Following a disaster, affected communities are often ushered by governments and reconstruction agencies to rebuild their houses and lives in new sites. This is particularly the case when disasters are the consequence of site-specific vulnerabilities. After the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004, the immediate government response of most affected countries was that coastal communities should be relocated at a safe distance from the sea. This was also the case of Sri Lanka, which shortly after the tsunami announced that no reconstruction would be allowed in a coastal buffer zone of 100—200 m depending on the coastal conditions. As a result of this policy, it was estimated that about 50,000 families would need to be relocated. People displaced by this policy were promised a house would be built for them by national and international agencies on land to be provided by the government (TAFREN 2005; RADA 2006).