Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sri Lanka - a paradise regained

My first IMAX movie was about the Nature’s fury seen from the space. As the orange flames of the rockets gave a way to clear skies, the very first view was that of earth through the bottom of the space shuttle. An image of a pendant hung at the end of a dangling chain, kept on foamy blue and white velvet satin sheet emerged. Wow...how beautiful sight that was. As the shuttle raced to a higher altitude, location of the pendant became obvious. It was Sri Lanka and the chain was an Indian shoreline along the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. This image of Sri Lanka is still well carved in my memory.

I had seen this movie in early 90's and in 08, I got a chance to be in Sri Lanka. I am happy that this country with wonderful people is now out of clutches of the worst terrorism. It has suffered almost 30 years of violence, mayhem and uncertainty. I am sure the pendant would once again beckon the world travelers for its pristine beaches of Galley, green top mountains of Kandy, Buddhist holy shrines and historical sights of Kandy and Anuradhapura.

We visited Colombo, Kandy and Anuradhapura thereby completing the golden triangle. First and forever sight was that of an alert security. Young army soldiers carrying AK47 with a finger on a trigger and eyes panning 180 degrees stood almost at every round about and between them, they covered almost every angle and elevation. While we were there, the parliament session was in progress. Road leading to the parliament also had these security men in the military fatigue ready to react and pounce immediately at the slightest provocation or disturbance. Their eagerness and commitment to defend the nation was palpable. It is no wonder that they crushed LTTE with relentless military aggression. It is an example what a nation can do if there is strong leadership who knows that defending their own country is the paramount task and any outside intervention must be summarily dismissed without any fear of economic or diplomatic consequences. USA through 9/11 demonstrated how a nation can be defended. Sri Lanka under the leadership of Rajapakse followed US example to a fruitful culmination.

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