Ruined remains of rebel ‘capital’


In Kilinochchi there was hardly a building with a roof. Shops were in ruins or pockmarked with bullets, a huge water tower was lying on its side. The Peace Secretariat, where the Tigers met visiting diplomats and journalists during the failed 2002 ceasefire, was a shell. The windows and furniture had gone, the paving stones in the car park had been torn up. A commando armed with rocket-propelled grenades guarded the gate. Nobody is talking peace now. Kilinochchi was a potent symbol of the Tigers’ separatist aspirations. There they had established the trappings of the state for the Tamil minority for which they have fought for a generation.

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