Kilinochchi Timeline 1

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EXPERIENCES OF THE WAR                             (Voice 1)

Woman 1 Ever since my child was three years old I have lived under the shadow of the war. The things given by my parents during my wedding were all lost and in 1990 we came to Udaya Nagar which is my husband’s place. He ran a fancy store. We lived from his income. When my daughter was 11 years old we were displaced to Thiruvaiyaaru losing all our belongings again. Our neighbours helped us for a while. When my daughter was 14 years old we were displaced to Vaddakachchi. There she came of age but we had no help except two neighbouring families. Since my husband had no assistance from his siblings he was having some difficulties. The hardship that began in 1990 continued. The problems repeated themselves. We shifted to another land and sold the land with the shop and lived on that money. After some time we moved to a land I owned in Rathinapuram. When the rains came we could not stay in that place. My husband left me and my child and I was left alone. So I took my daughter to the AGA office. I lived there for some time. The war started again. I had to marry off my daughter who was studying at that time. There was bombing both of us had to leave with everybody. We had no food. One day in my hurry to run to my mother’s place I left my jewels behind. By the time I got home it was already evening six’oclock. Amma, younger sister, sister’s husband and his elder sister, their kids all were with us together. The bombing rounds started again. I saw many children lose their eyes, hands,legs in the war. I saw families part. One day a bomb fell in a neighbour’s house. My sister’s husband’s elder sister’s daughter died with her baby in her arms. Others had small injuries. They took me to the hospitals. My sister’s husband was in the hospital for three days. It began to rain. I had to be transferred to Mannar hospital for one month. They gave Rs 10,000 and 2 clothes with which we went to Vavuniya. We stayed in a school where my daughter had chicken pox, and then my daughter got admission to the Jaffna University.
Woman 2 From October 2008 I came to live in a refugee camp. It was a fear ridden life. In 2009 we were displaced from Kilinochchi to Themavil. There I practically lived in a bunker. There was no food. We were displaced again to Vallipunam to live in a bunker. The food we had was finished and we were living in difficulties. From there we went to Anandapuram. There shelling began and 60 babies died as a result of aerial bombing. We felt fear after seeing that and thought to go somewhere else. After that we were displaced to Rettaivaikkal and lived there in a bunker. When it was announced that some food has been brought in the ship, we ran outside to experience Kfir bombing. I was injured with lot of blood loss but there was no medicine for us. We lived in difficulties. From there we left for Mullivaikkal and then to Nandhikkadal. From there, we ducked heads we arrived at the army point in Vadduvaan and were imprisoned within barbed wires. They gave us biscuits and water. We ate it and were taken to chettikulam welfare camp by them. We suffered immensely without water and food. We can never forget this experience.
Woman 3 We were displaced in 1998 September to Udayarkaddu. On one side I was sad to leave my son and go (LTTE had forcibly recruited him). It must have been four months. There also shelling started. So we were displaced to Suthanthirapuram. We were there for ten days. Then there also shelling began. After that we left for Kombavil and stayed there for 8 days. Shelling started there also. LTTE came and informed us that the army was approaching and that we should shift place. So we went to Valaignar madam and stayed there for three months. At that time my son died as a result of shelling. We took his body to Anandapuram for cremation. Then we went to Rettaivaikkal. We were there for two weeks. No food and we were starving. Sugar was selling at Rs 4000 per kilo, rice was selling at Rs 1700per kilo and flour at Rs 2000 per kilo. How could we buy that and eat? Then we went to Mullivaikkal. The shelling was so intense that trees and houses were ablaze. From there we went to karaiyan Mullivaikkal and from there to Nandhikkadal. They shelled from the sea and bodies were strewn everywhere. The army came from Valaignarmadam and took us to Vavuniya. We can write a book on our life’s experience. At least our future generation should live in peace.

