I’ve been to Menik Farm a few times, when it housed 300,000 people and when it had almost none. Now it has actually none. Menik Farm is officially closed today. What is Menik Farm? It’s where many refugees lived after the war.
Archive for the 'tamils' Category
Property is almost guaranteed beef within any family. Sri Lanka is no different. Right now a few quotes seem to be driving the perennial debate, namely those from DefSec Gotabhaya Rajapaksa (in a BBC interview) and ITAK party leader Sampanthan. Their issue? Who exactly does the north and east belong to?
The Hindu’s R.K. Radhakrishnan has a rather workaday article in Frontline until the end: “[The Indian Tamil MPs] carried back a fact that is not palatable in Tamil Nadu: that Tamil in Sri Lanka is a language; nothing more, nothing less. Tamils are not a race in Sri Lanka.” I’m not sure I’d put it that way, but like DBS Jeyaraj saying Sri Lankan Tamils are the 4th ethnicity in Sri Lanka, it makes a bit o sense.
In his post marking the 36th birth anniversary of the LTTE, DBS Jeyaraj said something striking – “Today the battered and shattered Sri Lankan Tamils reduced in numbers to being the fourth largest ethnicity in the Island are slowly struggling to pick up the pieces and get on with life.” I think what he’s saying here is that the races in Sri Lanka would now be Sinhalese, Muslims, Indian (Estate) Tamils, and then Sri Lankan Tamils. Which sounds crazy, but it may be true.
The Sri Lankan flag is not an aesthetic triumph, but neither am I. I like it anyways. In this (random) graded review of flags Sri Lanka got 41/100 with demerits for weapons, bad colors, graven images and being too busy. Which I think is fair, but again, I like it anyways. It’s a flag, it’s our flag. I have one in the house in case there’s a big cricket match or something. What’s news is that a Tamil leader made news by simply holding the flag at all.
Reconciliation work is happening in Sri Lanka. Simple roads and economic reconcilation are one thing, and not negligible. My main contact in Jaffna is thru a friends soccer club, those contacts are real. What up Vicky. Touch and feely recon work is also going on. Here’s a few examples from just Saturday thru Monday.
The Tamil National Alliance has published their response to Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Report. They are predictably not too happy – they think that 1) the commission was flawed 2) that they almost blindly accepted government narratives 3) that war crimes were ignored and 4) that (vaguely) an international investigation is necessary. I half agree with them.
Very eloquent young man from Mannar, Elikah Hoole, speaking as a member of Sri Lanka Unites. I basically agree with everything he says and wish I could say it half as well myself. He calls himself Sri Lankan, but calls for a journey towards that identity. He calls for justice, but from the people of Sri Lanka, not from foreign investigations. He calls for a solution to our problems, not from politicians or the international community, but from the people.
Contrary to popular belief, the Buddha did not visit Sri Lanka, was not Sinhalese and would not recognize what we call the Buddhist flag. He was an Indian, sorta, except at that time India didn’t exist. More than anything he was a human being. While Sri Lanka has done yeoman service in preserving Theravada Buddhism, a simple and practical form, it’s important to remember that Buddhism is a practice open to anyone.
Via Sayy’s 365, I heard this lovely Tamil song. It’s an unimposing song, sung in mixed English and Tamil, telling a simple story, nice slouchy beat, and a fun, real video. Sayy comments that’s it’s gotten over 3 million views in a week. I understand why. It’s beautiful and fun. The drum beat alone is enough to carry anything, but it’s got a haunting refrain and really sweet lyrics. And random hot girls in the studio, but not lolling around looking retarded and fake. It’s all really real. Here’s a lyric: