“Pada Yathra” Organized from Vannai to Keerimalai

2014_01_26_01A large crowd of Hindu devotees joined the “Om Nama Shivaya Pada Yathra” organized by International Hindu Priests’ Organization on Friday (24) in Jaffna. The “Pada Yathra” started from Vannai Sivam Temple on Kankasanthurai road reached Naguleswaram temple of Keerimalai where participants attended a special Pooja.

It was organized to pray Lord Shiva to protect Hindu temples from vandals and robbers and also to invoke blessing on the Hindus enabling them to protect their culture.

Soldiers of the 513 Brigade extended their solidarity to the “Pada Yathra” which carried the Shiva Linga gathering at Innuvil and Chunnakam to welcome it. Soldiers washed and cleaned the main road for this worthy religious event and offered flowers, fruits and incense to Lord Shiva.



Thaipongal National Celebration held in Jaffna – 19 January 2014


“Thai Pongal (தைப்பொங்கல்) or Pongal (பொங்கல்) is a harvest festival celebrated by Tamil people at the end of the harvest season.  Pongal is a four day festival which usually takes place from January 13 to 16 in the Gregorian calendar i.e., the last day of the Tamil month Maargazhi to the third day of Tamil month Thai.

 The second of the four days i.e., first day of the Tamil month Thai is the second and main day of the festival and this day is known as Thai Pongal. This day coincides with Makara Sankranthi which is a winter harvest festival celebrated throughout India. The day marks the start of sun’s six-month long journey northwards or the Uttarayanam. This also represents the Indic solstice when the sun purportedly enters the 10th house of the Indian zodiac i.e. Makara or Capricorn.”

Thaipongal National Celebration was held at Nallur, Jaffna on 19th January 2014. Minister of National Languages and Social Integration Vasudewa Nanayakkara graced the event as the chief guest.

Ministry of National Languages and Social Integration organized this event at Nallur in the association of Jaffna District Secretariat. The ceremony commenced at Nallur front. The guests were invited to the jubilee hall with the traditional dance and music. Several traditional cultural items were performed to mark Thaipongal.

Minister of Traditional Industries and Small Enterprise Development KN Douglas Devananda, Governor of Northern Province GA Chandrasiri, Indian Consul – Jaffna V.Mahalingam, Mayoress Mrs.Y.Patkunarajah , Government Agent of Jaffna district Sundaram Arumainyagam and several others took part in the event.



SF-J Organizes Christmas Carol


Celebrating the birth of the Prince of Peace, Security Forces – Jaffna (SF-J) organized Christmas Carol on 27th evening with participation of catholic priests, distinguished guests and a gathering of civilians.

The event was organized for the fourth consecutive year on directives of Commander Security Forces Jaffna Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe at Civil Affairs and Public Relations Office on hospital road. Opening prayer was conducted by Rev. Fr. Reggie Rajeswaran of the church of Our Lady of Refuge, Jaffna. It was followed by reciting of hymns by children of Iruppalai Canaan Prayer Centre, Kondavil Assembly of God Church and the soldiers of SF-J.

During the carol service, Santa Claus distributed Christmas gifts among children present to witness the event.

Later, the choir on board a gaily decorated vehicle toured to many areas including Passiyur, Gurunagar, Navanthurai and city centre till midnight.

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Differently abled people received gifts at Olivizha held at Governor’s Secretariat – 21 December 2013

xmas2013The carol festival (Olivizha) was celebrated at Governor’s Secretariat on 21st December 2013. Governor of Northern Province GA Chandrasiri participated as the chief guest at this occasion.

Rev. Father Justuson Gnanaprakasham participated as a special guest. About 100 differently abled people from Arod, Vazhvakam, Technology Park and Nuffield School participated at this event. The Governor and other guests presented them with gift packs.

Chief Secretary of Northern Province Mrs.R.Wijialudchumi, Secretary to the Governor L.Ilaangovan, Secretary to the Assembly Secretariat G.Krishnamoorthy, Director of Social Services Department Mrs. Nalayini Inparaj, high ranking officials from various government departments and staff of the Governor’s Secretariat also took part at this event.



Jaffna Roads Lit up for Deevali

Celebrating “Deevali” festival that fell on Saturday (02), Security Forces Headquarters –Jaffna (SF-J) decorated and illuminated roads in the Jaffna town. Commander 512 Brigade, based in Jaffna town Colonel Ajith Pallawala and senior officers illuminated the Hospital road at auspicious time. Soldiers then lit up either side of the roads with coconut oil lamps.

Security Forces Headquarters –Jaffna annually celebrates this festival with assistance of people in the town. 


Launches of Mirrored Images

DSC03751Mirrored Images, an anthology of Sri Lankan poetry, edited by Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha and published by the National book Trust of India, New Delhi, was launched at the Indian Cultural Centre, Gregory’s Road, Colombo, on 20th of September. The function was presided over by His Excellency Y.K.Sinha, High Commissioner of India for Sri Lanka. Hon. Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Minister of National Languages and Social Integration, M.A.Sikander, Director, National Book Trust of India and Mr.Claude Martinez of the Alliance Francaise de Kotte, were the Guests of Honour.

In his address, H.E. Y.K.Sinha mentioned about the cultural ties between the two countries and stressed the need for translations in order to enhance the understanding between people of different tongues. Prof.Rajiva Wijesinha, while welcoming the guests and audience said that his intention is to showcase Sri Lankan poetry in all three languages since independence. He also appreciated all those who supported him in his endeavour. The book was launched by the Hon. Minister by handing over the first copy to H.E. the High Commissioner. The speeches by Hon.Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Mr.M.A.Sikander and Mr.Martinez were followed by the recital of poems from the anthology by poets Anne Ranasinghe, Ariyawansa Ranaweera, So.Pathmanathan  and Ayathurai Santhan.

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“Mirrored Images” – a move towards unity (and sanity)

I had the good fortune to participate at the launch of Mirrored Images, an anthology of Sri Lankan Poetry edited by Rajiva Wijesinha.  The book was published by the prestigious National Book Trust of India.

Prof Rajiva Wijesinha had already collected An Anthology of Sri Lankan Short Stories for NBT, beside, of course, his modest collection of Modern Sri Lankan Poetry in English.  But this is a more ambitious work which has drawn from Sinhala. Tamil and English representative works.   The volume which runs to 400 pages contains 138 poems written in Sinhala and Tamil translated into English and 72 poems originally written in English.

These poems were written over the last five decades during which the island nation – after independence – went through radical political, Social and economic changes.  It also witnessed the deterioration of the relationship between the Sinhalese and the Tamils which culminated in a bloody civil war.  War means death, destruction and displacement. It also leaves, in its wake, thousands of widows and the disabled who become the responsibility of the country.  That was – and is – the context in which these Sri Lankan poets worked.  So, understandably, a substantial number of the poems in this collection are disturbing and sad.

Appropriately, Hon. Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Minister of National languages and Reconciliation graced the function.  Present in the audience were senior writers, critics and media persons.

“Genuine poetry”,   said T.S.Eliot “can communicate even before it is understood” This was affirmed as I first read out the Tamil originals of my poems.  At the launch, the audience, mainly non – Tamil, sat in husband silence because, I believe, the reading was infused with so much passion.  Their understanding was complete with the English version that followed.

Anne Ranasinghe, the veteran, (she is 80!) had to be helped to her seat but her reading was clear and well – articulated.  A.Santhan read his Bigger Match with a brief introduction about a correspondence that occasioned the poem. Continue reading