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October 20, 2006

do i bang on about this too much? I think so...

Every time I open my mouth (or unfurl my fingers in front of the keyboard) these days I seem to want to bang on about the ongoing, never-ending, protracted, messy conflict that has wrapped itself lazily around this country. While I think of something more positive and diverse to say about the world, let me just say this one last thing on the subject....

I spoke to my mum last night. She had watched the evening news and saw a segment about the port and tourist town of Galle that got a hiding on Wednesday courtesy of a suicide bomber masquerading as a fisherman.

"Oh, it's really getting close to home now isn't it? Terrible that civilian areas are being targeted isn't it?" she said.

I didn't know where to start! Her daughters' home had been rather close to 'it' for months now and if anyone thinks that the North and East are just full of bunt-out old cars, un-used dirt tracks and a few elephants nosing through rubbish dumps, I can assure you there most definitely are civilians here, except now most of them are living a very uncivilised existence in tents and under tarpaulins in displaced people camps, getting food rations two weeks at a time and hoping a water bowser will come to fill the empty tanks.

But I can understand how she could say that. Yes, the conflict is getting close to the home of government and the place where all the foreign journalists are holed up and yes, the areas that are being targeted are full of civilians that haven't seen this kind of trouble since the cease fire and yes, it is terrible.

What is also terrible is the full and unrelenting reprisal attacks that we saw here in the east over the last two days. From 6.00am both mornings I could hear the morning air crack apart with heavy thuds as shells hit their target and last night the sky lit up every few minutes with muzzled shells being discharged over the lagoon into, what I can assure you, are most certainly civilian areas despite the fact they are under the control of a party other than the Government (Damn! The fear mongerers and conspiracy theorists have gotten to me - can't even bring myself to type their name in my lowly blog site...). At 2.00am a late monsoon fell into town and I woke in a sweat to hear the sick symphony of thunder, heavy rain, dogs barking, crackly tamil music and artillery pounding the earth somewhere off in the distance.

It's no wonder a country in the swing of a civil conflict is so frustrated socially, politically, economically. Who's got time for roads and hospitals and education and poverty reduction when there's a war to win? I mean, I can't even find something else to write about in my blog site...

Posted by catherine at October 20, 2006 3:40 PM


good lord, catherine. reading that i recall the conversation/interview we held some months back, when we were strangely cut-off and you said--after we'd been reconnected--that perhaps, just perhaps, the line had been tapped. you said that things had happened before that had made you think your line was being observed.
ahhhh, sweet christ! "observed"? you've observed enough inane blood-letting and booms to last a while. how are you keeping it... together? over there? i'm guessing with a wonderful sense of humour--read: robustness, and a swig of gin.

we do think about you.

bless, be safe


Posted by: marty at October 20, 2006 7:08 PM

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