Gypsies celebrate independenceView(s):
Story and pix by Priyantha Hewage
The Gypsy community, a fast vanishing tribe in Sri Lanka, held their own independence celebrations for the first time. The Gypsy group, which is made up of 42 families, made an appeal at a village in Vavuniya on February 4, which marked the country’s 65th year of independence from colonial rule.
“Earlier we settled our minor differences and quarrels among the community. But now if there is a dispute of even the most minor nature it is referred to the police and later the matter taken up in courts”, said Eranage Nassanna, the group’s leader.
He added that the process costs money, for lawyer fees, etc and often the case is simply a minor brawl or quarrel between members of the community. His statement was made during an Independence Day celebration held in Nochchkulam in Vavuniya, a place they were chased away by the LTTE in 1982. Vavuniya Municipal Council member Lalith Jayasekera, who took part in the celebrations, said he agreed with the statement made by the group.
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