Sri Lanka’s bloody civil war came to an end amongst some of the fiercest fighting, with both the government and the insurgents facing allegations of war crimes. During this time, the Tamil-dominated north was virtually off limits to journalists, aid agencies and human rights organizations. It was, essentially, a war without witness.
CNN’s Sara Sidner gained rare access to Jaffna in Sri Lanka and the people who suffered the ravages of nearly three decades of civil war. While the truth of what happened may be hard to ascertain, the stories of those who lived through it offer a rare glimpse into the power and endurance of the human spirit.
Sidner explores the lives of parents and children who suffered loss, trauma and displacement. She spends time with a mother and daughter, who was taken by the Tamil Tigers as a girl soldier and escaped back to her family. While the violence has ended, Sidner examines how these victims of war cope with the enormous challenges ahead – families torn apart, lives destroyed, psychological devastation, and physical ruin. The victims of Sri Lanka’s civil war bear witness to tragedy and hope….they are Witness to Survival.
The half-hour CNN special premieres on Saturday March 13 at 2300 hrs IST and will be repeated on Sunday, March 14 at 1630 hrs IST.