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Jaffna and the world

This is what India’s External Affairs minister S. M. Krishna said Saturday in his speech at the opening of the Indian consulate in Jaffna:

“Over centuries, Jaffna has always stood at the crossroads of history, culture and religion, kings and kingdoms, trade and commerce, and arts, dance and literature. Jaffna port was on the main sea route of its times. … It is, therefore, natural that when India decided to establish a Consulate General, Jaffna was a logical, almost inevitable, place for such a presence.

“There must be several in this audience who would have seen the days when there was a direct flight from Palaly to Trichy and a ferry service from Talaimannar to Rameswaram. It is possible that some among you may even have gone off to Chennai – Madras as it was called – only to catch a movie. It’s time to revive those links.”

This is what Tamil Guardian argued in our editorial of 02 June, 2010:

“Before Sinhala domination began in the late 1940s, the Tamil homeland had been connected in myriad ways to global flows for millennia. Quite apart from the time of South India-based imperial networks, even during Western colonial rule the Northeast was well connected to the rest of the subcontinent and other parts of the world.

Since the island’s independence from Britain, however, the Sinhala-dominated state has sought not only to concentrate power in the South, but also to isolate the Northeast, making Colombo the sole gateway between the world and the Tamil homeland.

Unless the Sinhala stranglehold on the Northeast is first broken, the Tamils will continue to be largely – and deliberately - excluded from global economic flows.”