Scenes from the Liberated Areas in the Battle Front in the 1990s
Thirty years have passed since I first visited a war front anywhere and thereafter many visits followed. These were not sightseeing tours but visits carried out to provide a service to my countrymen in the armed forces injured in battle in the Northern war front fighting a ruthless terrorist group seeking separation of our beloved motherland. These visits were no doubt nerve-wracking and risky, but the call for duty could not be resisted. Hence, I embarked on these visits and today 30 years later I can look back and be satisfied that I have done my part for my country and my countrymen even in a small way.
I am also happy that I undertook these visits to the war front not with arms to fight the enemy but with a camera to capture snapshots of war injuries and the stages in their surgical management. These photos have been of immense educational value in my lectures on war injuries locally and overseas and now in my blogs – A Surgeon’s Tales.
Although my primary duty was to the victims injured in battle, there were days when we had no work in the hospital as there was a lull in the battles. I made use of that time to visit areas in the Palaly High-Security Zone to get a glimpse of what it was like in a war zone. Of course, I could not go on my own, but these visits were done with the prior approval of the Commanding Officers of Jaffna. There were times we accompanied the senior officers on their inspection of the liberated areas which were within the High-Security Zone of the Jaffna peninsula.
It is on these visits that I captured the scenes of the war front with my camera and I am publishing a series of photo stories (Photo Gallery) of the war front for the benefit of those who are interested in getting a glimpse of what it was like in the war front at that time.
They were pathetic scenes of ghost towns devoid of inhabitants, bunkers and trenches of terrorists captured by the army, empty war-damaged buildings, kovils and churches, isolated roads, damaged centres of economic, tourist and industrial importance, cattle and goats here and there and a few old people living in isolation as their kith and kin had migrated overseas or joined the Terrorists. It is then that I realised the adverse consequences of war in addition to injuries and death of a whole generation of youth of one single nation. A very sad plight indeed!
This is a bit of the history of Sri Lanka that cannot be forgotten. Please view the photos and read the short story attached.
Dear Reader, You might be interested in having a look at the Part 2 of this gallery, which you can check that now by clicking this link : ‘WAR FRONT – 2’
You also might be interested in watching some of our other photo gallery links are given here : ‘SHADOWS OF WAR – PART 1’ / ‘SHADOWS OF WAR – PART 2’ / ‘PHOTO GALLERY – PICTORIAL JOURNEY OF SURGERY’ / ‘MY LIFE’ / ‘SPORTS’