The vast majority still live in makeshift camps and after the initial global enthusiasm faded, the reconstruction work has progressed very slowly. Government corruption and the conflict with the Tamil Tigers have further delayed the effort to the degree of making Sri Lanka the slowest to recover of all countries hit by the tsunami on December 26, 2004. Tourists are beginning to return, but still in very small numbers, and the southern coast, which depends heavily on the tourist industry, suffers severely. The government has announced a "buffer zone" along the coast where no new permanent houses are allowed to be built. Many critical voices accuse the government for corruption, and for taking advantage of the tragedy, as plans to build large hotel resorts within this zone have been made public.