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Two Cups, Two Plates

Jun 13, 2010 3:26:05 AM - thesundayleader.lk

Former LTTE members, now getting married in rehabilitation camp

Couples are seated at tables with Ministers, Generals and movie stars. They are hemmed in a solid square by soldiers, lackeys and cameramen. Family and friends watch the scrum from a distance, fifty feet away. These are token couples, swarmed by media, tokenizing the event and obstructing the view for everyone actually there. If you wander back, however, some couples are sitting almost entirely alone.

Tamil business people sponsored almost all of this event, from the gold thalis to the saris to the ritual gifts. They are there, taking things out of cardboard boxes and handing them out. Each couple gets two cups, two plates. Two pairs to eat and drink out of, to start a new life together. They’re simple metal dishes, wrapped in recycled paper. It’s the most beautiful part of the wedding.

53 former LTTE cadres were married in a mass ceremony attended by MP Namal Rajapaksa and Bollywood star Vivek Oberoi. The couples remain detained by the government in rehabilitation camps but will be given legal documentation and family-style housing. When asked whether they could raise families in this environment, the couple said “release is the best happiness you can give us.” (read more in The Sunday Leader)

View more photos on Flickr