From the East of SL

So I’m since last week in the East where tense situation in terms of security is obvoius due to upcoming provincional council elections this weekend.
I visited my GLEN and TEP project areas with a focus on Thirukkovil and Thambiluvil. Getting there wasn’t same easy as 2years ago. Sri Lankas army attitude is let’s say slightly different towards foreigners- they checked my passport and content of backpack. Still sometimes it looked more like curiosity driven check rather than security ensuring while at the same time I could observate no attention and action towards some civilians carrying AK47 on the streets obviously representing some rebel groups. Actually I’ve never seen so many guns here (also M16). Government says it is all to ensure security during pre-election time.
Otherwise I notice positive trends regarding tsunami recovery. Most of the so called ‘refugee camps’ were not existing anymore in the places I knew before. Also ruins and debris were removed and the coastal areas cleaned in the places I visited. Many housing constructions still going on and people settlnig even nearby the Ocean. Some people admited that our workshops have had positive effects on recovery and some schools even still do TEP workshops.
In Thirukkovil Dialog (Sri Lankas GSM service provider) has finally managed to set up communication tower and bring mobile network coverage in that area. Result is obvious – especially youngsters showing off with their phones and ringtones on the main road.
My birthday was great. I did a motorcycle ride from Ullai (known also as Arugam Bay) up to Okanda where I wasn’t allowed to enter Yala East park. Still I saw tens if not hundreds of different bird species around there. Nesting season is starting there so saw many Egrets, Avozets, some kind of Stark (like in Latvia but grey), many green beeteaters, Kingfishers, cormorants, black head spoonbils, etc. My english bird species vocabulary exceeds here 🙂
Will post some photos later, no laptop with me, using my mobile phone only.

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