Archive for August, 2010|Monthly archive page

Restoring the “Sri” in Sri Lanka

In Genocide, Global Issues, Uncategorized on August 27, 2010 at 3:00 am

Sri Lanka is one of the worst current humanitarian crises in the world today. Why doesn't anyone know about it?

So, working my way down my list, I decided to write about the first topic that caught my attention a few months ago: Sri Lanka. My mother has always kept me informed about the happenings in the country, mainly its decades-old ethnic conflict between the Tamils and the Singhalese. It resonates with me not only because my family is Tamil in origin, but because Sri Lankan culture in itself is one of the richest and most well-preserved in the Asian continent. But I realized that I don’t know enough about the country or the people to understand how this ethnic conflict came about, and what its implications are on me, or to the rest of the world. So here’s my attempt to figure out the social, political and ethnic history of this little island.

Let’s start with the basics: geography. Sri Lanka is a tiny island in the Bay of Bengal, close to the Indian Ocean, located to the South-East of the Indian subcontinent. Its capital is Colombo, and it has a population of about 21,324,791 (not including the many thousands of refugees that have escaped the country in light of the recent hostilities). Being ocean-locked makes the country a major producer of hydropower, and Sri Lanka is also home to a wide variety of flora and fauna.

In terms of ethnic divisions, Sri Lanka is mainly composed of two groups: Tamils and Singhalese. The

The tiny island of Sri Lanka is located in the Bay of Bengal, close to the Gulf of Mannar.

Singhalesemake up almost 73.8% of the country’s population, and they are predominantly Buddhist.  The Tamils, on the other hand, constitute about 8.5% of the country, and thus, are clearly the minority. Distinctions may even be made between Indian Tamils (from Tamil Nadu and other parts of Southern India) and Sri Lankan Tamils—both of whom speak Tamil, but significantly different variations of it. Sri Lanka also has a Muslim minority of 7.6% and a Christian minority of 6.2%. Therefore, ethnic, linguistic and religious differences abound throughout the land.

Read the rest of this entry »

Now that I’m in college…

In Uncategorized on August 26, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Hello everyone!

So, it’s been a while since I blogged. The Sticky Note on my desktop is filled with about 20 topics that I scribbled down, waiting to research and write about them all. But between everything from IB exams, summer, moving houses, changing three laptops and holding down an internship, I’ve had barely any time or energy all summer to work on Yes I Care.

No worries, though, I’m in COLLEGE! Yes, I am officially a freshman at Virginia Polytechnic University, and this is my first week here. And I’m slowly realizing that with enough commitment and planning, I CAN blog with the amount of research and detail I wish to share with my readers and myself. My schedule has gaping holes which would best be filled by some quality figure-out-the-world-around-me time.

Read the rest of this entry »