Vavuniya Letter 223



Dear Friend Paari


I am keeping fine and I would like to hear of your health. I have not written to you for about a month. You might have wondered why and would have been longing to hear from me. It was about 9.00 clock in the evening on a Thursday during 1990. We had finished our dinner and were about to go to bed. There was no electricity supply to our village. My parents and three sisters and myself were at home. Suddenly we heard the sound of gun shots. We were hugging our mother in fear and crying. Gun shots were repeatedly heard. We could not go out because of fear of being killed. After some time we heard people crying from the neighbouring house. We found not only an elderly person was shot dead but also small children were found dead in a pool of blood. Some pregnant women were also found unconscious. Though I was a small girl at that time but I could still remember those horrific moments. After hearing about so many people killed  we were informed to gather at a school in the morning. We were in a state that we could not carry any of our belongings but we took some of our important documents and went to that school. We were all boarded in a bus and set out as refugees toward an unknown destination. It was a very pathetic situation that we lost our relatives, property and belongings. We were not even be able to perform the burial of the dead. We were crying and moaning and we were displaced from our on village.


The bus in which we were boarded left our village Pavatkulam and reached the  village Samanangkulam. We started walking along from there, carrying our bags and baggage on our heads. It was an unforgettable sight. We faced many difficulties while walking and finally reached Medawachchiya and stayed in a school. As refugees we were provided with bread and dhal curry. After spending the night in that school, we were transported by bus in the morning, to another school in Ganewalpola in the Anuradhapura area. There we were provided with meals and later with temporary sheds within the school premises. We were faced with so many difficulties without proper food and toilet facilities. All our relatives were scattered and living in different places. Because of the harsh experiences our father became mentally weak. We all were four girls and capable students and our mother didn’t know what to do. She was wondering whether to look after her husband or to educate her children. However she managed to send us to school while we stayed there. After living there for 4 years as refugees we returned to our own village in 1994. Later our mother was engaged in self-employment , educated us and we made a living on what she earned. However we couldn’t get back whatever we had lost. We continue to live amidst a lot of difficulties through our faith in God. About our future?


Ok my dear friend, I told you of all our sad experiences. If I made you cry, please forgive me and forget it. I am awaiting your reply.  Assallam alekum.


Your friend