“Our motherland was wrested from us. Our historical roots have been severed. Our voice was cut off due to the imposition of another language. Many lost their livelihoods and fled to other countries. Pregnant women were killed in fear of rising numbers of Tamil population. The ashes of our murdered youth have become street dust. We turned red. And then was born Prabhakaran. And then was born the Liberation Tigers. Tamil Eelam turned into fire.”
Kaasi Anandan, a Sri Lankan Tamil poet and an ardent supporter of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), writes the above lines in the introduction of Pazha Nedumaran’s book ‘Tamil Eelam Sivakkiradhu’, explaining why the much-feared guerrilla force came into being.
The 30-year-long civil war between Tamil rebels and the Sinhalese-dominated Sri Lankan forces inflicted wounds that continue to fester years after the conflict ended. The aftermath of the war, however, also triggered a number of creative works in popular culture.
But most such works have fallen into the stereotyping trap.
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