Batticaloa News Reeel


மட்டக்களப்பு செய்திகள்


Eastern University Sri Lanka


பல்கலைக்கழகம் தொடர்பான செய்தி துளி


Friday, October 24, 2014

Benjamin Henry Miller gets peace award


The National Peace Council has awarded its Citizens Peace Award for 2014 to Reverend Father Benjamin 
Henry Miller for his long years of service to the war affected people of Sri Lanka, especially during the period 
of war. Since 1948, when Fr Miller, known as Harry, arrived at the Jesuit Mission in Batticaloa from the United
 States, he has spent 66 years in Sri Lanka during which he served as an educator, priest, protector and witness. 
In his early years in 
Sri Lanka, Father Miller taught physics, English and history, and coached the soccer team at St. Michael’s 
College, a boys’ school. Later when violence and war broke out, Fr Miller was one of the founders of the 
Batticaloa Peace Committee and the Batticaloa Council of Religions as lasting initiatives to find a peaceful 
solution to the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka.
The National Peace Council honors the work of Fr Miller with the Batticaloa Peace Committee which began as 
a group of concerned citizens and gave advice on legal procedures surrounding detention and how to find those 
in detention. They took up these cases with the authorities, publicized the cases where it might help, and shared the 
with national and international human rights organisations, diplomats, journalists and NGOs. In recognition of 
their non-partisan role, and their positive role in the reconciliation process,the security forces gave the 
Batticaloa Peace Committee the role of conduit to hand-over released prisoners.
As a founder member of the Batticaloa Peace Committee Fr Miller showed himself to be a fearless human 
rights activist who encouraged and strengthened civil society in Batticaloa to take up the cause of the victims of
 human rights abuses committed by all parties, the security forces, LTTE and the several other militant groups. 
In recognition of his non-partisan work, during the period of Ceasefire in 2002 and until its breakdown, the 
Government of Sri Lanka appointed him to be its nominee for the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission for Batticaloa.

The Citizens Peace Award was established in 2010 by the National Peace Council to honour those Sri Lankan 
individuals in civil society who are resident in Sri Lanka and have stood up for the protection of and 
enforcement of human rights and fundamental rights when such rights are under threat and such action requires 
unusual courage and self sacrifice to do so. During this period when there is much controversy about the 
interventionist role of the international community in post-war Sri Lanka, we believe that Fr Miller’s work 
exemplifies the universality of human rights and the duty to protect the rights of all in the national process of 
reconciliation and a mutually acceptable political solution.
The selection of the winner is by the Board of Directors of the NPC and is ratified by its Governing Council. 
The prize is made possible by funds received from the Sakai City Government’s Peace Contribution Award 
and the National Peace Council.


Monday, September 29, 2014

பாசிக்குடா கடற்பரப்பில் நீராவி கப்பலின் சிதைவுகள் கண்டுபிடிப்பு

பாசிகுடா கடற்பரப்பில் மூழ்கியிருந்த நீராவி கப்பல் ஒன்றின் சிதைவுகள் கண்டுபிடிக்கப்பட்டுள்ளதாக காலி சமுத்திர தொல்பொருள் பிரிவு தெரிவித்துள்ளது.
கிழக்கு கடற்பரப்பில் முன்னெடுக்கப்பட்டுவருகின்ற ஆராய்ச்சிகளின்போது இந்த சிதைவுகள் கண்டுபிடிக்கப்பட்டதாக தொல்பொருள் நிபுணர்கள் கூறியுள்ளனர்.
இரண்டு வருடங்களுக்கு முன்னரும் பாசிகுடா கடற்பரப்பிலிருந்து மூன்று கப்பல்களின் சிதைவுகள் மீட்கப்பட்டிருந்தன.
இந்த அனைத்து கப்பல்களும் 19 ஆம் மற்றும் 20 ஆம் நூற்றாண்டுகளைச் சேர்ந்தவை என அனுமானிக்கப்படுவதாக தொல்பொருள் நிபுணர் ரசிக்க முத்துகுமாரன தெரிவித்துள்ளார்.
கப்பல்களின் அநேகமான பாகங்கள் உடைந்துள்ளதால் அவை எந்த காலப் பகுதியைச் சேர்ந்தவை என்பதை உறுதிப்படுத்த முடியாமற்போயுள்ளதாகவும் அவர் மேலும் சுட்டிக்காட்டியுள்ளார்

Thursday, September 18, 2014

ஜப்பானிய பெண்கள் பல்கலைக் கழக குழுவினரால் ஏறாவூரில் பிரமாண்டமான சமையல் விருந்து!

