In February I joined a group of Sri Lankans travelling to the northernmost point of Sri Lanka. This has only been possible since the end of the bitter civil war between the Tamil Tigers and the Sri Lankan government in 2009.
From Jaffna, where we were staying, the big blue coach snaked its way north along Kankasanthurai Road to the edge of the narrow Palk Strait across which is Indian Tamil Nadu. Compared to the lush parts of the Jaffna Peninsula with vineyards and apple orchards, the parched land further north was covered in thorny shrubs and studded with palmyra trees.
We drove east on the coastal road to Valvettithurai with its placid blue sea and rough coral beach where brightly painted boats were lined. It used to be the smuggling capital of Sri Lanka. The fancy sarees that were brought across from India dressed thousands…
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