A journey over an year ago, to a favourite vacation spot in the deep south. Whats amazing about the drive to Kirinda is the amount of change I see. From the desolate lagoons that open out to the sea to the abandoned mega highways of Hambantota.
On one side we have farmers. On the other we have an airport blocking farmers from traditional grazing paths. It’s interesting to see how the locals who have no use for the functions of large highways, cricket pitches or airports use them to dry fruits and paddy.
There are quite a few water buffaloes grazing in the paddy. I’ve cut down on my intake of beef due to the fact that the demand for beef in the recent years has lead to an environmental risk. For more details read this. I picked the Verge article since its easy to read. There are better sources out there.
Sri Lanka is home to the freshest produce around. We are a farming nation and despite the government not doing much about it recently the land is blessed to be giving us such fresh produce. There has been a rise of kidney related diseases in Sri Lanka due to the use of certain fertilisers provided by foreign entities. This article touches on the subject but if you read between the lines you’ll see who’s responsible.
We arrived a few hours after the rush, yet this chap still had all his vegetables. He looks like he might have to sell them over the next few days. How does he keep them fresh? Am I contradicting my previous statement of fresh vegetables if they’re laced with preservatives that keep them in such a state for many days?
It’s the weekend. Schools out. Most kids accompany their parents to their workplace.
Fishing is a big industry in Kirinda. They catch everything from tiny tuna to massive (20ft) Sting Rays. Some boats are out in the ocean for weeks. Majority of those boats are filled with ice which the use to preserve the fish the catch. After each trip they take a few weeks off before embarking on the sea again.
The fishing industry is always in the news. Primarily due to our neighbour, India trespassing on our waters and stealing our fish. It usually results in arrests and blows to foreign policy. Roar covered the issue earlier.
The story in Kirinda at the time was of the male elephant Gemunu.
Gemunu was a resident of Yala National Park until one day he decided to forage for food inside the safari jeep of a high ranking army official. Upon hearing the children of the jeep scream, the back up armed with rifles (which are illegal inside the park) shot a single bullet to graze Gemunu’s leg.
Enraged, Gemunu decided that Yala National Park was not for him and left. He decided to take up the passage to Sithulpawwa a temple in the nearby area. Gemunu’s large frame blocks the entire road and only allows those who feed him to pass.
When we decided to go look for him. The Army checkpoint at the beginning of the road stopped to ask us what food we were carrying. Only then did we take this seriously.
Unfortunately we never came across him. I bought bananas, tea buns and if I had tea he could have had himself a little Sri Lankan tea party.