Hello everybody. I just returned Monday evening from a trip to the interior of Sri Lanka. I visited several ancient Buddhist temples as well several ancient palaces of pre-colonial kings. The trip was wonderful but exhausting and again it was great to get out of Colombo for a couple of days. One of the wonderful things about tourism here is that it is cheap enough for Sri Lankans to take advantage of their wonderful sites. This past weekend was a holiday and every place we went was crowded with Sri Lankans on vacation.
My trip took me to Anuradhapura, the area where 64 civilians were killed in a bus explosion last month. There was a heavy military presence in the region due to several military bases and the recent violence. We were stopped at several checkpoints, but the police left us alone. They are concerned only with the LTTE (Tamil Tigers) and not with western aid workers.
This Friday (the 14th of July), I will finally be going to Batticalloa for three days. I am very excited about this trip(and excited about spending my 32nd B’day there). The plan is to evaluate how well our project can proceed in the current security climate. If it looks good, I will return to the area to work on HHR’s post Tsunami Rehabilitation Program. The beneficiaries are Tamils who have first been displaced by war, then the Tsunami. Most recently, they have been denied aid from local authorities because “they were not native of the district”. HHR has been doing great work in these villages and I hope to be able to contribute a little something in the next month.
Hope everyone is well and until next time…
Posted By Greg Holyfield (Sri Lanka)
Posted Jul 11th, 2006