The Destruction of Chavakacheri - Editorial

Place: Jaffna | Courtesy: The Morning Star
| Date: 20000724

By: Church of South India (CSI) Jaffna Diocese

"The land of my fathers What a heritage it had? Peace was part of our lives Though divisions we had Intolerance has marred us all There is distress every where Is there hope for my land? Is there hope for my land?

Chavakacheri the second largest town of Jaffna Peninsula is now destroyed. We do not wish to put the blame on any one for this disaster. Chavakacheri which had been called Kulaikadu by the people of the Peninsula was blessed with many facilities. It was a compact town with good schools, Railway station, market, beach, paddy fields, rice mills, churches and temples.

The people of Chavakacheri were known for their simplicity and unity. The hindus, muslims, and christians lived like members of of one family. The christians gave the leadership in education. The muslims were traders and tailors and the hindus formed the bulk of the population. With small beginnings in the time of the Portugese, it grew to be an important town in Dutch times. The Dutch brought mercinaries form Java and settled in this outpost.

Hence it was called chavakar-chery from their time of their rule. During the British times it became the administrative and judicial head quarters of East Jaffna.Local leaders like Revds T. P. Hunt and J. K. Sinnathamby built the town with loving care and native acumen. It has been wisely said Rev T. P. Hunt and Rev J. K.Sinnathamby ran Chavakacheri for fifty years. Later on Mr. S. K. Tiraviyanayagam, Mr. V. Kumarasamy and V. N. Navaratnam Became leaders of the township. They all must be turning in their graves now seeing the calamity that had over-taken Chavakacheri.

What lies ahead no body knows. It may be God's wish that a lasting solution is found to the ethnic problem and the city is rebuilt along with other ruined cities in the north. It can also be doomed to be another Kilinochi with shrubs, snakes, bombarded buildings and bulldozed fences.

Courtesy:TamilCircle - Monday, July 24 2000