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This article tries to unpack why subaltern caste groups in Jaffna society have failed to end their displacement and move out of the IDP camps many years after the end of war between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Using both quantitative and qualitative data from the affected communities the paper argues that the interplay among ethnicity, caste and social class and ethnic-biases and caste-blindness of state policies and Sinhala and Tamil politics largely informed by rival nationalist perspectives are among the underlying causes of the prolonged IDP problem in the Jaffna Peninsula. In search of an appropriate solution to the intractable IDP problem in post-war Sri Lanka, the paper calls for increased participation of subaltern caste groups in political decision making and policy dialogues, release of land in high security zones for affected IDPs wherever possible and provision of adequate incentives for remaining IDPs to move to alternative locations arranged by the state in consultation with the IDPs and members of neighbouring communities where the IDPs cannot possibly go back to their original sites.
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