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Geelong – Author Talk – Losing Santhia

31 October 2019 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Author Talk: October 31st Waurn Ponds Library 6.30 pm

Ben Hiller and Aran Mylvaganam will visit Waurn Ponds library to speak about Ben’s book “Losing Santhia: Life and Loss in the Struggle for Tamil Elam”.  Ben is the author of this book launched in July 2019. Aran founded the Tamil Refugee Council in 2011.

On a small stretch of sand in north-eastern Sri Lanka in 2009, the Sri Lankan armed forces slaughtered tens of thousands of Tamils. The Tamil Tigers, who had waged a three-decade-long war of national liberation, were militarily defeated. But some of their ranks survived. Santhia was one. After the war, she and her infant son tried to reach Australia but were stranded in Indonesia. Santhia died in a Jakarta hospital in October 2017 aged just forty-two.

Sponsored by the Tamil Refugee Council, Ben Hillier travelled to Indonesia and Sri Lanka in the month after Santhia’s death to piece together her life. In this essay, she appears as an individual expression of a nation’s fight for liberation. The essay is paired with a seminal document, “Liberation Tigers and Tamil Eelam freedom struggle”, written in 1983 by Anton Balasingham on behalf of the Tigers’ political committee.

“A fascinating account. Losing Santhia interweaves the stories of an individual, an organisation and a nation, all pursuing liberation. The stories are tragic, ending in a defeat that resulted from a flawed strategy and the combined power of domestic and international forces that imposed or supported oppression. But they are also stories of heroism and hope – because oppression inevitably gives rise to resistance and resistance is not inevitably doomed.”

– Rick Kuhn, honorary associate professor in sociology, Australian National University

Date:  31st October 2019. Time: 6.30 pm

Venue: Waurn Ponds Library,   230 Pioneer Rd Grovedale.

Proceeds of the book support the Tamil Refugee Council

Please put this date in the diary and a booking link will be provided in the next newsletter. AUTHOR TALK 31 OCTOBER Losing Santhia

 THANK YOU – To Aireys Inlet RAR for a generous donation to help CRAG supporting people seeking asylum.  Your efforts are very appreciated.


31 October 2019
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm


Waurn Ponds Library,
230 Pioneer Rd
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