Summer in Vanni

Dear Friends

I stated in my earlier insertion in the Circle that I might be leaving for Vanni in July. But a necessity has arisen for me to leave much earlier than expected. I think I will be leaving during the third week of this month itself. But I would be staying there until the end of September 2003.

The main reason for my informing the readers is to inform those who showed interest to join me to Vanni. I am fully aware that this is a very short notice and I do not expect any one to join me now but they could come down to Vanni at anytime that suits them. Now that I am going to be in Vanni until September those interested may choose a date most suitable to them.

But they have to inform me in advance if they want me to arrange residential facility, work programmes, etc. Since most of them will avail their services for two to four weeks every day is extremely important for me to get the best of their services to the needy masses in Vanni.

I said it earlier and I shall repeat it now that there is a dearth for qualified personnel like doctors, engineers architects, solicitors, nurses, agriculturists and so on. Specialists like gynaecologists, neurologists, psychiatrists, cardiologists, general physicians, orthopaedic surgeons are in great shortage. There is only a handful of medical practitioners extending their services in Vanni. I have seen them working with my own eyes. And it will definitely be an understatement if I say that they are overworked. Sometime some of the Doctors work for several days at stretch, yes I repeat, for several days before they could return home to their families. And this is a quite common feature and not a rarity in Vanni. Since I propose to spend most of the year in Vanni I wanted to buy a car for my use. I was advised not to buy a car with a petrol engine, as there are no mechanics to repair such engines. Hence a vehicle with a diesel engine is waiting for my arrival.

I forgot to mention the great need for Automobile Engineers in Vanni. If some Automobile Engineers could volunteer to come over to Vanni and spend three to four weeks at least to train those half-baked mechanics there, it would be deemed as a great service for the people in Vanni.

I am making a humble appeal to those who are reading this article to seriously consider either to make a trip to Vanni and impart their services there or try to persuade those whom you know are capable of extending such help there.

I am pleased to state that qualified persons of the calibre mentioned above do come now and then to Vanni and offer their services. But some of them do go to Vanni without making any arrangements in advance. As result their valuable services are not made use of to the fullest.

As you all know Vanni is a jungle. The roads are horrible. A trip from Puthukudiyiruppu to Kilinochchci by car for example takes over two hours. The distance is only about 45km. The roads are full of potholes and rutty that you feel dead tired after such a short trip. Why I am mentioning this is definitely to frighten those good souls who are willing to go to Vanni but to highlight the state of affairs prevailing there. I do not want to give the wrong picture to those volunteers.

Some of you I know by now will be wondering as to how you may be able to contact me in Vanni. The honest answer is I do not know. That is the way Vanni is. Once I am there I may be able to sort out things and let you all know through the Circle, which I hope to operate from Kilinochchi or I may take a trip either to Jaffna or Vavuniya if I have to. In the meantime you may send your mails to this email address and my wife will be here until the 2nd of July and messages if any could be left with her even by phone. Our number is 00 44 20 8813 7195. (UK)

Before I conclude I should remind those specialists who wish to come over to Vanni, that they should bring all the vital equipment they would need there.

Should anyone wish to contact me personally before I leave either by phone or by email I would suggest to them to do so on or before 20.05.03.


Mr. K. Mylvaganam