By Shashank Bengali, Los Angeles Times (TNS)
ALONG THE A9 HIGHWAY, Sri Lanka — The road from Colombo, Sri Lanka’s graceful seaside capital in the south, to the northern town of Jaffna has rarely been a straight shot. Most of the 250-mile journey follows the A9 highway, which slices through palm groves and green carpets of farmland that were the main battlegrounds of the country’s three-decade civil war.
During the worst fighting between an army dominated by the Sinhalese ethnic majority and rebels from the mainly Tamil north, long stretches of A9 were closed to civilian traffic. As the main supply line for Tamil Tiger rebels fighting for an independent homeland, it held immense strategic value.…