OWN STORY                                                             (Voice 2)

Woman 1 I lived in Peradeniya in kandy. I was born on 1958.10.10. My father had a car and my mother ran a shop. We are Hindus. I had 3 elder brothers, 2 younger sisters and 1 younger brother. I was the eldest of the daughters and my marriage was arranged by my parents. They gave a land as dowry. I had a daughter. I lost the dowry land because of which my family broke. Now I live with my daughter.
Woman 2 I was born in Warakkapola in 1956. I had 6 siblings – boys 4 and girls 2. 2 brothers died. 2 brothers in Colombo and 1 elder sister is in India. My father was a textile businessman. I studied up to year 5 because I was the youngest. My school days were happy with a lot of friends and I was petted by my parents. My siblings were very affectionate. I am so sad that I am not as happy I was when small. Now I am alone. I married in 1975. Husband is a relative of ours. People at home opposed this marriage but I was adamant. After marriage we came to live in Kilinochchi. Husband is from Nuwara Eliya and came here for work. He was very kind. I had four babies but 3 of them were still birth due to blood pressure. In 1991 my son survived at birth. When he was eight months old, my husband died. I lived in untold misery after that. It must be said that I lived in the dark. I don’t know wage labour but had to somehow earn and support my child. My wages were Rs 75.00 a day and I suffered even for food. When the child was three years I sent him to school. He studied up to O’Level and after that he also entered as a wage labourer in 2007. He went to work so as to keep his mother happy. When he is delayed somewhere I search for him because I am happy only when he is at home. In 2008  when he went to work he was killed as a result of shelling. I searched for three days and discovered the truth. I cried and cried and am still crying. Why did god give me this fate.
Woman 3 I was born in Kandy in 1968. My mother and father worked in a tea estate. I have six siblings – 3 boys and 3 girls. I wasn’t sent to school because of  poverty. At ten years I was sent to work on the estate as weed puller. At twenty years I married my husband who was living in Kilinochchi. I had five children. 3 boys and 2 girls. My eldest son died by artillery shelling in 2009. When my husband heard of my son’s death  he became a mental patient. Although he attends clinic every month he does not seem to be getting better. I have been affected by this very much. I go for daily labour and educate the other four children. It is so difficult to manage with my earnings. We find it difficult even to meet the food expenses. In 1973 my parents came to Kilinochchi looking for work when I was five years old. My husband’s people also were like us, who left Palaly in Jaffna looking for work in Kilinochchi. My childhood was very happy with my parents and brothers and sisters. At twenty years I was married to a friend of my brother’s through arranged marriage. When my eldest son turned 18 we began to live in fear that LTTE might forcibly  recruit my son. Now I have lost that son, and lost a sane husband. At ten when I went to work I was paid Rs 5/day. Now I go for the same job at 43 years and when I think of this I feel so sad. I yearn for a good life to dawn. I can never forget how I worked as a child.

ABOUT THE FUTURE                                                          (Voice 3)

Woman 1 My future is hanging on my 3 ½ acres land. There were 75 coconut trees which gave us enough sustenance. Even my 7 brothers received no land. But here I am losing the land, getting no compensation or equivalent land. My land has been taken over by the government. A land that was not fit to dwell has been given to me. My daughter is like a walking corpse. Her husband who has lost a hand realizes the family responsibility and earns for us. Before the war, my neighbours used to be united and helpful. But after the war they are telling on others and are fighting with each other always finding faults. We are living like enemies.
Woman 2 I will build a house in my land and keep my son’s photograph and live in peace. My desire is to live on my own income. I must meet my expenses from the income of some Self employment. What I need should be obtained on my own income and I must be able to sleep in peace, and eat in peace. God knows that this is my desire. When I am alone having lost my children and my family, I sometimes get the feeling why I should be living. Even then, if I could build a house even if it be a hut. I must live there with no trouble to others. I doubt whether what I desire would be achieved because nothing of what I thought happened to me in life. Because I am alone the government also does not give me assistance. Don’t the people living alone need food? Need housing? It seems that the world does not realize this. What to do? On one side I am sad about losing my family. On the other side the longing for assistance. I am left with tears only.  I don’t want to depend on anyone and want to get on with life rearing cattle. I have to set up a house alone and live there in peace. I am worried whether this will really happen.
Woman 3 I hope that my husband will get well. Also I want all four children should study and be in good employment. My children should not go through the hardship that I went through. Not only that. I want to be able to travel on the road freely at any time. I want to see the parents who have girls live life without any fears. I desire that my children should not suffer for want of food or clothes. In the future my village should have all the facilities and amenities. They should have no fear. At least one of my children should do social service for this village. I desire for a fair and just service. I want all people to be united. Before I die, I must live a peaceful and hardship free life. My hut should be turned in to a brick house. My children should be able to wear expensive clothes like others. They should never starve. The children should be able to study in the University.

