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Tea Time with Terrorists: A Motorcycle Journey into the Heart of Sri Lanka's Civil War
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Tea Time with Terrorists: A Motorcycle Journey into the Heart of Sri Lanka's Civil War

3.45  ·  Rating Details ·  84 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Armed with a map, a motorcycle, an infectious sense of humor, and a dim understanding of Sri Lanka's war, author, artist, and adventurer Mark Stephen Meadows arrives in the country intending to have, as it were, afternoon tea with terrorists. Figuring that the first step to solving a problem is understanding it, he journeys north into the war zone, interviewing terrorists, ...more
Paperback, 302 pages
Published 2010 by Soft Skull Press
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Aug 04, 2010 Shane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was mailed this book by a friend in Colorado, or else I may have never heard of it. And what a gift it was, considering that I lived for the first 24 years of my life in Sri Lanka and also took a motorcycle journey around the island once, albeit when things were much saner.

Mark Meadows, avid traveller and adventurer, takes it upon himself to travel to Sri Lanka in 2003, during a ceasefire in the country’s 26-year civil war, to interview both government and rebel leaders on how they viewed thei
Christopher Rex
I felt like the author didn't really know which direction to take this book. Some parts were direct statements and analysis of various "independence" groups & individuals in the Sri Lankan civil war (namely, the Tamil Tigers), other parts were larger connections to "global terrorism" and/or the War on Terror and still others were just about him bumming around Sri Lanka on his motorcycle. Maybe that was his intent. Either way, it just didn't work that well for me. It was an interesting read, ...more
Marc Weitz
Apr 14, 2012 Marc Weitz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I came across the book on Amazon while looking for recent writing on Sri Lanka for a trip that I am planning next month. Recently, I have been reading a lot of travelogues trying to figure out what makes one good or bad. The bad ones are annoying and self-serving; they're about the author more than the location. To those authors: few readers care about you and your discovery that Italy has good pasta and red wine and that is somehow a unique experience.

The good travelogues are about the location
This book is fundamentally about the characteristics of terrorism and is really not for everyone. Fortunately the central topic is veered away from by the author's observations of everyday life on Sri Lanka as he motorcycles up and down the island in search of terrorists and their truths- otherwise the book would have been relentlessly grim.

The back of the book mentions the author's "infectious sense of humor". Apparently the person who wrote that didn't read the book.

The cultural, political and
Jan 17, 2013 Sherry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read on my way to Christmas time with Adam, Maja, Carl and Chloe. Lots of air time and thank you, George, for the recommendation. I really liked his bigger question--what really and who really is a "terrorist" and why have we crafted such an "us/them" world, especially encouraged by George Bush's 9-11 reaction. And I like the way he tried to answer it by interviewing some "terrorists" on both sides of the recent civil unrest in Sri Lanka led by the Tamil Tigers. He found his terrorists amazingly ...more
Dec 19, 2013 Suvendrini rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"War, like media, exists because we are social. War exists because we organize ourselves into groups, and those very groups create a threat to other groups that are neighbors. We are as warlike as we are sociable. It is because we are sociable that we are warlike. These twins require one another, and will always be linked." (pg.233)
Meadows communicates his experience of Sri Lanka by creating relationship with Sri Lankans through his openness, acceptance and compassion. He links his gathered know
Mar 31, 2013 Chris rated it really liked it
I don't read much non-fiction, but this was definitely worth the time. A very personal yet intricate view into a conflict that I feel not a lot of folks my age - particularly in the United States - are really aware of, especially in such microcosmic terms.
Jan 31, 2014 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I heard Mark speak at our local library and was mesmorized by his story. He was engaging, so I bought his book. It's a wonderful read for anyone interested in non-fiction tales about how residents of war torn countries handle life.
I'm not quite finished mulling this over yet. It's definitely fun to follow Mark around on adventures!
Kind of interesting. I was hoping for more about the people in the country and less about the countries war history.
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“--and in fact, we humans need conflict just like we need language, to help us define who we are.” 3 likes
“The British burned much of what had been categorized and reduced Aluvihara’s libraries—many of the primary (most “pure”) teachings of the Buddha—to ashes. In talking with one of the administrators about it, I asked how much was left, and as a response he raised the palms of his hands and shrugged. I discovered later that some few texts were reclaimed, and then hidden, but the vast majority were lost.25 Which was the British intent. Doing so softened up the Sri Lankan cultural memory and, therefore, reasons for resistance to the British invasion. But this fact isn’t mentioned in the guidebooks, at least not the ones published in the United Kingdom. We English speakers, after all, have our own traditions to protect. The” 0 likes
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