Editorial Reviews. Review. An extraordinary book. This dignified, just and unbearable account Advanced Search · Kindle Store; ›; Kindle eBooks; ›; History. Read "Still Counting the Dead Survivors of Sri Lanka's Hidden War" by Frances Harrison available from Rakuten Kobo. Sign up today and get $5 off your first. Read "Still Counting the Dead Survivors of Sri Lanka's Hidden War" by Frances Harrison available from Rakuten Kobo. Sign up today and get 5 € off your first.
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Free Ebook Still Counting the Dead: Survivors of Sri Lanka's Hidden War, by Frances Harrison. You might not should be uncertainty concerning. Still Counting the Dead book. Read 41 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. An extraordinary book. This dignified, just and unbearable. The tropical island of Sri Lanka is a paradise for tourists, but in it became a hell for its Tamil minority, as decades of civil war between the.
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The Taliban Revival. Hassan Abbas. Highway Journeys Through A Fractured Land. Sudeep Chakravarti. Music and Capitalism. Timothy D. Lalgarh and the Legend of Kishanji: Tales from India's Maoist Movement. Snigdhendu Bhattacharya. The Crucial Years. That afternoon was pregnant with malice, the weather oppressive and sultry. A tropical storm hung in the air, waiting to explode above the tiny strip of golden beach at the north-eastern corner of the island of Sri Lanka.
It was 18 May Four Catholic priests in grubby white robes with black sashes had just come out of bunkers. They carried a white flag and held their hands in the air.
Terrified, they knelt on the hot sand. They were surrounded by dozens of emaciated children in ragged T-shirts: orphans in their care, some of them in blood-soaked bandages. All were pleading for their lives with the Sri Lankan soldiers who had their guns trained on them from across the beach.
In the background, a plume of grey smoke billowed from vehicles set ablaze by the shells that had rained down. Even the palm trees on the beach that had so recently been a tropical paradise had been decapitated by the ferocious battles of the previous weeks. Now blackened stumps replaced foliage. The stench of decomposing flesh and burning tyres hung in the air, mixed with cordite, sweat and the tang of human fear.
The gunfire had been relentless. For days the Tamil priests and the children — some as young as six — had been waiting for a lull in the fighting so that they could surrender.
The landscape was dotted with trenches reinforced with sandbags. Injured fighters and civilians were all trapped together in this, the final killing field, just a few hundred square metres in size.
One of the priests had a radio telephone and used it to call a brigadier-general in the Sri Lankan Army, who advised them to raise a white flag when the soldiers approached. The day before, one man had been killed while trying to defecate. All night they had heard the cries for help as the soldiers threw grenades into bunkers. The mopping-up operation was under way at the end of five months of unprecedented carnage. Miraculously, the priests and the children had survived.
More than a dozen Sri Lankan soldiers stood in full combat gear, rifles and heavy machine guns pointed at the group, ammunition belts strung across their shoulders.
Young recruits from the south of the island, they were frenzied with fear after seeing so many of their comrades killed. They wanted to kill everything. They implored them to use the telephone to check their story.
The soldiers were so frightened they made a priest dial the number and then put the handset on the ground in the space between them, fearing it might be booby-trapped. Ordered by their superior officers to accept the surrender, the soldiers instructed the group to cross over one by one; they began to strip-search them, including the clerics, even removing bandages to check underneath.
One young boy had a dressing on his lower back and the soldiers pulled it off and stuck their fingers in the wound.
They punched a priest in the chest for no apparent reason. Then it was time to leave. After so many weeks of starvation, nobody had the energy to carry the injured. One badly wounded female rebel in a nearby bunker was too weak to be picked up. She told the priests to leave her and help the others who could walk.
Terrified, he turned around before he heard the shot ring out. They made a long march up the coastal road to an army camp, traversing a living hell, their bare feet stained with human blood. Around them fires were still burning, and limbless, decomposing corpses lay under vehicles or alongside bunkers. A priest said he personally saw thousands of dead on that journey, most of them civilians, not fighters.
The people with him insisted he be given medical treatment. Why are you crying for one father? By the time a medic attached a saline drip, the priest had already died. He was not alone. As the survivors were driven out of the war zone later that night they saw hundreds of naked male and female bodies lined up on the ground, illuminated by lights powered by generators.
The victorious soldiers were using their mobile phones to take trophy photos of the dead rebels — some of the disturbing images that soon appeared all over the Internet. Three hundred kilometres to the south, on the winning side, people had been dancing in the streets of the capital, Colombo.
After decades, the civil war was over. It was a victory few military analysts had thought possible.