Nepali Times Asian Paints
Life Times
The wars within

A child hangs on to her father's sarong in a church garden in the eastern coastal village of Mankerni in July 2006. Dozens of villagers fled their homes as fears grew of an all-out war.
Sri Lankan war photographer Gemunu Amarasinghe saw his country's conflict up close. Through his lens he recorded the horrors of a war and its cost for the country's civilians.

"The common people of Sri Lanka went through a lot,"says Amarasinghe. "They were lost and had no protection." Thirty of the most poignant images of the Sri Lankan war taken since 1995 will be on exhibit at the Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya in Patan Dhoka for a month, starting Friday.

"I want to depict what happened from the victim's point of view," explains Amarasinghe. "It is important that we acknowledge them and go beyond recognising them just as numbers in the news."

One needs a strong heart to look at these pictures. Titled 'People In Between', the exhibition tells a painful story with every image. The futility of war, and the destruction and pain it inflicts on the innocents is evident throughout. Amarasinghe's pictures serve to remind us that it is the common people who pay the price, regardless of who wins.
Amarasinghe's pictures are arranged down the middle of a hall that houses a permanent exhibition of photographs from the trilogy 'A People War', which documents the human cost of the Nepal conflict. The juxtaposition of the two collections show us how images of suffering are universal.

Says Kunda Dixit, the editor of 'A People War', "The pictures from Nepal are of a class war. Gemunu's photographs show us how much more brutal an ethno-separatist war can be, making reconciliation and the healing process much more difficult."

Sumitra Kumari, centre, mourns for her husband, killed by suspected Tamil Tigers in June 2006 at the remote hamlet of Maitreepura. Fourteen construction workers were abducted and 12 executed.

Female Tamil Tiger combat instructor during compulsory military training for women recruits in the village of Udayanagar in May 2006. The recruitment blurred the line between civilians and combatants.

A Tamil boy flies a kite at a camp for the internally displaced in the eastern town of Kiran in February 2007. Intensified fighting forced thousands of civilians to flee their homes in areas controlled by the Tigers.

Hundreds of internally displaced ethnic Tamils travel in tractors displaying white flags to refugee camps in the northeast town of Valaichenai in January, 2007. Thousands of civilians fled the area after fighting intensified.

Gemunu Amarasinghe was a photographer with the Associated Press in Sri Lanka. Here he poses with some of the photographs from his exhibition, 'People In Between', which opens in Kathmandu on Friday.

'People In Between'
Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya, Patan Dhoka
10 December-10 January
11am-4pm, open all days except Tuesday


Following the Karnali, RABI THAPA
Manang's memories, MICHAL THOMA

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)