Who killed Siva?

Political disquiet and the fervour of revolution in Sri Lanka.

I had arrived in Sri Lanka in 1987 to help set up the regional bureau of the news agency, Inter Press Service. The favourite watering hole for my colleague Richard de Zoysa and me was Beach Wadia, which had not yet become the fashionably gentrified seafood restaurant for Colombo's chic category that it is today.

One evening in May 1988, Richard brought along his friend Sivaraman Dharmeratnam and we sat on the sand gazing out at the Arabian Sea waves crashing on an offshore shipwreck and talking about the Tamil liberation struggle. I was taking tennis lessons then, and was trying to buy a good racket. Siva sad he had a pair he could sell. The very next day, I bought two Slazengers from Siva for 50 dollars. We joked, wondering if Siva had passed the money on for the purchase of a six pack of 71mm mortar rounds.

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Himal Southasian