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a pilgrimage

When we planned a week's holiday on Sri Lanka's southern coast, my mind was focused on one thing. Not the beaches. Not the surf. Not the tea. Not the parks. Not the yoga. Not the Buddha statues. Not the snorkeling. Not the coral. Just one thing. The tsunami.

Upwards of 40,000 Sri Lankans lost their lives on the 26th December 2004. As I made quiet enquiries about places to go which might keep the memory alive, I sensed a reluctance to remember - and that is understandable. However, eventually, we made our way 40 minutes back up the road towards Colombo from Galle. Between the road and the beach, there is a memorial to those who lost their lives. It features a huge mural.

Draw near and the images are stark. This is the place where the wall of water rushed from the ocean across the land and wiped out a train, flinging carriages 200 meters from the tracks. 1200 people died - and nine people survived. As you'd expect, the train features heavily in the mural - as do bodies hang…

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