Tarun was born in 1983, the year civil war began in Sri Lanka. Across the northern part of the island country once known as Ceylon, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (Tamil Tigers) were in a brutal fight to establish a free state. Tamils, a Sri Lankan Hindu minority, opposed the (Buddhist) Sinhalese-dominated Sri Lankan government, and thousands would die in coming years. The conflict was built on decades of grievances, and each death pushed the groups farther apart.


Name changed to protect identity.