May 2007: Susan Granada has been named a “Modern Mother for Peace” by the Ploughshares Fund and is featured in their Rediscovering Mother’s Day Campaign.
January 2006: I’m back in Jaffna after a 3-week vacation in the Philippines. Our team made a reentry to Jaffna yesterday in a most difficult time. The travel was uneventful, but a day before yesterday there was one claymore mine blast. . . . The situation in the North and East is really getting very bad. Along our travel route we saw droves of people from one village in Jaffna taking refuge in an LTTE controlled village. We witnessed movements of soldiers, all in arms, along with a convoy of military vehicles. Just this morning we have heard the news that food stocks are gradually getting depleted in the shops. A visitor just informed us that, “ Jaffna is ready for war.” The situation is like watching a war movie in motion. But I play a role here!
I’m part of those who do the ‘patrolling,’ but doing it nonviolently. I often remember one thing: being a peace-builder does not guarantee immunity from the violence that any conflict situation brings. For above all other people, the peace-builder, similar to a soldier (no matter to which party one belongs), “prays for peace, for they suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of conflict and war.”
“We are staying!” Over and over we say this to people, to assure them that we will be with them. We feel comforted that many in Jaffna have remained resolute. We see children who continue to go to schools. Men and women continue to go to churches and temples. Shops remain open, with stocks continuing to be replenished. Though in the evening, people observe a de facto curfew at 6 pm. . . . .
In an inter-agency meeting of internationals this afternoon we were discussing emergency plans. If war would break out, displacements of people may reach to 100,000. We diiscussed how we would assist the displaced, and how internationals would find safety. When asked of our plans, we said that we will be moving with the people, where they will be. I said that this is the mandate of Nonviolent Peaceforce–to be with the people and to protect them. . . .
I think in Jaffna, I am at the right place at the right time. Despite the emergency situation, I am happy and fully alive. My “political past” keeps popping up and tries to reconnect to my present, which is nice. I am always amazed on how situations unfold and I readily cope with them. I attribute that to the grace of God, and my “training.” We are preparing at the moment for one big mobilization, and the year 1995 just flashed back to me. I hope that this will be nonviolent as it was in the Philippines in 1995.
Please continue to remember us, the people in Sri Lanka, who have been suffering.
2005:~ Susan is on a two-year assignment with theNon-violent Peaceforce group as a member of the civilian “peace army”. She is one of 10 people from nine countries working with local groups to underpin the 2001 cease fire by protecting human rights, deterring violence, and helping local peaceworkers.(Peacebuilder ’05)