14 March 2010

Tag and a Story

I have been tagged by Amaris from the wonderland of Brazil. The rules for this tag are as below.

1. Open your 1st Photo folder.
2. Scroll to the 10th photo.
3. Post the photo and the story behind it.
4. Tag 5 or more people.

Instead of choosing the first folder, I’m doing a little tweak and taking the first folder appears in my Picasa gallery. So this picture happened to be one taken sometime back from Panama Beach (pronounced as paːnəmə) and it shows a part of the curved beach (rather a thin strip of beach), the lagoon and the rocky outcrop. I still do not know what that statue like thing on the rock.

That day, we were swimming in the shallow waters and a few STF (Special Task Force from the Sri Lanka Police) soldiers came via a motor boat from the lagoon side and wanted to cross over to the sea. We helped them to push the boat over the thin strip of sand. We tried our best to convince them to take us to the nearby bird sanctuary, Kumana but they refused on safety reasons.

Remember this was during the height of war in the north of Sri Lanka and there were a few armed gangs from the LTTE, still roaming around the jungles of east. The soldiers were going to the camp in Okanda, between Panama and Kumana, which was restricted to public due to security threats those days. The STF members were doing a yeoman service to the villagers protecting them from the terrorists.

The next day we heard that there had been a bomb explosion in Okanda and two STF personnel were dead. It was such a sad news for us. Later we found out it was not any of the members of that group of soldiers, still we were quite shocked about what happened to their two colleagues. In fact, we understood why they refused to take us with them.

Today I’m relieved that the situation has changed rapidly after the war in the north and this particular area is declared safe for public. Tourism is flourishing and we can hike freely in these areas now.

We, Sri Lankans eternally grateful to the armed forces for their sacrifices to bring peace back to this country!

So that is the ‘story’ on above picture!

Thanks very much, Amaris for tagging me and I have tagged below friends. Next time it may be your chance to relate a story :D

1. George and Betsy from Tennessee, USA
2. Rainfield from Malaysia
3. Nicole right now in Egypt
4. Knatolee from Canada
5. Bhavesh from Pune, India


Betsy Banks Adams said...

Hi K, Great picture.. The area looks so serene--and I would never have known that there was fighting nearby... I always hate hearing stories of death during fighting and wars... Makes me sad. BUT--your picture made me smile. How gorgeous.

Thanks for the TAG... I've already looked up my photo---so I'll post it sometime!!!!!

Have a great week ahead.

George said...

Thanks for thinking of me. I haven't looked for the proper photo yet, but I'm not sure it will contain as interesting a story as your photo does. The photo is wonderful even if the story attached to it is made sad by the death of the soldiers.

Knatolee said...

Great picture, great story! I think my picture and story are going to end up being a lot more inane. :)

Kirigalpoththa said...

Hi Betsy,
Yes it was a sad time..but things are much better and this place looks serene as ever!
Hope to see your picture and story :)

You are welcome! Yep those two deaths really shocked us.. but I'm glad the way things have changed after those days. I'm waiting to go there again :D

I'm sure you will have a great story to come up with :)

Thanks to all for your comments!

Amaris in Wonderland said...

What an amazing area. That statue is very intriguing.

My condolences to the family, community and military "brothers" of the soldiers that were killed…

I have so much respect and admiration for people in the service: be it military or law enforcement. They have to see the "ugly" in our beautiful world, everyday - so that they can protect and preserve it for the rest of us.

Thank you for your story, and beautiful [though bittersweet] peek into your world.

Unknown said...

Sweet goodness, that story gave me a chill.
My husband has been in Panama for a brief time in the army (or was it the marines, dunno).
It's hard to imagine today that it once has been that bad down there.
Glad times have changed!
The photo is wonderful.
Will play along that tag one of these days.
Currently don't know where to start :)
Every weekend puts me behind with the 'work' and gives me more shots to wade through ;)

That Photo is beautiful, btw. I love it when photos make me remember a story behind them :)

Amitha Amarasinghe said...

I loved the story behind the pic.It's "typically the story of Sri Lanka". Can you imagine how much of such touristic value we missed out during past 30 years in this beautiful island because of the brutality of terrorism?

Thank god! Now the roads are open and we all can see these places without any fears.

Janith said...

Wow... what a story K! I guess everyone in Sri Lanka is glad that the disease of terrorism is over... I hope it never raises it's ugly head again!

Btw, any guesses on what that column thing is? :O

rainfield61 said...

I love stories, I love hiking, I love photography.

Am I tagged because of these?

Anyhow, thank you.

Me-shak said...

Amazing picture! The water look so still! And the rocks are just awesome. I hope we wont see that ugly side again!


Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...

what's that pole sticking up at the beach?

My neighbours are refugees from Sri Lanka.

Kirigalpoththa said...

Thanks for your thoughts and of course for the tag :D

Your husband was in armed forces..He must be having lot of stories to share. :)
I think you refer to Republic of Panama, the southernmost country of North America. This was taken in Panama (Pronounced as paːnəmə) village in South East of Sri Lanka.
Thanks a lot for your thoughts and waiting to see your story although you do post some very interesting photos and posts almost everyday.

Yes, this is only east and we must be having so many stories in the North to share!

No idea at all. I think somebody must have tried build up a hut or something there and he had to stop the project in the midway.
This statue like thing must be one of the remaining structures. Glad it has not destroyed the scenery..

Yes you guessed it correct. You are a great story teller and I tagged you to hear another story from you :D

We all hope the same mate! Never again!! :)

Really.. Are they planning to come here any soon?

Thanks all for your comments!

Unknown said...

Awwww... I shouldn't write comments before the second coffee or after the second drink (whichever was the case here, I don't remember) :P

Kirigalpoththa said...

No worries :P

Loshini said...

The story hits a chord. All the unnamed people.. wars make no sense.

another view of panama beach? i like the sunlight reflections on the surface.

BLOGitse said...

Thanks for sharing your photo and the story of it...


Kirigalpoththa said...

Yes tis another view of Panama beach. This place has no end to variety. Each side is different from the rest.
Thanks for your comments!

You are welocme and thanks for your comments!

Tammie Lee said...

oh my gosh, your story is sad and heart wrenching. I feel thankful that you are well. Life is such a mix of experiences and they touch us and mold us in so many ways. Your photo is wonderful and I thank you for sharing this experience.

Kirigalpoththa said...

Thanks a lot for your thoughts! :)

Bhavesh Chhatbar said...

Thank you so much Kirigalpoththa! I'll make a most on this soon :)



Kirigalpoththa said...

You are welcome mate! I'm waiting to see the picture and story you are going to come up with.. :D

Bhavesh Chhatbar said...

I've just done a post on this. See it on Bhavesh and Friends

Kirigalpoththa said...

Hi Bhavesh,
Great! I'll check it out soon :D