Post-war Sri Lanka: Tiger country
The Economist - over 4 years
Now can we go swimming?
IN A war-scarred pocket of jungle in north-eastern Sri Lanka are the remains of the last stronghold of the rebel group, the Tamil Tigers, before they were wiped out by the armed forces in 2009. It looks like a godforsaken place: just to get there busloads of people drive through a swelteringly hot landscape of bombed-out houses, emaciated cattle and mangled cars. But then, surreally, appears a swimming pool, 25 metres long and seven metres deep. This was where government photographs once showed Velupillai Prabhakaran, the pudgy leader of the Tigers, taking a dip and reclining on a lilo.As wartime propaganda goes, the images were unbeatable. In fact, the pool also had a serious purpose. The frogmen of the rebels’ crack naval wing, the Sea Tigers, trained there, learning to destroy ships by attaching magnetic mines to their hulls.Today triumphalism abounds among Sri Lanka’s majority Sinhala population. The army found the pool in 2009, drained it,
The Economist article