The salted Kanji that saved lives

Salt porridge that saved lives until the end / During the final days of the silent struggle that lasted until May 18, our country faced shortages in food supplies and medical restrictions imposed by the Sri Lankan government. Access to essential commodities was gradually restricted, leaving the people in dire conditions. It was during such times that the decision to initiate a program to safeguard the lives of our people was made. The program, named “Kanji Initiative,” aimed to provide essential nutrition and medical services to the war-affected regions, led by the political division of the Tamil Eelam National Leader’s office, along with the coordination of the humanitarian organization, Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO).

The program was launched in phases, starting from more than 15 locations in the northern region, gradually expanding its reach to Mullivaikkal in the Mullaitivu district in the northern province. Each phase involved recruiting volunteers for the rehabilitation and administrative services, who were duly appointed assistants to provide aid to the beneficiaries. The Kanji Initiative continued to function until the last day, ensuring the distribution of preserved food items. Despite facing obstacles, the program successfully provided relief without interruption until the cessation of hostilities.

Initially, the porridge distributed under the program mainly consisted of rice and salt due to limited resources. However, as the program progressed, additional ingredients such as coconut milk were incorporated into the porridge, improving its nutritional value. Later on, when the supply of coconut milk decreased, the porridge was prepared with “Anchor” powdered milk instead of coconut milk and toward the end it consisted only of salt and rice, meeting the basic needs of the people. This provision sustained our people during times of hunger and cannot be forgotten or overlooked.

Kanji has become synonymous with our identity. Just as Mullivaikkal stands tall as a symbol of Tamil resilience, so does Kanji, representing our survival.

  • This is our identity.
  • We will continue to gather accurate information about our passed and pass it along to our next generations.
  •  On May 18, we will consume Kanji as a meal in our homes.
  • We will share our survival story with our friends of other nationalities, and make them aware of the injustice committed by the Sinhalese fanatics on us.
  • Through the Kanji porridge, we will teach them about the horrors that took place in Mullivaikkal and how to survive during difficult times.
  • written on May 14, 2021,  by one of those who survived on the salted porridge




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