There is a pause in one of the bloodiest civil wars of the last twenty years. A ceasefire in Sri Lanka means that what had seemed an endless and intractable conflict, fought with child soldiers, suicide bombs, and aerial bombardment, has stopped. At least for the moment.
For many in the West, who follow the conflicts in Northern Ireland or the Mideast, the war between the separatist Tamil Tigers and the Sinhalese majority in Sri Lanka almost doesn’t register. It’s too confusing, too far away. But in the light of a worldwide war on terrorism, Sri Lanka seems a lot closer to home. Some people compare the island nation to an earring dangling off the tip of India. Others see a teardrop. Beauty or tears: which way for Sri Lanka.
Frances Harrison, BBC correspondent, Colombo, Sri Lanka
David B.S. Jeyaraj, freelance journalist, Toronto, Canada
Chandra de Silva, professor of history, Old Dominion University.