(ACNS) But hidden behind the routine is a suppressed mix of continuing anxiety and cynicism over the Jaffna context as well as deep sorrow over the experiences of the Vanni Tamils. In some instances one also sensed regret that not enough was said and done on behalf of the Vanni Tamils during LTTE suppression prior to the recent war. Such concerns would have added credibility to the concerns expressed for the safety and well-being of these civilians during and after the war. The predominant and recurring feeling amongst all classes and ages however was that the Tamils are an isolated and constrained community.
On the Peninsula, the people feel they are marooned; physically, psychologically and politically. The youth in particular are restless and search for answers to difficult questions. Many will migrate if given the opportunity. Options for study and employment are few and restricted. Yet only the desperate or daring will think of travelling to the south in search of better prospects. Stories of inconvenience and some ridicule and harassment experienced in travel, abound. In the south there is severe hardship in finding suitable lodging as even friends and relations are reluctant to take them in. State sponsored youth hostels, which will also provide an opportunity for the integration of our youth of all communities, are non-existent.
There was little enthusiasm for elections. A feeling prevails that change must come now, as a preparation for and prelude to elections. Pre-election promises will centre too much on what individuals can do. What people want desperately is an impartial political culture that they can own and that will restore trust, civilian administration and normalcy.