Not too long ago I was introduced to the intricacies of the violent conflict in Sri Lanka between the majority Sinhalese and the minority Tamil -- or, rather, by factions within those two ethnic groups -- when I read Funny Boy, an archly poignant novel about a boy who grows up gay amidst this political turmoil.
The Big Picture brought that book back to life for me with the photo essay posted today. That place is gorgeous, its culture and people fascinating, and it makes me so sad to see this happening there.
This undated picture released on April 25, 2009 by pro-LTTE website Tamilnet shows civilians taking cover after what they say is an explosion caused by a goverment airstrike in the no-fire zone in Mullaitivu district. UN humanitarian chief John Holmes was to hold talks with the Sri Lankan government over the thousands of civilians caught in fighting between troops and Tamil rebels, officials said.The Sri Lankan government has resisted all calls to halt an offensive that is now on the brink of wiping out the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels, who have been fighting for an independent Tamil homeland since 1972. (AFP/Getty Images)