Jaffna the center of northern Sri Lanka had been a flourishing city in the past. The black period of modern Sri Lanka is being blamed for the destruction of the Jaffna peninsula. Jaffna was not safe for visitors for thirty years from 1983 to 2012, during the civil wars. There had been very few tourists in the Jaffna peninsula during that period. Today large numbers of national and international tourists are flock into Jaffna peninsula to explore the new territory, which opened its door after 30 years. There are large numbers of Buddhist historical places in the Jaffna peninsula, since Buddhism had been the main religion in the city. Therefore Jaffna is visited by hundreds of thousands of Buddhists. The people of Jaffna celebrated the Vesak festival of 2012 in a grand manner and it was beautified with large number lanterns and other decorations.
Black period of Jaffna
Even though the city of Jaffna had been a very populated city before the beginning of civil war, most of the people of Sinhalese and Muslim origin were chased away from the peninsula by the terrorist and large number of people of other ethnicity fled the northern peninsula while it had not been safe to live. Therefore Jaffna peninsula had been one of the least populated areas in the island during the civil war. Jaffna was severely damaged during the war and its prosperity was diminished in the last three decades. Today people who fled the area are coming back to the peninsula and look for their inheritance. Jaffna city is turning to its normalcy since the end of war. The infrastructure that was destroyed is reconstructed and people are beginning to enjoy the normal life.
Jaffna is the northern most city of the island, which shows a completely different weather pattern against the rest of the country. The peninsula experiences the dry weather for the most part of the year while the vegetation shows less green due to the lack of water. But most of the people in the area are living on agriculture and they produce products such as rice, tobacco, onions, various varieties of fruits etc. The main source of water for the agriculture fields are the wells, some of the farmers using water motors to pump the water while several people still have to do the tedious work themselves.
History of Jaffna
Jaffna was under the control of the King of the country in the past. In Sri Lanka there had been only one king, who was ruling the whole country for the most of the time such as Vijayabahu, Parakramabahu, and Nissankamalla etc. One exception was 1300’s when the island was divided into three kingdoms for a short period of time.
According to the historical information Jaffna peninsula was occupied by a south Indian king and he used the Nallur as the capital in 13th century. According to Marco Polo, who visited the north Sri Lanka in 1292, the ruler was known as Sandernaz. According to the chronicle Rajavaliya, Arya Chakrawarti who ruled the country from Jaffna was paid by both kings from Gampola and Kotte. King Alekeshwara who became the king of Kotte had refused to pay tribute to Arya Chakrawarthi and aroused his anger. Therefore Arya Chakrawarti had invaded Chilaw, Negombo and Colombo but he was defeated in Kotte. There are no evidences of collecting by Arya Chakrawarthi from south Sri Lankan kings since this incident. Jaffna peninsula was brought under the influence of King Parakrama Bahu 4th in 1450 under the leadership of powerful prince Spula Kumaru, marking the end of the heyday of Arya Chakrawarti.
Jaffna under the colonial rule
Peninsula was in the hands of Portuguese from 1621 to 1658 and Dutch took the control of the peninsula in 1658. With the beginning of British rule in the island in 1796 Jaffna peninsula was occupied by the English. Most of the historical monuments in the city were destroyed initially during the colonial rule in the island and later on during the civil war.
Sri Lankan Airlines flies to Jaffna
Sri Lankan Airlines State owned airline carrier of Sri Lanka opened its newest branch in Jaffna Peninsula in the first week of April 2012. The new branch of Sri Lankan Airlines is targeting the increasing number of passengers from North-East Sri Lanka. The new branch will be providing the customer services such as Ticketing, Reservation, Preparing Ticket Advice, Special services, Airline information, schedules and packages. Metro Travels & Tours has been selected as passenger sales agency in the north.