Sunday, February 14, 2010

Bambalapitty: The First Green Town of Sri Lanka

“If I keep a Green bough in my heart, the singing bird will come”~ Chinese Proverb

“Walk for a Greener Lifestyle” was held today-February 14th 2010 in Bambalapitty, Sri Lanka. The walk began in the morning from Majestic City and ended at Savoy in Wellawatte. "Go Green Go", "Let's Go Green" and "We want justice" were the slogans chanted by the participants during the procession. About 150 citizens who care for the environment participated in the walk which was led through the Galle Road. At the end of the walk the participants made their pledges. Thereafter, the citizens for Greener Sri Lanka visited the houses and stores in Bambalapitty, and created awareness on the threats of Climate Change and Green environment. Green Home Competition was also launched today in Bambalapitty.
Later during the day the participants actively participated in painting the wall in Bambalapitty of Spectrum Institute of Science & Technology. “Bambalapittiya The First Green Town” “Launch….. Feb 14th 2010” was painted in Green and Black on the wall of Green Army of Spectrum Institute of Science & Technology in Bambalapitty. The walk was organised by the British Council, Green Army of Spectrum Institute of Science & Technology and Interact Club.

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Many pledges were made during the day

Fathima Ashrifa Ali briefs the participants

"Care" says another Tshirt

Thaha Adamjee holds a banner

Walking through the Bambalapitty junction

View of Station Road in Bambalapitty

Voice of the Youth for Greener Sri Lanka

"Hotter Than I Should Be" says the Tshirt worn by a participant

Prefects of Bambalapitty Hindu College

Tho who joined the walk

Kids at the walk

Walking along warm weather

Change is needed to protect the environment

Participants on Galle Road near the Sammankodu Sri Kathirvelaiyutha Swamy temple (Maanikka Pilliyar Thirukoyil) in Bambalapitty

"Think Green" while being on the move

Near Davidson Road in Bambalapitty

Another banner carried during the walk

Beyond The Standards says Mahanama College Interact Club

This World Doesn't Belong To You; It Belongs To Your Children

On the Galle Road

Walking near Savoy Theatre in Wellawatte

Visit to the houses

Krishan Balaji paints the wall

On the back of a Tshirt

Shahena Iqbal is seen busy painting the wall

They are being creative

Wrist bands and threads

Sabina Asif takes part in painting

Stopped by in Bambalapitty

Active painting is on

Prashanth Pathmarasa is seen here painting Green on the wall

Greener friendly notice board at the Spectrum office in Bambalapitty

Aasma Hussain paints the Town on the wall

Foot Print is painted on the wall

Painted wall in Bambalapitty

Thursday, February 11, 2010

20th Anniversary of Mosque Massacre

Mutual forgiveness of each vice. Such are the Gates of Paradise~William Blake (November 28th 1757-Augsut 12th 1827). English Poet, Painter and Print maker

It is always an enchanting drive through the city of Kaathaankudy. Kaathaankudy is a small city which is situated in the Eastern Province, Batticaloa District. It is known for its own culture. The city is famous for the most number of mosques per square kilometer in the world. The city is one of the most densely populated cities in South Asia. 60,000 people live in 1.5 square kilometers. The overall majority of the population is ethnic Muslims, about 90%. The distance between Colombo and Kaathaankudy is 318 kilometers (203 miles). The people of Kaathaankudy are very hospitable and want to co-exist with other communities.
It was a Friday- August 4th 1990, when men and boys were prostrate in “Isha” prayers at 7.30pm. As the devotees knelt in prayers the cadres of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam opened fire at the worshippers at Majithul Meera Grand Mosque and Hussenia Mosque. 147 were killed in the attacks. Many lives were lost, unwanted dreadful experiences were shared and mistrust grew enormously over the years.
Days, weeks, months and years have passed. On August 4th 2010 we will be observing the 20th anniversary the Mosque massacre in Kaathaankudy. A collective voice for forgiveness can be clearly heard in Kaathaankudy.

Traditional Bullock carts are still being used in Kaathaankudy

M.T.Noordeen wants to forget the awful memories of witnessing the horror

"We all are humanbeings, and make mistakes. We should forget the past, forgive each other and understand each other to live peacefully" says Naagoorthamby Masutha (36)

They are accomodative

Many say past should not be reflected

Importance to renew the relationship between the Muslims and Tamils is felt wholeheartedly by both communities

Looking for a new beginning

Special prayers are offered by the loved ones

Names of the people who were killed at Majithul Meera Grand Mosque are displayed at the same Mosque

The city has been a hotspot in 1990

Scars of the two decade long incident remain still

Call for prayers

A view of Majithul Meera Grand Mosque

"It was a horrible scene to witness where my beloved brothers were shot dead at a close range. It was a miracle that I managed to survive" says emotional S.I.M.Ismath (67)

Five year-old Sajan Kasim Athambawa

Kaathaankudy is a bustling town

Heavy load of firewood carriers are always an inviting scene in Batticaloa

A scene on the street of Kaathaankudy

Kaathaankudy has a very rich culture

Discussions are taking place on co-existence

A Rooster stands steady on a dried Coconut leaf fence

Cricket at dusk

Sunset in Kaathaankudy

Thank you.Have a pleasant journey