Little is known about the Tamil liberation cause and struggle, as it has been widely dismissed by global powers of all persuasions—the USA, Russia, China and India—each driven by their own realpolitik concerns and self-interests. This book, written by a Diaspora Tamil engaged in human rights work in the Tamil-controlled area of Vanni up until it was overrun by Sri Lankan forces, provides a compelling insider’s look at the motivations, issues and complexities of this largely secret civil war; the entire text is based on first hand observation and includes sociological insights based on these first hand observations.
Isolated in their struggle and condemned by world opinion, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) nonetheless proved capable of withstanding all external forces for a period of decades, drawing large numbers of Tamils, both inside Sri Lanka and outside in the Tamil Diaspora, to support its cause.
The LTTE created a progressive internal movement that succeeded in breaking down ancient caste barriers that had resisted the political inducements and leadership of figures such as Gandhi, and inculcated a climate of social justice and equality.
This book describes what life was like on the ground inside Tamil-controlled territory where the forces of war were held at bay—what the author has referred to in the title of this book as “The Fleeting Moment…”.
What followed was a process of the destruction of everything that she described when it was overrun by the Sri Lankan army and the Tamil genocide began.
“Can the readers who did not experience this imagine what it is like to watch the complete destruction of one’s country: the physical destruction, the destruction of the governance structures, the complete dispersal of its people, and massacres on a massive scale? Has there ever been such complete destruction of a country in history? The only reason why it is not seen as such is because my country was only in the minds of its people, but was not recognized by the global system of states.” N. Malathy