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DateLine Sunday, 30 September 2007

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Jaffna students want to live in peace with those in South

The students of the present day Jaffna do not want the war to continue and they want to live in peace with more interaction with the South, according to W.I.Jackson of St.Patrick College Jaffna who was in Colombo captaining a team of fifteen cricketers from the North and the East.

The fourteen member North and East cricket team, comprised eight players from the leading schools in Jaffna such as St Johns, Central, St.Patrick's, Jaffna College Union, Tellipalai, Manipay Hindu and Mahajana. The team also consisted of players from St. Michael's, Batticaloa and the schools in Vavuniya and Trincomalee.

The combined North and East schools cricket team played a friendly cricket match with the Colombo schools combined team last week.The North and East cricketers also visited the ANCL and to see how the company functions.

The Captain of the team Jackson told the Sunday Observer that it was for the first time since the A-9 high way was closed a cricket team comprising North and East cricketers have come to Colombo.

"Unlike in the past, the present day students in the Jaffna Peninsula are very particular that they should not get trapped in the militant activities.The devastating effects of war and the pathetic situation faced by the people of Jaffna due to the disturbing conditions of ongoing conflict has made the students of Jaffna to realise the importance of living in peace.

They want to study well and engage in sports. They believe that by concentrating on studies as well as in sports they could work out a good future for them. Therefore the Government should provide all necessary backing for the North and the East to excel in their studies as well as in their sports activities without isolating them.

He also said that when the North-South relations were in good shape the Jaffna students had ample opportunities both in Government and private sectors. But now the situation has changed. Hardly any Jaffna student interest with the South.

The current conflict have distanced them to a greater extent with those in other parts of the country. This situation should change with peace returning to the peninsula and the Jaffna students having more interaction with the Southerners.

The tour of the North and East cricketers to Colombo was organised by the Peace Secretariat.

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