The tropical island of Sri Lanka is a paradise for tourists, but in 2009 it became a hell for its Tamil minority, as decades of civil war between the Tamil Tiger guerrillas and the government reached its bloody climax. Caught in the crossfire were hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren, doctors, farmers, fishermen, nuns and other civilians. And the government ensured through a strict media blackout that the world was unaware of their suffering. Now, a UN enquiry has called for war-crimes investigations. Those crimes are recounted here to the wider world for the first time in sobering, shattering detail.
Frances Harrison was educated at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, as well as the School of Oriental & African Studies, and Imperial College in London. For many years she worked as a foreign correspondent for the BBC posted in South Asia, South East Asia and Iran. From 2000-4 she was the resident BBC Correspondent in Sri Lanka. She has worked at Amnesty International as Head of News and while writing this book was a visiting research fellow at Oxford University.
Book site: www.stillcountingthedead.com
YouTube reading: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9zbThM_1n0
"groundbreaking and utterly compelling" Sydney Morning Herald.
"this story has had too little impact. With luck, this book can help change that." The Guardian.
"..the appalling scenes recounted here provide the sharpest possible rebuke to those who might feel comfortable with the idea of a peace won in this way. More to the point, they raise doubts as to whether the Tamil and Sinhalese populations are likely to be able to move forward until both have faced up to their shared history". The Financial Times.
"Harrison's book contains a collection of grim facts that begin to establish an account of the events of early 2009 from a macro standpoint (referencing facts from reliable sources) complemented hauntingly by individual stories of human tragedy. It is the latter that makes it such a heart-breaking read, from the story of the teacher who suffered a "miscarriage on the beach at the climax of the war" to the young woman who alleges she was brutally raped by drunk police in cells." Uncovering the Truth About Sri Lanka's Civil War: a Painful But Urgent Task, Emanuel Stoakes, 12 Oct 2012
"Grasping an underreported and extremely complex subject, Harrison demonstrates journalism at its best by backing up her emotive portraits with hard facts and figures. As a new UN inquiry calls for further investigation into the atrocities committed by both the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil rebel fighters, Harrison tells more than figures ever could by bringing to light the human cost of war." Huffington Post, 3 Oct 2012
"Still Counting the Dead adds a new layer of detail to the conflict. We come to know the 10 survivors intimately and get a sense of what it was like for Tamil civilians living through the horror". Book Review: The War the World Forgot, AlertNet, 1 Oct 2012