ஜப்பானிய சர்வதேச கலை மற்றும் விஞ்ஞான புக்குஓகா பெண்கள் பல்கலைக் கழக பேராசிரியர்களும் மாணவிகளும் புதனன்று மட்டக்களப்பு மாவட்டத்தின் ஏறாவூருக்கு வந்து சுவையான ஜப்பானிய சமையல் செய்து கிராமத்தவர்களுக்குப் பரிமாறி மகிழ்ந்தனர்.

ஏறாவூர் மீராகேணி கிராமத்தில் உள்ள முஸ்லிம் கிராமத்தவர்களுடன் தங்கி அவர்களது நிகழ்வுகளிலும் இந்த ஜப்பானிய சர்வதேச கலை மற்றும் விஞ்ஞான புக்குஓகா பெண்கள் பல்கலைக் கழக பேராசிரியை மோமோ வகூரி யும் அப்பல்கலைக் கழகத்தின் 9 மாணவிகளும் கலந்து கொண்டனர்.
இந்த ஜப்பானிய பல்கலைக் கழக குழுவினரால் பெரிய விருந்து வைபவம் ஒன்று ஏறாவூரில் ஏற்பாடு செய்யப்பட்டிருந்தது.
இந்நிகழ்வில் ஜப்பானிய சர்வதேச கலை மற்றும் விஞ்ஞான புக்குஓகா பெண்கள் பல்கலைக் கழக பேராசிரியை மோமோ வகூரி, நிருவாக அதிகாரி நிச்சிக்கோ டொகுமாரு  ஏறாவூர் நகர பிரதேச செயலாளர் எஸ்.எல். முஹம்மது ஹனீபா, சர்வோதய இயக்கத்தின் கிழக்கு மாகாண இணைப்பாளர் ஈ.எல். அப்துல் கரீம், சர்வோதய சர்வதேச பிரிவின் இணைப்பாளர் பந்துல செனவிரெட்ன  உட்பட கிராம பொது மக்கள், நிறுவனங்களின் பிரதி நிதிகள், அரச அதிகாரிகள் என அநேகம் பேர் கலந்து கொண்டனர்.
சர்வோதய இயக்கத்தின் சர்வதேச கற்கைகளுக்கான பிரிவு இந்த பரஸ்பர நட்புறவுடனான வெளிக்கள கற்றல் நிகழ்ச்சியை ஏற்பாடு செய்திருந்தது.
இந்த ஜப்பானிய புக்குஓகா பெண்கள் பல்கலைக்கழக  பேராசிரியர்களும் மாணவிகளும் இலங்கையின் மட்டக்களப்பு உட்பட வேறு சில மாவட்டங்களிலும் 3 வாரங்கள் சிங்கள, தமிழ், மற்றும் முஸ்லிம் கிராமங்களில் மக்களோடு மக்களாகத் தங்கியிருந்து தமது நட்புறவு கற்றலை மேற்கொள்வர் என்று ஜப்பானிய புக்குஓகா பெண்கள் பல்கலைக் கழக பேராசிரியை மோமோ வகூரி தெரிவித்தார்.

source :Virekesari

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

How the railways came to Batticaloa A page from Batticaloa’s History


by Shirley. W. Somanader

Travel before the trains

A measure of the efficiency of communication between a place and the outside world is the ease of accessibility to the Capital city. In terms of this measure, the isolation of the Batticaloa district, as late as the first quarter of the Twentieth century is expressed, by a person who had lived through the better part of those times thus: "A journey to Batticaloa was something of an adventure. It was long and tiresome and often risky. Before the introduction of the train service in 1928, there were only two means of communication with the outside world. One by sea, at first by sailing vessels, replaced later on by coasting steamers, which called once a week either from the south or north: The other by land across rocks and precipices of the Uva Province. The journey was done on horseback or bullock carts."

