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Niromi de Soyza

Author of Tamil Tigress and Former Child Soldier
Niromi de Soyza

Niromi de Soyza was born and raised in Sri Lanka by her conservative, middle-class educated family. She was a studious child who loved reading and writing from a young age and was hardly found without a book in her possession. Niromi also loved to paint, performed in school plays, sang in the choir and played the piano accordian in the school band. She trained in the Indian classical dance Barathanatiyam and Karnatic music.

 In 1987, as civil war escalated, Niromi and her best friend, Ajanthi, ranaway from their private Christian Girls' College and joined the Tamil Tigers against their parents' wishes. They were 17. Niromi survived the perils of war - starvation, illness and the death of her best friend.

At a Boarding School in India she penned her experience in diary format. By the time she completed High School, she had been elected a House Captain and the year's Prom Queen. Later in Australia, she openly declared her past and was granted political asylum. She went to university and studied science and law, gaining a Masters degree.

Niromi felt compelled to share her story after seeing the plight of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees arriving in Australia by boat after the end of civil war in 2009. Her Memoir Tamil Tigress was first released in Australia & New Zealand by Allen & Unwin on the 1st of July 2011, on Ajanthi's birthday. The book is included in the list of '50 Books You Can't Put Down' released by Get Reading! 2011, an Australian Government initiative developed through the Australian Council for the Arts.