Colombo Telegraph

CC Of An Email To A Friend In The North

By Thrishantha Nanayakkara

Dr. Thrishantha Nanayakkara

Dear Aravinthan anna,

How are things going? I am sure you are enjoying the election heat these days. I don’t quite know about politics in the North, but I see in the news that the Southern parties like Jathika Hela Urumaya are a bit worried about your future. Their biggest worry is that you will choose to vote for people who are not from Jaffna. You know, this love comes from their habit of promoting people who knows the “pulse of the people” or the “village smell (Gami Suvanda” – கிராமத்தின் வாசனை) to govern villagers like us. By the way, I am sure you will pardon my Tamil. As usual I pretend to know Tamil, when in fact I use Google translations. Anyhow, you know, as usual, we in the South easily get caught in this kind of politics. The people who know our smell and our pulses are very often master pickpockets. So, you can see how we get ripped off left and right these days. I am sure you don’t want that. I think some wise and educated guy from anywhere in the country is better than a pickpocket who knows in and out of Jaffna and that of your pocket too.

Last time we were talking about the 13th amendment and we told each other to read it carefully before we talk next time. Did you get a chance to read it? I tried, but couldn’t understand all that legal jargon. How about you? Your silence for some time gives me the impression that you are stuck too. Now, Anna, what chance will a pickpocket have? So, if 13th amendment is of some importance to you at this point, if I were you, I would elect some wise man who can debate in and out of it than knowing how to take us for rides in and out of Jaffna. That, we can manage ourselves. All what you have to do is to pack up some lunch, buy a bottle of water, and get lost in some unknown street.

How are the little ones doing? I heard that they started to teach Chinese in the schools. You know, it is a great language using symbolic characters. When you combine two shapes, one can say the new meaning without knowing the new character. For instance, when I was a student in Japan, they taught us some Chinese characters. See how you write man. Then see how you write tree. The teacher one day asked us to tell what it means when we write tree and man characters together. I wanted to say that it means resting, but the guy sitting next to me jumped and said it means monkey. I could see how the teacher’s face got blushed. But it was OK to make mistakes in that class. But, I heard that the purpose of teaching Chinese in Sri Lanka is to stop people from going to Madavachchi when the Chinese board says Killinochchi. These things happen you know.

Anyway, take care Anna. I will for sure come to meet you next time I visit Sri Lanka. Can’t wait to taste some home made Vade, and the true love of brotherhood. Keep your spirits high Anna no matter what comes out of the election. Take your kids to Nallur Kandasami kovil every weekend. That will reinforce core values. I too found a good Buddhist monastery near London. Did a couple of retreats and it truly made a difference. Kids love visiting the monastery too.

Keep in touch.

Thrish Tambi

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