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The Power of Good People : Surviving Sri Lanka's Civil War - Paheer Para

The Power of Good People

Surviving Sri Lanka's Civil War

By: Paheer Para, Alison Corke (As told to)

Paperback Published: 1st November 2017
ISBN: 9780648066323
Number Of Pages: 296

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Para was barely five years old when civil war erupted in Sri Lanka. Nearly three decades later it ended in appalling horror and bloodshed. Tens of thousands of innocent civilians died. Survival required courage, ingenuity — and the kindness of strangers. This is Para’s story of survival against all odds.

In May 2009, Sri Lanka’s long and dreadful civil war was finally brought to an horrific end. Ruthlessly driven to a small strip of land on the tip of the island’s north-east coast, tens of thousands of innocent civilians died, smashed by artillery, killed by snipers, denied medical treatment, and starved to death beneath the baking sun. This ferocious battle consolidated and highlighted the terrors of the preceding twenty-six years of war, characterised by vicious murders and desperate acts from both sides, where civilians were bombarded, kidnapped, raped, and tortured with impunity.

In such a vicious war, was there any room for humanity? Para Paheer’s story could be one of tens of thousands, except that he lived to tell the world of the horrors; but more importantly, to record and pay tribute to those courageous people without whom he would probably not be alive.

I know that I would not have survived without help from many people. Many put themselves in danger and at least one person died for me. It’s time for me to remember them, and to thank them … all the good people who helped me through those terrifying times when life was hard, and survival often only a matter of chance.

While in Christmas Island Detention Centre, Para became penfriends with Alison Corke, a member of the Apollo Bay branch of Rural Australians for Refugees, in Victoria. On his release from detention in 2011, Para moved in with the Corke family.

“From our first letters, exchanged while Para was in detention and trying to improve his English, I knew he was an exceptional young man, with an astonishing tale to tell. I am proud to be helping him share his story and to find and thank those people who helped him survive, often against massive odds … Time and again, Para and I agreed that it is the little things that matter most — those small, often unremembered acts of kindness that can change someone’s world. We all have the power to do something; only we can choose whether to use that power for the good."


The Power of Good People


This book is an uplifting, educational and inspiring account of a very special Sri Lankan man who from childhood in difficult circumstances, battled the hardships to become educated and be a successful caring person. Caught up in the Tamil and Government situations and accusations which were not true he endured much persecution and torture and prison. As his life was threatened he had to leave his wife and baby. He endured and survived many hardships along with other refugees including a ship wreck and detention in Australia. His book was written with the help of a kind Australian author and it is an expression and thanks to the good people who cared.



Definitely worth reading


I had little knowledge of the civil war in Sri Lanka, but this first-hand account increased my understanding of how it came about and why people flee their countries. It should be required reading for everybody.




5.0 2


ISBN: 9780648066323
ISBN-10: 0648066320
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 296
Published: 1st November 2017
Publisher: Wild Dingo Press
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 21.0 x 13.5
Weight (kg): 0.35

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