Sri Lanka’s small world

Reporters on the Job: During my reporting in Sri Lanka, I met Odaya Ramiah, a union leader, in Hatton, a tea-growing area. (Read the Monitor's report on the ethnic divide in Sri Lanka here.)

After the interview at a community center, he invited me to his house for tea. On his bookshelf was a family photo, where he identified his daughter in law. “She is also a journalist and is very famous in Sri Lanka,” he said. “What’s her name?” I asked. “Shimali.”

Then a light bulb went off in my head. Before I left Bangkok, where I live, my wife, a former Associated Press editor, had praised Shimali and told me to look her up. But I heard she’d moved to the US. And here I was chatting with her father-in-law.

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