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Previous convictions

I now believe in nothing

By Hugh Macleman   November 2000

sri lanka is a place where the truth has vanished. The twisted limbs of the beggars littering the streets mirror the country’s political brutality. It is the darkest and maddest country I know. While the days break with relentless perfection, the nights bring a claustrophobic shroud-the lack of electricity exacerbated by the fear of violence.

Arriving when I was 24, I believed in the romance of poverty and the righteousness of political struggle. I worked for a small Marxist organisation, run by a Sri Lankan Che Guevara. Focusing on the bestial labour conditions of Sri Lanka’s tea plantations, the organisation,…

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