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Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
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Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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Home > International Tamil Conferences on Tamil Eelam Freedom Struggle > > Tamils in New Zealand - International Conference   > Yalppanam (Jaffna) in War  

Proceedings of the Conference on 'Tamils in New Zealand',
July 1996 - Wellington, New Zealand.

Yalppanam (Jaffna) in War

Professor Peter Schalk

Professor Schalk is a Swedish citizen and is a Professor in the History of Religions at Uppsala University in Sweden. He has studied History of Ideas, Theology and Indology and carried out extensive research on both old and modern Indian religions. He has had a close interest in the developments in Sri Lanka impacting on the Tamils and has been a honorary member of the Citizens Committee of Yalppanam (Jaffna) since 1992.


A descriptive account of the destruction of Jaffna during Eelam wars I, II and III. Eelam wars I and II are documented well by the Citizens Committee of Jaffna, the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (Jaffna Branch), by the Jaffna Diocesan Human Development Centre in Bishop's House, by the Council of 10 Non-Governmental Organisations, Jaffna District, and by the reports of the GA and the Government of Sri Lanka. Then, there are the daily news in four newspapers being issued in Jaffna.

Very well informed is also the European NGO forum on Sri Lanka with its centre in London. There are also the very qualified reports by the ICRC and are the reports by embassies stationed in Colombo. Finally, there are the daily reports by the LTTE in the form of "Compilation of telephone news by the Liberation Tigers". They balance the reports by the Government of Sri Lanka. Putting all these sources together, it is possible to write a detailed war history of Yalppanam.

There has been made an attempt already to present a war history with special emphasis on the destruction of civil life in Yalppanam. Its title is Assessment of War Damage to City of Yalppanam and is a report commissioned by Municipal Commissioner, Jaffna Municipal Council.

Another important attempt to describe the destruction of civil life is Sri Lanka is the Economic Blockade by Mayan Vije from 1993, published by the TIC in London. It covers the whole period relevant here from 1990-92. Civil life during the time in the early 1980s, before the Tamil migrations and destruction caused by the wars, is well documented in a flood of scientific publications that, however, only seldom reach the West.

I wish to mention Statistics of Jaffna District prepared by the Department of Geography, University of Jaffna in 1983. Important also is Jaffna District in Facts and Figures by professor Po. Palacuntarapillai and Ka. Rupamurtti. Facts from these publications are a good base for a diachronical description of the war history of Yalppanam.



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