It was almost four o’clock in the morning on Feb. 18, 1990, when Dr. Manorani Saravanamuththu pulled into the driveway of No. 42 Castle Street, an old Portuguese-style home located in a suburb of Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo.
The tour guide’s voice echoes around the dark, musty room, three stories underground. Fifty visitors – among them mothers holding infants, youths snapping pictures on mobile phones and grandparents leaning against the walls – are crammed into the narrow stairwell that leads down into the chamber, listening attentively to his every word.
A bloody civil war was reaching its climax but this Tamil family, who had already experienced the conflict intimately, had one last decision to make that would prove to be the hardest one of all.