Two days before Christmas in 1987, at the age of 17, Niromi de
Soyza found herself in an ambush as part of a small platoon of
militant Tamil Tigers fighting government forces in the bloody
civil war that was to engulf Sri Lanka for decades. With her was
her lifelong friend, Ajanthi, also aged 17. Leaving behind them
their shocked middle-class families, the teenagers had become part
of the Tamil Tigers' first female contingent. Equipped with little
more than a rifle and a cyanide capsule, Niromi's group managed to
survive on their wits in the jungle, facing not only the perils of
war but starvation, illness and growing internal tensions among the
militant Tigers. And then events erupted in ways that she could no
longer bear. How was it that this well-educated, mixed-race,
middle-class girl from a respectable family came to be fighting
with the Tamil Tigers? Today she lives in Sydney with her husband
and children; but Niromi de Soyza is not your ordinary woman and
this is her compelling story.
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