National Geographic : 2016 Nov
Fragile peace 125 The woman told me that her 20-year-old son was born in the camp. The rickety shack with the leaky roof and dirt floor is the only home he has ever known. “As you can see, this is no place to raise a family,” she said. When I asked about her husband, she paused for a moment before replying, in a distant voice, “I lost my husband eight years ago. He was abducted in a white van.” When the FiSherman failed to return home, his wife’s first thought was that he must have tak- en his boat out—though it was odd that he wasn’t answering his phone. A few days later she found A Buddhist monk cares for a spotted deer he rescued when he found it alone in the forest near the ruins of Ritigala Monastery, in the center of the country. A few monks still live near the archaeological site, which has inscriptions from the first century B.C . Sri Lanka is considered the oldest continually Buddhist nation. his motorcycle, and she went to the police. “If we hear of something,” they told her, “we’ll let you know.” The fisherman’s wife began to hear about more Tamil men disappearing from the streets of Man- nar. Some had been snatched in public and de- posited in unmarked white vans. In September 2008 her cousin was abducted at gunpoint while riding his motorbike. His mother says a naval offi- cer admitted the navy was behind his kidnapping. The fisherman’s wife, other women in Mannar, and women throughout the Northern Province whose men had disappeared decided to make themselves heard. They hectored the police.