Ilankai Tamil Sangam

24th Year on the Web

Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

Overseeing the Farm

by Indran Amirthanayagam, Groundviews, July 7, 2011

Planning a visit home is not easy 
for a Tamil returning to Jaffna. First, 
he needs to fly into the international 
airport at Katunayake and pass 
through customs like any traveler. 

He may be asked to step into 
a back room, to answer why 
he carries the Economist 
in hand luggage, or stickers 
from the World Wildlife campaign 

to save the tiger, given that 
such animals have not been spotted 
on the island in thousands of years, 
if indeed they ever sauntered through 
the wild grass or paddy fields. 

He may be grilled about 
family members in Wellawatte, 
and what career he pursues 
in the Scarborough, Ontario refuge 
where wild and liberal creatures found 

a home before conservatives took 
over in Ottawa; he may be whisked 
through secondary, and into a waiting 
vehicle for a fast ride to the upstairs room 
at CID headquarters where he will meet 

his guide, his helper, who will say, 
come friend, the campaign is lost, 
give me a few names of laggards, 
dreamers still in the foreign networks. 
We must root out the germ. 

Human beings have almost 
eradicated polio, why not this 
virulent, regional strain called 
Eelam? Unfortunate, the cricketer 
who failed a dope test, 

and the others charged 
with fixing matches, and 
the Tamil policemen, who trained 
in the hot sun for weeks to march 
in the Victory parade for Eelam War IV, 

told they cannot, on orders 
of the President’s security detail. 
What the hell, machan, 
in paradise only Man is vile, said 
the preacher who visited the island 

in ancient times. Now we are renewed, 
climate savvy, the A-9 Highway 
is open to tourists beyond 
Elephant Pass, but not yet, without 
permission, to returning Tamils, 

Hambantota boasts a deep water 
port, and all our teenagers will 
receive mandatory training 
in military arts, which should help 
them run animal farms in the far North.