This project conducted by the Adayaalam Centre for Policy Research aims to document and share stories of strength, courage and resilience of Tamil communities before, during and after the armed conflict. ACPR intends to document these stories for current and future generations of Tamils in Sri Lanka and the Diaspora as part of a broader conversation about Tamil identity. This project hopes to contribute to efforts around the world to document and share stories of Tamil survival, by documenting stories of those who still live in Sri Lanka and continue to persevere.
This project currently features two series’ of stories:
“Stories of Mullivaikkaal”: This series presents alternative narratives from survivors of Mullivaikkaal which does not narrow their lived experiences to helpless victimhood but rather promotes and accepts their agency. We hope that this series will raise awareness about the struggle and resilience of the survivors of the last phase of the war and broaden the conversation about assisting those who suffered mass atrocities during the end of the war.
“Stories of Vaharai“: This series presents a variety of narratives from Tamil individuals who have survived the war in and around the Vaharai region in the East. We hope that this series draws attention to the often overlooked ongoing plight faced by Tamil communities in the East, and the significant trauma they have experienced.
Narratives were collected using semi-structured interviews. Stories remain true to the interviews and were written from transcripts of those interviews without any additions or embellishments. However, to protect the confidentiality of the interviewees for security reasons, any facts that may identify the individuals interviewed were removed or altered. Illustrations were created based on aspects of individuals’ stories. Written and verbal consent was obtained from all interviewees.
Stories of Mullivaikkaal
Interviews conducted by: Anushani Alagarajah, Dharsha Jegatheeswaran and others
Writing of stories by: Kirthika Umasuthan, Dharsha Jegatheeswaran and Anushani Alagarajah
Editing of stories by: Abinaya Kumarakurunathan, Akil Kumaraswamy and others
Illustrations by: Shibanee Siva, Sindu Sivayogam and others
*Not all individuals involved with this project have chosen to be named publicly