05/17/2016, 20.21
SRI LANKA
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A book by a Tamil Tiger leader is an “hymn to peace and repentance”

by Melani Manel Perera

Thamilini Jeyakkumar’s autobiography was recently launched. It is inspired by her change of heart and the loving care of her Sinhalese doctor and few Sinhalese friends during the brief illness that took her life. All the proceeds from the sale will go to a hospital. “Everyone can change their mind, at any age,” said the man behind the book’s publication.

Colombo (AsiaNews) – The autobiography of Thamilini Jeyakumar, former Women’s Political Wing of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) during the civil war, is an hymn to peace and reconciliation as well as a journey away from ideas of war and revenge, said Sri Lankan film director and playwright Dharmasiri Bandaranayake.

Titled Thiyunu aseepathaka Sevana (Under the shadow of a sharp sword), the book was launched on 13 May, at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute in Colombo.

Thamilini Jeyakumar passed away last year after a short bout of cancer. During her stay in hospital, she wrote her story in a month and half, after a change of heart, bent on leaving a message of peace for future generations.

“Everyone can change their mind, at any age or under any circumstances,” said Bandaranayke, who is behind the book’s publication. “This is what happened to Thamilini, who saw the love, kindness and help of Sinhalese through her friends and the doctor's care.”

"I have understood that achieving true peace is harder than war,” she says. “I wrote this book to show how many obstacles we have to passed to achieve true peace. I believe that thousands of peace fighters will hold my hands for true peace. Therefore, I raise my hands for peace."

She admitted her faults during the civil war, noting that this admission is necessary to build honest relations on a new basis.

“The loving care provided by the Sinhalese doctor and friends was the driving force behind her change,” said Bandaranayake. “We need this kind of love, kindness and charity to change a human being, and achieve peace and reconciliation in our country."

The playwright urged his fellow Sri Lankans to read Thamilini’s book. Proceeds from its sale will go to Maharagama Cancer Hospital, where she was treated. Publishing and translation costs will also be devolved to the facility.

The Tamil leader stresses that there should be no more war or similar deeds, in which so much blood is spilled, and so much pain and sorrow endured.

Even if she still believes in (peaceful) struggle, she rejects war, which is not the solution. "We have learnt through our experiences that taking up arms or taking revenge cannot do any good or righteous thing in our society, country or the world."

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