Ilankai Tamil Sangam

24th Year on the Web

Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

But for the Grace

Profiles in Peace from a Nation at War

by James A. Mitchell, March 2009

This book is an honest, accurate, unbiased and deeply personal story told by an author whose only agenda was to tell the world about the true nature of this war.

Book review by N. G., MD

In February 2005 reporter and author James Mitchell accompanied me to Sri Lanka to report the work of a post- Tsunami relief team I organized.   Jim had no idea that there was an ethnic conflict that had been ongoing for 25 years.  He went to report on the relief efforts of our team, however was startled to find out about a brutal civil war that the "world did not know about." 

But For The GraceUsing his reporters instincts and unbiased observations, Mitchell started to write about the history, the people and the war.  His main focus was to chronicle the suffering of the most vulnerable victims of the war - the children and elders.  After the Tsunami  he went back to Sri Lanka three more times to learn more.  He interviewed orphaned children, abandoned elders, Tigers, the only Tamil Supreme Court Judge, American Priests who had witnessed the country evolve from a democracy to an autocracy, Buddhist monks who openly speak against the government policies and American relief volunteers.  After four years of effort, thousands of emails and sheer determination driven solely on his belief that "the the atrocities in Sri Lanka must be known to the world", he has finally published a book based on his research.

The book is now available on Amazon.com.  I have read multiple drafts of the book and can honestly tell you this is a wonderful book that makes the struggles of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka accessible to the world  that knows nothing about Sri Lankan Tamils other than "they are all terrorists".  This book is an honest, accurate, unbiased and deeply personal story told by an author whose only agenda was to tell the world about the true nature of this war.

Just as the Diary of Anne Frank made the brutality of the Holocaust accessible to the world, Mr. Mitchell's book tries to do the same about the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka.  Just as the Jewish diaspora made it their mission to make sure the world read The Diary of Anne Frank, let us make it our mission to ensure the world reads Mr. Mitchell's book.  Making this book a bestseller will draw attention to the Sri Lankan conflict and re-focus the attention on the civil right struggle of the Tamil people and away from the "war on terror" propaganda successfully marketed by the Sri Lankan  government media.  This struggle can only be won with words and not with guns.  Mr. Mitchell's book is a very powerful weapon in this fight.

Please buy this book and urge your friends and relatives to do the same.  Please urge your local university, school, and town libraries to order this book as well.  Please help this book get on the NY Times Best Seller list.  This type of attention is the best way to focus media attention on the plight of those who are suffering in Sri Lanka.