This is a video and transcript of Brigadier (Retd) L.C. Perera speaking on his experience of the 1983 riots. This was recorded at a Heal Lanka forum, and you can see other recordings by clicking that link. Brigadier was there for everything and he has a gift for story-telling. It is important to hear these stories in such a human way, devoid of politics. This is the story of a soldier maturing, and seeing the scale of the tragedy to come.
The flooding in Batti has gotten very bad and seems to be getting worse. By government estimates there are around 1 million people affected and thousands of homes and farms destroyed. Floods are a creeping disaster and don’t kill as many as, say, the tsunami. Thus they get less attention while still causing severe damage. Pakistan’s floods, for example, and now Australia and Sri Lanka. The tragic thing about the Sri Lankan flood is that its ongoing, relief can’t reach the affected, and people will continue to suffer for months. All without the attention and support a rapid disaster like a tsunami would bring.
I’m assuming this is not the flood, but it certainly is heavy. Last night the electricity kicked off and it started thundering, raining and pouring down. Sheets even, it sounded serious. Wake up and it’s still raining, go back to sleep. Wake up some more and hear news that everything in Colombo is flooded, houses in Nawala are under feet of water, and cars are stalled out in the street. If it rains for thirty minutes in Colombo, the main junctions flood. After a night of rains, it’s carnage. I heard it’s the heaviest rainfall since 1992. The traffic is snarled and houses are under so people aren’t really going to work. It’s a rain day for school. This is all fun unless your house or car is submerged, or unless the rains go on. I do hope everyone is OK. Tell me if you’ve got any stories, or email any photos.