Sri Lankan Diaries

I was born in Sri Lanka, a Burgher, a descendant of Portuguese/Dutch/Singhalese/Tamil intermarriage. My parents migrated to Australia in 1962, and I, being 10 years old at the time, came along.
It took me many years to make my first trip back there and to reconnect strongly with this country and culture that I increasingly find is more than just something in the blood.

From this page you can head off to a whole mess of aspects of reconnection. Happy trails.

Diaries 1986: My first visit back since migration.

The middle of the most recent civil wars between Tamil and Singhalese.

In February, 1986, after 23 years of absence I made my first return to the country of my birth. This is the diary of that journey. It’s here with all the gaucherie, pretension, misrepresentation, misinformation, delight, romance, omissions, banalities that was there at its creation. There’s parts by which I am embarrassed now, and there’s parts that I take pleasure in having written. My companion on the trip was my then lover Robert Laurie. It was our second trip overseas. The first had been to Malaysia two years before, hence the references from time to time to places and impressions of Malaysia. It’s quite an epic! However, as each day is headed by the city or town where most of that day was spent, you can fast track down till you get to the place you want to read about.

1986: Days 1 to 7

1986: Days 8 to 14

1986: Days 15 to 19

1986: Days 20 to 26

Diaries 2004: Second visit.

The truce between the Tamil Tigers and the Singhalese Government has been in place for 2 years. Five months before the tsunami hit killing 40,000 people on the North East, East and South East Coasts.

Diaries 2004 , part 1

Diaries 2004 , part 2

Diaries 2004 , part 3

Diaries 2004, part 4

Diaries 2004, part 5

Diaries 2004, part 6

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© Paul van Reyk 2019.