Analakshmi’s Story

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The first memory Analakshmi’s describes of the war is her family’s displacement from the Jaffna peninsula during the 1995 operation by the military to take back the district from the LTTE. From a family of fishermen, she describes how they all fled amidst a barrage of artillery fire. “We had to take our boat in […]

Vasuki’s Story

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“Tell us where your brother is,” the Indian soldiers told Vasuki as they dangled her above a well. They were from the Indian Peacekeeping Force (IPKF) and had raided her family home. That is her first memory of the war. She was 9 years old and her family had just returned home to Kilinochchi after […]

Meera’s Story

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“The Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) shot my neighbor to death,” Meera says describing her first memory of the war – she was only in grade six. Later the IPKF would return, abducting two of her brothers, forcibly sending them to train for one of its allied paramilitary groups. The reason – one of her […]

Mary’s Story

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Mary grew up in a full household in Mulliyawalai, with six brothers and a sister. Mary lost four of her brothers in the war, all of whom had joined the LTTE. She recalls first beginning to understand the conflict in 2001, when one of her brothers who had joined the LTTE died. In 2006, Mary […]

Deepa’s Story

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Born in Amparai, Deepa’s village was lush – surrounded by paddy fields, behind it a river and vast forest. One afternoon, when many were working in the fields, the army got news that there was LTTE presence in the area. The army started firing at civilians working in the paddy fields, injuring and killing many. […]

Sivanathan’s Story

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Growing up with a very civically engaged father, Sivanathan had an understanding and appreciation of politics and the ethnic conflict from a young age. “My father was passionate about Tamil,” he recalls. “Even today people tell me that he went to Mannar for a hunger strike and people welcomed him with garlands and great respect,” […]

Shanthi’s Story

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Shanthi sits in the shade of a Neem tree beside an old church in Mullaitivu. She is a mother of two, husband-less, but not a widow. She works at a pre-school, and though she can only afford to pay her children’s school tuition every other month, she feeds them three times a day. “That’s what […]

Shalini’s Story

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“A lot of hill country Tamils were chased out of their homes and displaced,” Shalini says, remembering the first time as a child she had heard about the unrest between Tamils and Sinhalese. Born in 1967 to a family of well-off farmers in Vavuniya, she was the fifth child out of eleven. Her family owned […]

Kamala’s Story

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“The LTTE didn’t have uniforms back then; they used to wear normal clothes,” recalls Kamala as she describes her childhood in Killinochchi, and her first memories of the conflict. “When they walked on streets with their guns, I used to run out to see them.” Kamala was born in 1971 in Mannar and moved to […]