Early in March 1996, the anthropologist Margaret Trawick, for the first time, pedaled an old bicycle across a bridge in Sri Lanka's eastern Batticaloa District to do fieldwork, as she puts it, beyond enemy lines. The enemy in question is the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a ruthlessly efficient Tamil rebel army that, for thirty-two years, has been fighting the Sri Lankan national government—which is dominated by the country's majority Sinhala ethnic group—in order to establish a separate Tamil state, or Eelam, in the island nation's north and east. This conflict, as Trawick is aware, has been fought with little regard for “human rights” by all the various parties involved in it. But in a post-9/11 world, the LTTE's widespread use of suicide bombing, its recruiting of children—sometimes forcibly—and its use of all-female combat units has solidified its reputation among Western governments as a “terrorist” organization. Trawick, aware...
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Book Review| May 01 2009
Enemy Lines: Warfare, Childhood, and Play in Batticaloa
Enemy Lines: Warfare, Childhood, and Play in Batticaloa. By Margaret Trawick.
Berkeley and Los Angeles:
University of California Press,
307pp. $60.00 (cloth); $25.95 (paper).
Journal of Asian Studies (2009) 68 (2): 662–664.
Mark P. Whitaker; Enemy Lines: Warfare, Childhood, and Play in Batticaloa. Journal of Asian Studies 1 May 2009; 68 (2): 662–664. doi: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0021911809001144
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