During my recent visits to Batticaloa I met elders for my I Am narratives project. Many of them, like Father Harry Miller S.J., talked about the difficult period for Batticaloans during the 1990s. This period was marked by thousands of disappearances, Tamil Tiger attacks on mosques and civilians, and retaliatory violence against ordinary Muslims and Tamils. But somehow with the passage of time, communities that live cheek by jowl have relearned to live with each other. Perhaps because of this closeness, they have managed to live together peacefully.
Ramadan is a time for deep reflection and sacrifice and I wanted to mark the anniversary of the Kattankudy mosque massacres that also took place during the Holy month, 22 years ago in August 1990. This short portrait is a tribute to all those who lost their lives. It is part of a longer ongoing documentary project which I am hoping to complete later this year about this sad period in the history of Batticaloa.
Produced by Kannan Arunasalam
Assisted by Sujikanth Sotheeswaran
Music by Naina Marrikar Bawa
Song written by Nagoor Haniffa
Follow more narratives from Batticaloa and elsewhere here: iam.lk/the-jesuit-priest
This video first appeared on Groundviews, the award winning Sri Lankan citizen journalism site.