Yup, that’s what the Jaffna Peninsula fishermen fish from.

This is the Manthikai Base Hospital, site of our surgical & emergency medical work on the peninsula. The shot is taken from the office/house where people live, and work when not at the hospital or elsewhere on business.

I don’t mean to judge. Not my place. I try to observe and learn. This is truly a tragic situation in which many people I’ve come to care about are trapped. But it’s certainly easy to see how the civilians on the peninsula, deprived (for security reasons which I understand even if I might wish the forces and government could somehow be more creative and less restrictive in guarding security while trying to allow folks to pursue life, liberty and happiness) of most aspects of a “normal” life, could long for something, maybe even anything, that might change all that. One of the most common – often the most common patient presentations in our clinic is suicide attempts. This has been the case throughout the long years of MSF’s work here in Sri Lanka. I find it easy to understand why, and I’m deeply saddened and occasionally outraged that none of the (quite simple, compared to what will be needed now to resolve this conflict) things that could have been done between 1956 and about 1983 to prevent this ethnic conflict from escalating to where it is now were done. I could go on and on and on, but I’m going to let the pix speak for themselves and share my thoughts with you individually if you want. Bookshelves can be filled with writings on the origin and nature of this conflict, yet it remains one to which much of the world is blind. And I guess that makes me sad as well – that so many good people, trying to live normal lives, trying to pursue the goals we all pursue everywhere, die every day from abductions, suicide attacks, claymore mines, and standard-issue ground and air warfare…and most of the world barely bats an eye.

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