Tuesday, January 3, 2023

2004 Trip to Jaffna thru then LTTE territory: Part 2

See here for 2004 Trip to Jaffna thru then LTTE territory: Part 1
Day 3: Invitation to LTTE exhibition. Locate place to stay in Jaffna
Hotel Jaffna Town
Day 4:  Kayts to Pungutivu:  Nagadipa (Nainathivu), Kobbekaduwa Memorial. Beer Dinner, 
Day 5:  Dry Fish at Check Point:  LTTE exhibition. A9 Restaurant.

Day 3:
We get the invitation to the LTTE exhibition   Say we will have a look on the way back,
Leave early morning as in 6:00 pm.  There is no real food around.  I was hoping to get thosai.

Get to Pallai (I think)  check point.  Long lines, its around 7:00 am in the morning. The bus crowd was the reason for the lines.  Got thru the lines in about 45 minutes.  Then drove to Jaffna town.  Drove around checking out various places for quite a while.  There was this place on the KKS road, old house, attached outdoor bathroom all what I would like but for whatever reason decided against. Finally checked into place. I cant remember the name. It was just north of the Bus stand, on one of the cross streets off Kasturiya or KKS Road.  If anyone recognizes the place from the photo please comment.
Hotel Jaffna Town

Cant recall much of the rest of the day, and no photos to jog the memory either.

Day 4:
After breakfast left to go to Nagadipa (Nainathivu). Basically drove thru Kayts, and in Pungutivu (Punkudutivu) stuck to the southern coast roads and on the return journey the northern coast roads. Went thru very small villages and ended up at Kurikadduwan.  I am surprised I dont have photos, probably a combination of having to drive, and the gallery comments from companion, who knows.

Pungutivi and Nainativu (Nagadipa)
Anyway end up at the jetty to Nagadipa.  Just beautiful , reminds me of Greece/Mediterranean photos I have seen.  Why go to Greece when you can go to Jaffna/Pungutivu. Windsurfing, Kite surfing, flat water I would have put down money to buy beach front property in Pungutivu if was not scared about land mines (remember this was 2004)

Inside Ferry to Nagadipa

The ferry ride was fantastic, just wondered when it would sink.  There was a something that looked like a cannon on the top of the of boat. Walked to the Nagadipa Buddhist Temple, 0.5 km or so.  The Head of the temple was not there, so no real historical viewpoint. The Buddhist temple appeared to be very modern (rebuilt).  Reminded me of Catalina Island (off LA).  (Note to self: Do Delft by Bus some day)

Approach to Nagadipa
Spent a hour or two. Then headed back to the ferry.  We had to wait a hour or so for the ferry to arrive.  Back at Kurikadduwan/Pungutivu.  Just off the ferry landing, there were a couple of stalls selling dried fish.  Got to chatting, and one stall owner said he was from Matara originally, married locally and was considered a Tamil.  Apparently the pilgrimage ("Vandana") buses would also arrive on the way to Nagadipa and on return and buy dried fish.  I think it was around LKR 100/kg r and we bought about 10-20 kg.   Spent a pleasant half hour  or more chatting.

Drove back on the northern side of Pungutivu and stopped at Denzil Kokkekaduwa memorial.  Arrived back at the place we were staying. Had a shower and inquired about a place to have a beer or two.

Located this place about a kilometer from where we were staying.  Dont know the name of the hotel (again if someone recognizes from photo please comment). Had dinner, a couple of beers and apparently the locals had never seen a woman before, at least the way they behaved (That outlook seems to have changed when I went around in 2011).  Normally dont drink and drive but somehow managed to find my way back.
Nagadipa Temple

Day 5:
Left after breakfast. I think we got to the Pallai (?)  LTTE checkpoint/immigration.  Had to deal with why we had 5-10 kg of Dry Fish, were we doing business.  Convinced immig that this was to be distributed to friends and family. Was given the ok and headed  toward Kilinochi.
Went and had a look at the LTTE exhibition.  Various arms, simplistic figures showing tactics as to how positions had been won.  I think Elephant Pass was a big one. Most were happy/proud to see we were even interested in looking at the exhibits.  I asked if we could take photos and they were happy, no different from any other Sri Lankan.  Then a supervisor (or something like that) said they needed to check and it turned out I we were not allowed to take photos within the exhibition.   Walked back to the gate and asked again if I take photos.  I was told that I could take photos out of the grounds. I hope those whom I spoke to have survived. They were normal average people living in a time and space that was beyond their control.

Headed to the A9 restaurant. The front was parked with UN etc SUV's.  Many tables full of people, including some female Tiger cadre in uniform.  Now that I think about it, there were no male Tiger cadre in uniform to be seen during the whole trip.  Managed to take a photo while pretending it was a photo of someone I was talking to.  The food was good, cant recall if it was vegetarian. What I recall was no tip was accepted. Headed back to Apura around 2 pm.
Nagadipa Temple
Causeway Nagadipa to Pungutivu
Approach to Ferry, Nagadipa
Approach to Ferry, Pungutivu
Denzil Kobbekaduwa Memorial, Pungutivu
Denzil Kobbekaduwa Memorial, Pungutivu
Restaurant in Jaffna Town
LTTE Exhibition
LTTE Exhibition
A9 Restaurant Kilinochi. Note Tiger cadre
A9 Restaurant, Kilinochi

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