Ferry From Talaimannar in SL to Rameshwaran, India
Ferry was from Talaimannar to Rameshwaran Island and part of rail link from Colombo to Madras (I think). There was a small ferry for each vehicle from Rameshwaran Island to Mainland India.
22 miles, the same distance from Dover to Calais. Couple of guys have swum it too. One such was Kumar Anandan, swimming from Sri Lanka to India and back in 51 hours, in 1971. While attempting to swim the English Channel on 6 August 1984 he collapsed and died due to heavy currents. Other trivia; Kumar Anandan hailed from Valvettithurai, the village of the Thalaivar, i.e. Prabhakaran.
Almost all Tea Estate indentured workers were brought by Ferry and had to walk thru thick jungle to Tea estates in the hill country. Quite a few died, no records were kept.
The Brits did not give the Estate indentured labor Ceylon Citizenship. Because that would mean they would be under Ceylon Labor Laws which were quite reasonable. Would defeat the whole purpose of getting slaves in all but name.
It became an issue after independence. The estate Tamils were almost 15% of the population. Half were repatriated back to India, with even Ceylon Tamils voting for the move.
I am 3/4ths Sri Lankan (Jaffna) Tamil, 1/8th Sinhalese and 1/8th Irish; a proper mutt.
Maternal: Grandfather a Govt Surveyor married my grandmother of Sinhalese/Irish descent from the deep south, in the early 1900’s. They lived in the deep South, are generally considered Sinhalese and look Eurasian (common among upper class Sinhalese). They were Anglicans (Church of England), became Evangelical Christians (AOG) in 1940's, and built the first Evangelical church in the South.
Paternal: Sri Lanka (Jaffna Tamil). Paternal ancestors converted to Catholicism during Portuguese rule (1500's), went back to being Hindu and then became Methodists (and Anglicans) around 1850 (ggfather). They were Administrators and translators to the British, poets and writers in Tamil and English. Grandfathers sister was the first female Tamil novelist of modern times
I was brought up as an Evangelical even attending Bible study till about the age of 13. Agnostic and later atheist.
I studied in Sinhala, did a Bachelor in Chemistry and Physics in Sri Lanka. Then did Oceanography graduate stuff and research in the US.
I am about 60 years old, no kids, widower. Sri Lankan citizen (no dual) and been back in SL since 2012. Live in small village near a National Park, run a very small budget guest house and try to do some agriculture that can survive the Elephants, monkeys and wild boar incursions.
I am not really anonymous, a little digging and you can find my identity.
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