This short diary was recovered from Malaravan’s kit after he was killed in action in 1992, when barely twenty. In it, he recounts his unit’s journey to Maankulam, the island’s granary, to fight a critical battle where they routed the Lankan military. The LTTE’s planning and tactics, the fervour and camaraderie of the young Tigers, and the actual combat are minutely chronicled. As a foil to the violence, Malaravan brings out the beauty of the Tamil forest and countryside and the humanity and support of the common people for them, despite their sufferings under army rule.
Bittersweet, fresh and lyrical at times, War Journey is a testament to the Tamil longing for a homeland and the wider conflict that once engulfed the island.
Malaravan, born in April 1972 near Jaffna, was the youngest of his four siblings. He joined the Tamil Eelam movement in 1990.
N. Malathy is member of the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora who has lived in New Zealand for four decades. She is a computer scientist who has engaged with and written extensively on the human rights situation in Sri Lanka.
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