I spoke with Rev. Partheepan on Tuesday 10th May. He and his family are well and his wife Dino is able to continue nursing at the local hospital.
The present national curfew impacts them and the congregation, but is not so strictly enforced, as none of the protests are in the Tamil areas in the north and east. That does not reflect any satisfaction with the present government, but rather that protesting Tamils would be fearful of being violently suppressed, and the army already had a very visible and felt presence in these areas as a legacy from the civil war.
This means Parthee is able to get about because he has a medical pass on his car and fuel for the car is more available than motorbike fuel or diesel. Fuel costs have escalated massively however, and are close to double what they were five months ago.
Cooking gas is also a problem, and often just not available, so Parthee is looking for an electric cooker – though electric is shut off for a large part of the day as well. The power cuts last between 6-10 hours.
The lack of power impacts recording and broadcasting of services. And the lack of fuel and extortionate cost makes it hard for families to get to church. So this is an issue of concern. It might help to get a generator, but there is no guarantee of fuel to keep it operating.
Work on the manse in Vavuniya is ongoing. Parthee was able to use his car with the hospital pass to bring the tradesmen to work. Otherwise work would be at a standstill, as they could not get there by motorbike or bus. These men are pleased to have this work and to be able to keep earning money.
Basic food supplies of vegetables and rice are available but at sometimes two or three times the normal cost. There is no contingency fund available to the Mission and Parthee is using his own limited funds to help some of the poorer families with food and medicines.
International politics and the competing interests of larger nations, particularly China and India, have a bearing upon the future of Sri Lanka. The present ruling family were deeply embroiled in the slaughter and suffering that brought the civil war to a violent conclusion in 2009 when perhaps up to 40,000 people, a large proportion being civilians, were killed.
In it unclear what the political fallout of the present difficulties will be, and how this will impact the current economic crisis. The situation has been escalating quickly and may continue to develop in a way that has a greater bearing upon the Mission.
Please pray for:
2) provision of daily necessities, food, medicine, fuel and electricity;
3) freedom and opportunity to gather for worship;
4) wisdom in running the Mission;
5) stable and righteous government.