A journey by land via Badulla

The following story illustrates the hazards and delays encountered on the land route to Batticaloa. The first Anglican Bishop of Colombo was James Chapman. He was appointed in 1845. In writing to his brother–in–law, the Rev. E. Coleridge, he said that his first duty would be to his Diocese True to his word he travelled to every part of Sri Lanka frequently encouraging his church in every nook and corner of the island. He did so in spite of the great hazards and difficulties of travel in his day. Here is a description of his travel to Batticaloa. In February 1850 he left by road to Badulla. From there he left for Batticaloa on horseback on the 28th with a guide, an extra pony and some luggage carriers who preceded him on foot. He spent the first night at Taldeniya in an open shed. Rising at 5 am the next morning and was on his way before dawn. His stopping places are mentioned as Bibile Paddycoombera and Alliagoda. On March 1st he tells of his accosting three wild elephants: Fortunately they crashed through the jungle and only crossed the traveler’s path! But they broke up the party, separating him from the baggage carriers. When he arrived at Batticaloa he was met by Mr. Atherton, the G.A, and two catechists and was rowed three miles up the lagoon in the Government Agent’s canoe.

An alternative route

The way by sea was the more ancient route. In 1873, the Government Agent at Batticaloa was J. W. W. Birch. He describes how he traveled to attend a Conference of Government Agents at Kandy by order of the Governor. On 28th May, he left by the S. S. Serendib to Colombo. From there he left by train to Kandy. After the Conference he returned to Colombo and took the steamer back Batticaloa and arrived on the 19th of June. The G.A was away from the station for nearly month to attend a Conference of GAs. He says he paid for the steamer both ways Rs 190 and the train fare to Colombo and back was Rs 12/=

Batticaloa during this time had two ports for steamers and coasters. The summer port was the Dutch Bar; about two kilometers from the town. This port was called so, because on May 29th 1603 the Dutch Admiral Spilbergen anchored at this point at Batticaloa. He was the first Hollander to visit Ceylon. The other port was Kalkudah Bay about twenty kilometers away which was used during the winter months. The landing jetty at Kalkudah was built in 1903. Since GA Birch was traveling to Colombo in May he is likely to have embarked from the Dutch Bar. The Prince Wales visited Batticaloa in 1875 using the sea route.

Need arises for faster mode

of transport

Social changes do not happen without sufficient motivation. A need is often the catalyst for change. The rail road to Kandy happened because of the demand of tea and coffee planters to transport their products easily to Colombo. Similarly we witness a need arising in the east too.

The cultivation and export of paddy

In ancient times Batticaloa with its numerous tanks and network of irrigation channels was an exporter of rice. But the British abolished the practice of Rajakaria from the beginning of their rule. This had an adverse effect on paddy cultivation. Though this act was done with good intention, paddy production dramatically decreased due to the lack of proper maintenance of the irrigation system. Paddy fell to the status of a subsistence crop. Government Agent R. Atherton (1839 – 1854) was the first to identify this problem. But it was left to his successors like J. W. W. Birch (1860 -1869) and others to take the necessary measures to rectify the problem and restore Batticaloa to its earlier position as the ‘granary of the east’ and exporter of rice. Paddy was transported by a train of bullock carts via Badulla to be sold in the local markets. Many of the owners of these carts were Sinhalese. They brought down products like vegetables to Batticaloa and took back bags of rice. These carts were halted and the animals rested in the western part of Batticaloa town. And this part to this day is called as ‘Sinhalawadi’ although there no Sinhalese now. Paddy was also exported to South India by ocean- going sailing ships.

Commercial scale cultivation

of coconut

The other export crop from Batticaloa was coconuts and copra. Between 1846 and 1924 hundreds of acres on the east coast between Vakarai in the north and Pottuvil in the south were opened by British planters as flourishing coconut estates. Estates with names such as Easter Seaton, Hyderabad, Springfield, O’Grady and Rockwood Estates were landmarks in the east. Cargills, Athertons, O’Grady and Sortain were well known owners of them. The commercial importance of the coconut industry at this time could be gauged from the G.A’s. Administrative Report for 1907. On 10th March 1907, Batticaloa was hit by a severe cyclone The G.A reported that 371,005 coconut trees valued at Rs. 3,440,070/= were destroyed. The products of these estates were transported by coasters to Colombo and from there shipped to England or they were carried by a procession of bullock carts by land via Badulla to cater to inland markets.

