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Poppies and a poster of a soldier adorn a war memorial in Colombo, Sri Lanka Last year, I spent a few weeks in Sri Lanka acting like a reporter, although I'm not a reporter and have never been one.
This was unplanned, moreover—I'd planned to be a tourist—but before I knew it I was arranging clandestine meetings with senior bureaucrats to talk, off the record, about their impressions of the country.
Back in Seattle, I wrote a short op-ed about the experience for The Seattle Times, in which I said that the lack of free speech was indefensible, especially since the war was over. That seemed like the end of the experience, but before I could move on, it was resurrected.
First, a popular opposition website in Sri Lanka republished my op-ed.
Sri Lanka’s military says a video clip allegedly showing its soldiers executing prisoners during the battle against Tamil Tigers rebels is a fake.
Sri Lankan army spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara said the footage – broadcast by Channel 4 News last night – was a fabrication designed to discredit security forces.
We gazed out our bedroom window at houses burning across the city.The capture of Kilinochchi was a milestone in the army’s final push against the Tamil Tigers, which triumphantly concluded a 27-year war in May.By January, when the video was allegedly filmed, foreign and most local journalists had been banned from the conflict zone.But I didn't go to Sri Lanka to think about politics or human rights. You see, I was there for the beginning of the war, too.When I was seven, my family moved to Sri Lanka, arriving in June 1983.