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My killing fields

March 14, 2012

So. I’m watching a pathologist showing a photo of a 12 year old boy shot by someone so close he could have reached out and touched him.

He looks like all the Tamil boys I know. His torso is square, solid, he has neatly cut hair and his eyes are half shut. A bit later there is a shot of his father, with an equally share torso and neat hair, also dead. That’s Prabaharan, the charismatic, elusive leader of the Tigers who at one time seemed immortal.

What I am watching here? Channel 4’s Jon Snow sticking doggedly to a subject he could have dropped long ago? Tamils dying. David Miliband walking alongside smiling politicians.The end of a war. Bell Pottinger helping President Rajapaksa justify himself to the UN. Doctors retracting their statements.

I can’t bear this. I’m seeing Tamils huddled, terrified and alone. There are recordings of their screams for their dying children with an unbearable sound that is ripping me apart.

And the occasional glimpse of the place I was born. Red earth, lush green, a shimmering heat and waves of waves of lost people and army trucks.

I’m sitting here, watching, and feeling very far away from home.


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