Season 1, Episode 8

Tigers & Terrorism in Sri Lanka

Award-winning journalist Mariana van Zeller and acclaimed chef Michael Voltaggio visit Sri Lanka to see how a country whose bloody civil war, lasting from 1983 to 2009, is fairing now. Close to 100,000 people were killed during the war between the majority Buddhist Sinhalese and the minority Hindu Tamils. Outside of Colombo, the capital city, Mariana and Michael meet with a Buddhist Sinhalese who truly believes that the mass scale of brutality was necessary to end the war. They head to Jaffna, the former capital of the Tamil region, to visit an orphanage housing over 200 children who's families were killed by the Sinhalese. They talk to a Hindu Tamil who believes that the Tamil Tiger's were not a terrorist organization, but a group of people that only did what was necessary to get what rightfully belonged to them. Back in Colombo, Mariana and Michael take a tuk tuk to the Yatagala Temple where Buddhism and Hinduism are still intertwined. This is a contrast to the reality of the past and present Sri Lanka. Upon leaving the temple, they visit Cinnamon Island, where Michael learns how to make cinnamon sticks from a tree. They talk to a Muslim who fears she is losing her rights as a citizen because of the Buddhist Sinhalese, then go on a fishing expedition on the coastline. After the 2004 tsunami wiped out most of the fishing industry, many fishermen resort to more primitive fishing techniques to survive, stilt fishing. The next day, their guests arrive to eat Michael's creations and discuss their past and present.
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