The third important reason for the introduction of faster communication between Colombo and Batticaloa was Tappal delivery. The perilous and pathetic state of this link is illustrated by an inquiry held by the GA, Batticaloa in July 1969 on delays in the mail service via Badulla The Tappal service was provided by contractors who employed a relay of ‘runners’ to deliver the mail. The accusation was that the contractor took an inordinate time to deliver letters. The defense the contractor put up makes interesting reading. He said that runners took following times to convey the letters: From Badulla to Lunugala, a distance of 26.52 miles – 13.5 hours,; Lunugala to Bibile (10 miles) – 6.5 hours; Bibile to Moneragala (18 miles) – 16 hours; Moneragala to Batticaloa (38 miles) – 23 hours. He pleaded that he cannot dismiss the present set of ‘coolies’ or employ new ones because he hasn’t been able to pay them during the last six months.

In the light of these facts, it is not surprising to read the mention in the GA’s Administration Report for 1869 that the Batticaloa Planters had suggested the following steps to improve transport. Either cut a channel from the sea into Batticaloa lagoon at the point of the Dutch Bar or alternatively connect Batticaloa by train service to transport their goods. The subject was again brought up in 1903, when during his visit to Batticaloa Governor Sir West Ridgeway proposed the extension of the railways to Batticaloa.

Plans for extending the Railways to Batticaloa

The first plan

For well-nigh 50 years the idea to bring the railways to the east had been just a proposal but now, near about 1920, serious plans began to evolve. There were two distinct possibilities. Both had its advantages and disadvantages. The earlier and first plan was to extend the railways through Badulla to Batticaloa. Because the first rail line had been laid from Colombo to Ambepussa in 1854 and the rail road was moving gradually in stages across the central hills towards the Uva Province. It had come up to Bandarawela by 1894 and the next station would be Badulla. So, many in Batticaloa believed the railways would come to Batticaloa via Badulla. The likely route would be Badulla – Passara- Lunugala- Bibile – parts of Moneragala and then to the western shore of the Batticaloa lagoon. Hence we read of speculators on land in the Batticaloa town buying acres of land at cheap rates on the western shore or ‘Padduavankarai’ in the hope that land prices will escalate soon.

The advantage in this first plan was there were no fords or rivers to be crossed; hence there was no necessity to build rail bridges. Besides the distance was short there were only 92 miles of rail line to be laid. The disadvantages were: The route was through rocks and precipices. Though the distance to travel was short the route was winding with sharp curves over rocks and precipices. The travelling time to Colombo would be nearly 24 hours, taking a whole day and a night. Whereas at this time even with chugging steam engines in little Sri Lanka a destination was reachable within 12 hours.

An alternative plan

However, there was a second plan in the offing. This was to extend the rail line from Maho eastwards to Polonnaruwa and then southwards to Batticaloa and Trincomalee This plan became a distinct possibility after the Northern line was opened via Maho in 1905. The main disadvantages of the route via Maho were: First, two wide rivers had to be crossed hence the need for long steel bridges: One at Manampitiya and the other at Oddamavadi. Further at Manampitya there was not only a need for one large bridge but a network of small rail bridges on raised reinforced bunds because at this place when the Mahaweli was in spate it overflowed its banks and created a wide outlet for itself before it reached the sea at the coast village of Verugal. The bridge at Oddamavadi would be over the Vandeloos Bay. Also the heavy wrought iron parts of the bridges had to be fabricated to specification in factories in England and transported by sea across oceans. Another disadvantage was the greater distance along which rail lines had to be laid – a distance of nearly 160 miles, almost double the length required for the Badulla line. There were however many advantages in laying lines to Batticaloa from Maho. The line would run all through along undulating plains, avoiding mountains. Hence, though the distance was longer, the journey would be quicker. Extension of the line up to Gal-Oya junction would enable another line to be laid to Trincomalee with its important harbour. It would also help connect Jaffna and Anuradhapura to the east. Besides, the route would connect other paddy growing regions such as Polonnaruwa.

The final decision and the laying of the railway line from Maho to Batticaloa

These latter advantages probably outweighed all other rationale in reaching the final decision to lay the rail line to Batticaloa via Maho. But it was not without the urging of two prominent Tamil politicians of the day. The prime mover was the Hon K. Balasingham member for the North in the State Council in the 1920s. Besides his word had greater weight because he was also a Minister in the Executive Council. In some of his speeches in the States Council Mr. Balasingham mentions his indebtedness to Mr. J.A. Setukavalar, Proctor of the Supreme Court, in this venture. Mr. Setukavalar was at this time an elected member of the Urban Development Council of Batticaloa. Hon. K. Balasingham said that it was Mr. Setukavalar who motivated and supported him with maps, facts, figures and cogent arguments to bring forward his proposal to bring the Railways to Batticaloa via Maho.

