Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Sri Lanka Answers: Michelle Collins '01

I received a couple of emails from Michelle Collins '01. I'll let her speak for herself:

I have been reading the PG blog since it started. It is very interesting to see where everyone is. I account for the hits in Sri Lanka. I have been living here since Feb 05 working for the American Embassy. I am due to leave in Jan where my next post will be Kabul for a year at the embassy.

I would consider myself very well versed on LTTE, having lived through numerous bombing, and attacks in the country. The latest being yesterday where a truck bomb killed over 90 navy personal on their way back home. The event happened 150 miles from the capital Colombo where I live. A cease fire has been in place since 2002 but it is only on paper. After the tsumani peace looked promising but that was only because both sides suffered.

However, sad or horrible an attack is life must go on and the people of Sri Lanka know that and are used to it. We as Americans find it strange, but after two years here I am used to seeing suicide bombers and claymore attacks. Anyway I just wanted to send a friendly email from Sri Lanka.

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The one photo is of me with a Special Task Force member (part of the police) at the signing of the re-building of the Arugam Bay Bridge. The Americans are re-building the bridge which was wiped out in the tsunami in Dec 2004.

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The other photo is the actual event, showing the relationship between Sri Lanka and the Americans. I was responsible for the security aspects of the event.

Another attack today, this time three suicide boats attacked a navy base in the Southern part of Sri Lanka which has been thought of as relatively safe and is a major tourist site. Everyday some kind of attack. A controlled civil war. Diplomacy at its toughest is what the American Embassy is facing.

If anyone wants to know about Sri Lanka feel free to email me.
Michele Collins mecollins1[at]