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


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