Friday 12 Feb 2016
Today was an early start. Consecration ceremonies at temple was beginning at 6am. It should be finished by 7:30am. Timing is important for Hindus who look to astrologers for auspicious times. The temple is known as the Sri Katpaga Vinayagar Temple in the village of Varivalavu.
After the temple proceedings, we decided to do a tour of Karainagar, the island from which my ancestors came from. First stop was the famous Casuarina Beach. It is more relaxed here now. The last I was here 3 years ago, there an army sentry stationed here. This was followed by a visit to my maternal ancestral homeland.
After Casuarina Beach, it was time to head for Kovalum, the village my maternal grandmother came from. It is rough road that is unsealed. No many live in the village now except for a few. Our van driver could not make the trip due to road conditions. We decided to use a Tuk-tuk to make the journey. Vijaya negotiated a price of 600 rupees with a Tuk-tuk driver for us to make the journey. My cousin Sangaran, Palini a close family friend and myself decided to make the journey. We went to the first property that belong to one of our relatives. Then we made the trip to the beach front where the actual land is. Part of the land, as we thought, was occupied by the navy. We later realised upon surveying the land, it was not the case. To our surprise, the navy personnel were friendly and helpful. This really surprised me. The end result is that we were able to inspect our ancestral land with great ease. Paling who can speak Sinhalese facilitated this. We were also advised by the navy personnel to register our interest in the land with the Grama Niladhari, who is local village level government official who is meant to keep track of land in his allotted area. This way if others came to ask about the land or try to assume ownership, this official could advise them accordingly.
We decided to end the day by relaxing and recovering from the events of the day back at the hotel. We needed it especially because of the early start. Needless to say, I had a nap which I most enjoyed.