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Sri Lanka's NGOs test limits of new freedoms
28 January 2015 (IRIN ), The surprise victory of Maithripala Sirisena in Sri Lanka's recent presidential election could signal an easing of restrictions on NGOs and activists working in the conflict-scarred north. Early indications suggest the highly sensitive issue of the thousands still missing after the end of the war is now no longer politically taboo. But will the new space for discussion lead to concrete action?
Myanmar’s reform roller coaster
23 January 2015 (IRIN ), MSF's announcement that it has resumed operations in Rakhine state is welcome news. But the space for humanitarian agencies shifts in line with Myanmar's stumbling reform process. And in an election year, it could become an increasingly bumpy ride.
Accountability after Haiyan
21 January 2015 (IRIN ), When Typhoon Haiyan swept across the central Philippines in November 2013, the emergency response was a test case for the aid industry's aspiration to be accountable to affected populations. What lessons were learnt?
Aid at risk as Afghanistan's war splinters
19 January 2015 (IRIN ), Delivering aid to millions of Afghans in need will be even more dangerous in 2015, as government forces and militant groups splinter and security deteriorates, analysts say.
Vietnamese asylum cases test Cambodia
30 December 2014 (IRIN ), Cambodia’s actions in the ongoing case of a group of Vietnamese ethnic minorities suggests the country’s capacity and willingness to protect asylum seekers remains weak. A group was transferred to the capital, Pnom Penh, in recent weeks to have their claims processed which, refugee advocates say, will be a “test” for the Cambodian government as it prepares to welcome some 1,000 refugees from Australian detention centres.
Aceh's unfinished recovery
26 December 2014 (IRIN ), In a guest post, Lilianne Fan with Overseas Development Institute examines the fallout of the Indian Ocean tsunami, which released the energy of 23,000 Hiroshima-type atomic bombs and devastated coastal towns and communities. The impact was global in scale - an estimated 270,000 people killed or missing across 14 countries, with casualties in 46 nations. But while the tsunami’s destruction was felt around the world, Aceh was by far the region most devastated by the disaster, bearing almost half of the total damage and losses worldwide.
Aceh redux: The legacy of Aceh’s emergency economy
24 December 2014 (IRIN ), What happens when you suddenly inject billions of dollars, hundreds of jobs and 500 aid agencies into to an isolated corner of the world battered by more than a quarter century of conflict and then devastated by one of the world’s worst natural disasters? IRIN looks back at some of the unintended and residual consequences of the international response in Indonesia’s Aceh Province to the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004.
Sri Lanka, the tsunami and the evolution of disaster response
24 December 2014 (IRIN ), On the morning of 26 December 2004, Mohideen Ajeemal, a fish distributor from Sainathimaruthu, a village on Sri Lanka’s eastern coast, hurriedly climbed a coconut tree to escape rapidly rising seawater. As he did so he saw his young daughter and son struggling to save themselves. “I found both bodies later that afternoon. My son’s body was swept away about a mile, my daughter’s had got stuck in a fence,” he said.
Aceh redux: The tsunami that helped stop a war
23 December 2014 (IRIN ), When the earthquake struck, Irwandi Yusuf, a leader in the armed separatist Free Aceh Movement (GAM), was startled in his prison bunk. He began to pack his possessions into a plastic bag. “The earthquake was strong, I thought there might be a tsunami,” he said. “I knew many people would run toward the main door, and the prison guard would shut the gate to stop the crowd because he didn’t know the tsunami was coming.”
Aceh redux: Aceh at 10 – A look back at the response
22 December 2014 (IRIN ), A decade after the Indian Ocean tsunami devastated Aceh, the isolated tip of Indonesia’s Sumatra Island on the morning of 24 December 2004, IRIN looks at the unprecedented aid response, its impact on the industry, and how local people continue to be affected.

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