Silent plays portray life in Jaffna

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 28 March 2007, 01:09 GMT]
Jaffna University undergrads staged two short, silent plays Tuesday between 11:00 a.m to 12 noon in Kailasapathy Hall on the 'World Drama Day.' Both plays were acted without any spoken dialogue, symbolising the loss of the freedom of expression in Jaffna peninsula, and the Principal Slogan for the day was 'Words have lost their worth!', the undergrads said. Invitations to the plays were written on Palmyra palm frond blades and sent out clandestinely to prevent Sri Lanka Army (SLA) authorities from obstructing the event, Jaffna University Student Union (JUSU) representatives said.

silent plays
Poster written on Palmyra frond mat with principal slogan, 'Words have lost their Worth!'

The announcement of the event hung at the entrance too was written on a Palmyra frond mat because of the unavailability of paper in the peninsula, the sources added.

More than a thousand students, lecturers and heads of faculties attended the event.

"The first play with the title 'Lid' symbolised the suppression of the freedoms of movement, expression, of the media and to live a normal life, imposed on the people in the peninsula by the occupying Sri Lanka armed forces," student leaders said.

silent plays

"The second play named '2004-9-0', depicted the plight of the tsunami victims in Jaffna peninsula who are still suffering from tsunami's impacts. The play also described the pilfering of funds by the agents tasked to assist the victims," the students added.

"The undergrads deserve praise to have organised the event amidst the violence and rights abuses prevailing in Jaffna. The facial expressions and gestures of the actors spoke louder than a thousand words," a retired teacher who attended the event said.

The characters in the plays included a patient in critical condition affected by the SLA restriction of travel, a girl student being penalised for having lost her national identity card, a youth forcibly abducted from his home and a tsunami victim in search for food to survive.

silent plays

"Art and literary programmes staged by the Jaffna University Students years inspired the popular Pongu Thamil events

silent plays


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