The Tigers' Last Days

In Sri Lanka, thousands of Tamils have been displaced, as the long struggle against a separatist group enters its decisive phase

Ruth Fremson / The New York Times / Redux

A Sri Lankan soldier sits in a guardhouse build high in a tree.

In tiny blue chairs set up in rows, a group of young children begin their lessons at a makeshift preschool in northern Sri Lanka. They listen to stories, learn their colors, giggle, fidget and cry. The children are among thousands of Tamils who have fled their homes in the past 12 months, as the Sri Lankan army has surged toward the end of a 25-year war against an armed separatist movement, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Government officials and the aid agencies that help maintain the camp where these children live call them "internally displaced persons" (IDPs).

Their parents...

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