- Sandarangi Perera.
For three long decades Sri Lanka was torn apart by a malicious war between the country’s majority and minority. This war made the northern part of the country inaccessible to most of us; its citizens. I myself thought that the people, culture and beauty of Jaffna and its surrounding areas would forever remain a mystery to me. However once the war ended the north opened its doors for the rest of the island to come witness all it has to offer. Even with this great opportunity at my grasp, yet I was not capable of visiting northern Sri Lanka as I simply never had the chance to. Luckily this chance was given to my fellow college mates and me by our college, the chance to see and experience the post war north.
After much planning, excitement and enthusiasm we set off to Jaffna hoping to gain new experiences, to learn new lessons and to make memories as young individuals aspiring to be future journalists. Our purpose of going to Jaffna was to collect information that was needed to write the stories that each of us were assigned. The general topic assigned to the particular group that I belonged to was “agriculture”, and we were given the full freedom to choose a story we preferred under that wide topic. The task was to choose a story which has a news value. I instantly decided on writing my story about the grape cultivation in Jaffna, considering my love for the fruit and my curiosity about the process of its cultivation.
On my first day in Jaffna I arranged an interview with a few government officers at the Ministry of Agriculture Northern Province. The interview was rather successful and proved to be both knowledgeable and interesting. I learned much about the history of grape cultivation in Jaffna, its plight during the war, its status after the war, the different typed of grape fruit grown in Jaffna, the problems and threats faced by the farmers and last but not least the future plans and goals set for the...