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Sri Lanka War Stories [Hardcover]

Stephen Champion


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Book Description

10 April 2008
The intransigence if the Sri Lankan state and the failure of both Sinhalese and Tamil political imagination has locked Sri Lanka into over two decades of civil war. This, compounded with social unrest and repression, has led to enormous pain and suffering amongst our people and to the destruction of our social fabric. It affects the way we live, the way we love and the we way we interect with one another. Violence has become the first means of resolving disputes, and tolerance of violence a fact of everyday life. Stephen Champion captures this Sri Lankan nightmare in haunting detail, showing a rich and sophisticated civilisation in the throes of violent upheaval. He reveals the pain in our faces, the material destruction of our environment, and the callousness that has come to engulf our lives.

But all is not lost. For in the midst of this violence, in the intensity of our hatred, the basic humanity of our people still endures. A Sinhalese couple struggle through the fire to save their Tamil friend from the violence of the Sinhalese mob, a Tamil man wept openly when the LTTE ordered his Muslim neighbours out of Jaffna, a SLA soldier saved a Tamil baby seperated from his parents during the fighting, and a Buddhist priest nurses young boys who have escaped torture. Champion understands this tension between our hatred and our humanity, between our violence and our compassion. That is why his pictures move us in an intimate way. He holds up a mirror to our dark side, hoping that we will emerge stronger, urging us to listen to the voice of our own humanity.

Dr Radhika Coomaraswamy - UN Special Representative for Children & Armed Conflict


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The intransigence if the Sri Lankan state and the failure of both Sinhalese and Tamil political imagination has locked Sri Lanka into over two decades of civil war. This, compounded with social unrest and repression, has led to enormous pain and suffering amongst our people and to the destruction of our social fabric. It affects the way we live, the way we love and the we way we interect with one another. Violence has become the first means of resolving disputes, and tolerance of violence a fact of everyday life. Stephen Champion captures this Sri Lankan nightmare in haunting detail, showing a rich and sophisticated civilisation in the throes of violent upheaval. He reveals the pain in our faces, the material destruction of our environment, and the callousness that has come to engulf our lives. But all is not lost. For in the midst of this violence, in the intensity of our hatred, the basic humanity of our people still endures. A Sinhalese couple struggle through the fire to save their Tamil friend from the violence of the Sinhalese mob, a Tamil man wept openly when the LTTE ordered his Muslim neighbours out of Jaffna, a SLA soldier saved a Tamil baby seperated from his parents during the fighting, and a Buddhist priest nurses young boys who have escaped torture. Champion understands this tension between our hatred and our humanity, between our violence and our compassion. That is why his pictures move us in an intimate way. He holds up a mirror to our dark side, hoping that we will emerge stronger, urging us to listen to the voice of our own humanity. Dr Radhika Coomaraswamy - UN Special Representative for Children & Armed Conflict

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