The day I leave Ampara on Sri Lanka's east coast, a wild elephant kills a woman and severely injures two others on the road near my house. This is the second fatal attack in town this year and, as before, the animal is rounded up and bundled back to the jungle in a truck. The incident seems to encapsulate something important about the nature of Sri Lanka: dark forces coiled beneath an appearance of calm. In the past month, for example, three security guards have been gunned down at hospitals in Ampara, Batticaloa and Sammanthurai. Yet the world of crisp nursing bonnets and clinical order remains intact throughout. No one knows who the killers were or how they chose their victims, but in this smoke and mirror conflict, rumours are fuelled of a final push by one side or the other. Then nothing happens, just more of the same, daily isolated encounters, as if it were in no one's interest to go for all-out war. Meanwhile the world's attention moves on to Lebanon.
Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.