Jaffna District, the northernmost region of the Island of Sri Lanka, is one of the
oldest habitation sites in Lower South Asia, populated by Tamil speaking people.
Jaffna is situated within ten degrees of latitude to the north of the equator. It is in
close proximity to the sub-continent of India and separated from it by the Palk
Strait and the Bay of Bengal.
The peninsula is actually almost an island; only the narrow causeway known as Elephant Pass - for once elephants did wade across the shallow lagoon here connects Jaffna with the rest of Sri Lanka. Jaffna is low lying; much of it covered by shallow lagoons, and has a number of interesting islands dotted offshore. In all it covers 2560 square km (999 square miles). With just under 900,000 inhabitants, the district of Jaffna is one of the most densely populated areas of Sri Lanka, second only to Greater Colombo Jaffna has it all, friendly people, a rich culture, salubrious climate and a picturesque environment go to make it a veritable traveler's paradise. Now that the guns have fallen silent and peace is in sight, domestic tourism in this long forgotten northern retreat is gradually catching on. After almost 20 years, travelers now can reach Jaffna either by land or air. The Light, from Colombo to Jaffna, is just under one hour and is quite enjoyable as the plane does not travel at too high an altitude.
Traders from the South and other places in the country have come to the Jaffna peninsula in a big way with the end of hostilities that led to the lifting of travel restrictions, witnessing a steady low of traffic to and from the peninsula. According to reports, at first it was the big business concerns such as the banks and related institutions that were allowed into the region to encourage enterprise. But now small-timers are also moving in and in large numbers. Traders from the Sinhala dominated South and Muslims from elsewhere are now entrenched on the streets of Jaffna and other areas in the peninsula. They are involved in thriving businesses ranging from selling boiled corn to furniture, fruits and vegetables to name a few, keeping their prices at a reasonable level.
Statistics shows that Jaffna has a high usage of mobiles phones due to the lack of fixed lines.
Some of the new traders from other parts of the country are even offering credit facilities to customers they hardly knew personally.