Tagged: Jaffna


Grandma had mementos of the GREAT WAR

Her youngest brother had left his cozy office job

in quaint old Jaffna town to join the British

Army in Mesopotamia in 1914…

He had returned after four years of desert warfare

Grandma’s photos of her brother’s comrades

Before and after the war

Bright young faces had become haggard,

Wrinkled, old and weary, although still in their


Millions had perished in that war.

He returned to his job in tranquil Jaffna town,

Thankful to be alive…


– Jegatheeswari Nagendran
Colombo 05

Time takes me back

To my life in the Vanni,

That strange and remote land

In the age of ox carts

And oil-wick lamps

A guru in a primitive school

With a dark room to live in,

A rope-strung bed

To lay my head


Woodfires in the outhouse

Stinging my eyes,

A twig broom for sweeping,

Sloshing home water

In a pot at my hip

Too young to endure

Hardships of rural life

Life in the backwoods

Was to live a life


At slow pace

In step with folkways

Revisiting in memory

In hindsight I see

Adversity taught me humility

farmers in vanni, sri lanka

Farmers in Vanni district, Sri Lanka

Kamala Gunasekara


Sri Lanka

I remember a visit to Jaffna

In the month of April, 1983


Rumbling of hostile undercurrents,

Feelings of strange unease

Seeping through our communities

Did not prevent our hosts

From inviting us, nor us from accepting,

For between us flowed

Only currents of friendship and trust


Memories linger of vegetarian meals

Served hot from the stove

By our dutiful hostess

First to her husband, then to us


Sri Lankan Tamil peoples’ food