The six- span Kalladi Bridge over the Batticaloa Lagoon, a rail cum road way, was built primarily to extend the railways south from Batticaloa to Kalmunai and beyond to Pottuvil. It was constructed in 1928. The details on the logistics of assembling such huge bridges with enormously heavy wrought iron parts, some pieces weighing as much as 4.5 tons, at a time when there were hardly any facilities either for manufacturing or moving these parts is tale of human ingenuity. The parts of the Kalladi Bridge were manufactured at the workshop of the West Midlands bridge builders firm of Patent Shaft and Axletree and transported by ship from England. The parts were then rail loaded to the point of the site. At this time only the trains could have carried these heavy railway pieces. And it would have been another engineering wonder to lower these parts over rushing waters of rivers and lagoons in order to establish the bridges. If the Kalladi Bridge was built in 1928, it would have at least another five or six prior when the longest rail bridge in Sri Lanka was constructed at Manampitiya over the mighty Mahaweli River at its widest expanse: followed by the another bridge over Vandeloos Bay at Oddamavadi. So was enabled the first train to arrive at Batticaloa in 1924 amidst great rejoicing of the people.
source :

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

மட்டக்களப்பு மெதடிஸ்த மத்திய கல்லூரிக்கு 200 வயது - காணொளி

மீடியா பிளேயர்

இலங்கையில் கிறிஸ்தவ மிஷனரிகளால் ஆங்கிலக் கல்வி அறிமுகம் செய்யப்பட்டு 200 ஆண்டுகள் நிறைவு பெறுகின்றன.
அந்த வகையில் மெதடிஸ்த மிஷனால் இலங்கையில் ஆரம்பிக்கப்பட்ட முதல் பள்ளிக்கூடங்களுள் ஒன்றான மட்டக்களப்பு மெதடிஸ்த மத்திய கல்லூரி தனது 200 வது ஆண்டு நிறைவை கொண்டாடுகிறது.
இவை குறித்து எமது பூபாலரட்ணம் சீவகன் தயாரித்து வழங்கும் ஒரு காணொளி.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Singing Fish of Batticaloa

"It is said to be heard the clearest on a full moon night... One has to go by boat, plunge an oar into the water, put the other end of the oar to one's ear, and listen..."
Since the 18th century, Tamil fishermen have claimed to navigate by the mysterious music of the singing fish of the Batticaloa lagoon in eastern Sri Lanka. The fishermen's ancient name for the creature is oorie coolooroo cradoo (crying shells); scientists believe that the underwater choristers are some kind of fish. But, after thirty years of civil war and the ravages of the tsunami, does any evidence of this strange nocturnal chorus remain?
Restrictions and curfews made it impossible to visit the lagoon at night and locals, suffering the deprivation of a bitter conflict, had other priorities. The people of Batticaloa became disconnected from this ancient cultural symbol. Very few have heard the aquatic music, and many believe it's a myth.
But for Father Lorio, a Jesuit priest present at one of the earliest recordings of the phenomenon made using a homemade hydrophone in the 1950s, the singing fish are the soundtrack to sixty years of profound turmoil and change he's witnessed in the region. And for Prince Casinader, a Tamil journalist in his eighties, there's the belief that they could bring a sense of community and hope to his hometown.
Now a group of young Tamil scientists have joined the effort to rediscover this lost symbol. Guided by local fishermen, they embark on an unusual odyssey into the muddy lagoon to capture a new recording and establish if this elusive watery wonder has survived to enchant another generation with its song.
With music composed by Adam Nicholas.
Produced by Cicely Fell and Kannan Arunasalam
A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

A lagoon park built at a cost of Rs. 20 million was opened in the heart of the Batticaloa town.

Beautification program for Batticaloa

A lagoon park built at a cost of Rs. 20 million was opened in the heart of the Batticaloa town.
The Urban Development Authority carried out this project under the town beautification program on the direction of the Economic Development Ministry. It was constructed under the Deyata Kirula program.
The opening ceremony was presided by Batticaloa Municipal Commissioner M. Uthayakumar.
Resettlement Deputy Minister Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, Batticaloa Government Agent P. S. M. Charles and Municipality Commissioner opened the park.
Urban Development Authority Director Nanthana Gunaratna, Municipality Engineer P. Attuthan, Assistant Commissioner N. Thannanjeyan participated.
Courtesy : Daily News