SITUATION TODAY                                                        (Voice 4)

Woman 1 On 2010.06.20 we went from Ananda kumaraswamy welfare center to Kilinochchi and resettled. There were no walls or things in my house. When I was resettled they gave me tent covering and Rs 500 cash. I bought some food with that money, and got some poles for the house and began to live alone. My daughter came later. With her help we got a loan and the NRC came and gave us temperory shelter and toilet. If they had not given we would have been in dire straits. I could not sew and earn as before. When I stand for a long time my legs begin to ache because of the injury I had sustained in the war. So I could not go for daily wage labour. I have no income except the Rs 250 every month. I buy small small things with it. With so much difficulty I bore with all these difficulties. My daughter studied amidst so much of suffering and hardship. My land 3 ½ acres. They (govt) acquired this land and duped us with a low lying land instead. They never told us this was a low lying land. My father gave as dowry this land. I am now going from pillar to post within the Kachcheri for five years. I have repeatedly asked for permit from them. They always ask me to come the next day because no answer has come from the ‘top’. They ask me to bring the documents. If I take them they say that they need only the originals. I am tired of going to and fro their office. Till today there has been no permit for my land. The reason for this difficulty is the war. My family also was broken because of this. We have no help and are alone. I have problems from my neighbours also. We live in fear and suffering.
Woman 2 On 2010.05.17 we left Chettikulam 4 welfare camp and were resettled in a village in Kilinochchi. Since my house was broken I am now living with my sister. I received relief for 6 months and after that it was stopped. I receive the Rs 250 per month assistance. I visit the clinic often because of sickness. I am in difficulty. There is no way to obtain one meal even for the day. A 74 year old woman living four houses away from me was raped and murdered at 2.00pm by some people. I am scared to be alone even during daytime. My neighbours are helpful. If I have a difficulties they help me a lot. I have a frozen feeling in my head often. I get treatment from the Kilinochchi base Hospital. I have small injuries due to shelling. It pains a lot. I have faintish feelings also. I received assistance from an organization. They gave me sewing machine. I sold it to engage in vegetable business. But I don’t have capital to continue this business. For reasons that I am only one member in my family the GS also does not include me as a beneficiary under projects. On 21.11.2010 my sister and brother in law came to Kilinochchi with their children. My sister is 74 her husband is 78. They are supported by their children. I live with them. If I can get some money to repair my house, I could live there. I have no property so they wrote a deed for ¼ acre land for me which I will never forget in my life. Even though they are old they still help me and I feel happy thinking about it. Their four children are boys so they also help me.
Woman 3 I find it difficult to bring up my four children with a husband who is mentally ill. I am fed up with this life. For the past eight months one organization is assisting us with Rs 4,800 per month for meeting education expenses. This money is not enough for meeting education expenses. For livelihood they gave us poultry rearing but the birds died sending me back to daily labour. We have konjee half stomach. We cannot eat good food. I am scared to think of my future. When I go out to work, the fact that my husband is not in his senses mean that there is no protection for my children. They can be harmed by others. The children go to the neighbouring house to get drinking water.