The war against the LTTE, waged by the Mahinda Rajapakse government, may have restored peace in Sri Lanka. But thousands of Tamils paid the price for the so-called victory with their lives, journalist Frances Harrison tells Vicky Nanjappa.

The annihilating battle against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, waged by the Mahinda Rajapakse government, may have ultimately restored peace in Sri Lanka. But thousands of Tamils have paid the price for this so-called victory with their lives, journalist Frances Harrison reports in her new book Still Counting the Dead.

‘Caught in the crossfire were hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren, doctors, farmers, fishermen, nuns and other civilians. And the government ensured through a strict media blackout that the world was unaware of their suffering,’ Harrison states in her book.

Harrison, a veteran BBC correspondent who has reported from South Asia, South East Asia and Iran, was the resident BBC correspondent in Sri Lanka between 2000 and 2004.

She has worked at Amnesty International as Head of News and while writing this book, served as a visiting research fellow at Oxford University.

Frances Harrison spoke to Rediff.com’s Vicky Nanjappa in an exclusive interview.

How has your book been received?

There has been criticism from parties on both sides of the war, but many ordinary Tamils around the world who have read it have thanked me for telling these stories.

At the book launch in London, a burly Tamil man rushed up to me. He had tears in his eyes. He gave me a huge hug, said ‘Thank you’ and walked off crying.

Courtesy – Rediff News

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