'Sinhala' new year

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In Sri Lanka we celebrate the New Year on April 14th, when the sun moves from the House of Pisces to Aries, or Niryana Mesha Sankranti.

The irony is that the Sinhala people probably borrowed this day as their own New Year from the Tamils of South India. Today the Sinhala community 'celebrate' the New Year, far more seriously than the Tamils, even talking about the 'ancient' customs.

But the 'ancient' goes back only for about 5 centuries.

And this day we celebrate with

- many of our people in the North in temporary camps uprooted from the villages and their homes, with out a home of their own to light the hearth at the auspicious times

- many of our people grieving the death of young family members, either at the hands of the tamil rebels or the armed forces, with no intention of lighting the hearth at the auspicious times

- many of our people displaced and dressed in rags or handouts to 'celebrate' the new year.

- while those who can and able flee the country during the festive season, because their domestic servants have gone home and there is no one to attend to all the work of cooking and cleaning at home

- there are also those, taking advantage of the holidays spend it overseas at state expense.

- also those who have fled the country, leaving their fellow beings ot fight and suffer and die, who also celebrate a mock new year in the country of their present residence.

- this is the new year for us, when the explosion of fireworks and crackers replace the explosion of claimore mines and mortars.

- what is in store for us in the new year?

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