Timelines Vavuniya District

Vavuniya Timeline 1

1 2 3 4
Woman 1 My village is Manthuvil, 8th ward in Puthukkudiyiruppu in the Mullaitivu district. I studied in the Govt. school up to grade 9. Because of difficulties in our family I dropped out of school and was employed as a daily wage earner. My parents proposed made a marriage and I got married and was living happily. Later my husband started quarrelling with us. We were in dire poverty. I have 5 children (3 boys and 2 girls) My eldest son studied up to O/L. Having known the difficult situation in the family and that his mother only works and looks after them, he stopped studying and went to work, saying that he wanted to educate his brothers. He earned and looked after us well. My third son fell sick. He was affected by cholera, admitted to Vavuniya hospital and transferred to Anuradhapura hospital. There on 24.12.1993, they injected him with poison saying that he was a future tiger. I educated my 4 children and we were living happily. I have not lost hope. I am still able to stand on my own leg We came to know of his death and we tried our best to bring the corpse to our own land but they refused to hand over to us. When we asked why, they said they wouldn’t give. Then we returned back home. This happened on 24.12.1993.
Woman 2 The village in which I was born was a prosperous one and I was born in 1981 as the fifth child in our family. I have two elder brothers and two elder sisters. I was the pet child in our family. My father was a fisherman and my mother was not so educated but they brought us up well. While we were living happily my father was killed by the army in a shooting incident. Even though I was the pet child. No one ever told me that I was a fatherless child. My mother and my brothers and sisters brought me up such. I studied up to grade 11 and fell in love with one of my relatives and my studies came to a stop. All in my family approved of this and I got married to the person whom I liked. We were living happily and in 2002 a boy child was born. Our only ambition was to educate him and so we sent him to school. He was faring well in his studies and sports too. We were refugees but we had sufficient income. We did not have to find any work for us. Our income was around Rs. 10,000 per month. We were standing on our own leg and living happily with our son. As the saying, ‘we too and two for us’ we were longing for another child but we never had. Then we were displaced in 2009 and from then own wards God has changed our destiny. The happiness in our life did not continue. My husband died on 20.01.2009. After that My son and I are living with my brothers.
Woman 3 My life journey started when I was born in 1965. My father was from Jaffna and my mother was from Puthukkudiyiruppu. There were 6 brothers for me. I was the 7th child and the pet child. During my schooling age I studied in Puthukkudiyiruppu from grade 1-7 and in Jaffna from grade 8 up to O/L. I stopped my studies to look after my mother who was sick. Then I lost my mother and my brothers in 1995 and was living with my father. I got married in 1996 and it was a love marriage. Then 4 male children and 1 female children were born to us. We were living happily with my husband and my children. Our native place is Puthuk- kudiyiruppu. My eldest son got married. My husband is paralyzed. Even though I am mentally disturbed, I am looking after my disabled husband and my children despite by sadness and make them live happily. Now, my happiness lies with my children and my husband. After my husband, who was all in my life has become silent I too have become almost dumb. This is what I cannot forget.
Woman 4 We were altogether 8 children in our family and I was the 5th child to my parents. I had 5 brothers and 2 sisters. I studied at Puthukkudiyiruppu R. C. School. When I was 12 years old, I left my parents and was living separately. My mother was looking after her children with much difficulties. Mother was doing small business and from the little income she was educating the children. She brought up the children with so many hardships and without anyone’s help. There were times that we went to school without having anything to eat but all the children were good in their studies. One of my elder brothers was the G.S and my 2nd brother was a teacher. My younger brother became a P.H.I. All the other brothers had been working as much as they could. I had to stop my studies because I had a fracture in my hand. My wedding took place in Puthuk-kudiyiruppu. My husband had a brother and a sister. Following our marriage we had three children, 01 male and 02 female children. He was working in a cooperative shop and the income was somewhat sufficient for our living. After some time he liked to go to a foreign country to work. I got some loan and with all what I had we were able to send him to a small country. There he fell sick and a surgery had to be done in his head. By god’s grace he survived and returned to our country the following month. My husband was jobless after he had returned home. Due to his illness he went to Jaffna and stayed in a house. A gang who had come to shoot the owner of that particular house, had mistakenly shot my husband. This incident took place on the 25.04.2006. From then onwards our family was forced to a stage of poverty. Even though I get support from my brothers it is also begging. However with my ability I am educating my children with an aim to make them graduates. During the last stage of the war my children, my mother and myself were displaced and lived in many places. Finally we went to Mulliwaikkal and from there we escaped saved our lives with much difficulties. I always think of my husband when we were hungry and almost starving. I wept and thought, if he had been alive then he would have saved our children. Finally we survived and went to Chettikulam.
Woman 1 I am 49 years old and my life time is almost gone. The difficulties we were faced with and the poverty we experienced are all gone but as Tamils we need peace. During the war time how we had been walking and running from Puthukkudiyiruppu to Wattuwahal without food and water so as to safeguard our lives. We never thought that we would be alive. Corpses were lying scattered along the roads. children and elderly people could not be accompanied. I was not known as to who would look after whom. What we expect now is that hereafter we should not be affected by these kinds of difficulties. We cannot say that all the difficulties are over. The education of the Tamil student population has been totally ruined. We are 9 siblings. The husband of my fifth sister has lost one of his arms and an eye. My sister underwent a heart surgery in 2013 and her family situation is too bad. We experienced great losses during the war time. We still live with tears and much grievances. Our expectation is as to when we would be relieved of all our sorrows and difficulties. Very soon we should be relieved of all these. Our children should live happily
Woman 2 When we were living happily we suddenly got a great shock. In 1995 while We were returning from the temple after our worship and Sri Lankan army had shot dead my father mistakenly. Our mother was doing manual work and looked after all of us. She educated her children as much as possible. This was the first time we were affected. While we were living with our difficulties we were displaced on 15.01.2009 with our belongings and relatives. My husband and my son after loading our belongings in a tractor, and we three of us travelled by a motor-bicycle towards Vallipuram. There we did not have a house of our own and no toilet facilities was available. We did not know as to how we were going to live in such a place. However we were able to put up a tent and were living there with my brothers. We could not continue to live in a place. There were continued displacements and we could not stick to one place. The deafening sounds of Shell attacks on one side and aerial bombings by Kiffir on the other side we had no other choice than the bunkers. We were in a pathetic situation where we could not cook, bathe or even eat by being inside the bunker. Then from Vallipuram we went back to Udaiyarkattu. On 20.01.2009 my husband after sending my daughter and myself by a bicycle, he kept on loading our belongings into the tractor. A shell landed at the spot and my husband was killed. All our relatives were very sad over the incident. This was another shock to us. My daughter and myself have become orphans. My relatives and we went to several places and finally arrived into the army controlled area. Now we are staying in Chettikulam welfare centre.
Woman 3 When we were living happily with our 4 children in Mullaitivu, as a result of the war raging from 1996, I became sick and had to go to India. We went to India and lived there for 8 years. There another baby was born to me and we returned in 2004 and faced severe hardships in our own land. During 2008, the LTTE conscripted my son who was 16 years old. My husband experienced untold agony for 3 years since we lost our son. Then on 20.01.2009 we left our native place due to shell attacks and bomb explosions and came to Thevipuram. Though we thought of living in bunkers to save our lives, it was not possible. At any time we would be dead. Then in 10.02 2009 we went to Valaignar madam and even there we were not safe. The LTTE conscripted by 15 year old daughter. We lived safely in a bunker for 2 months and when the war was at its peak my husband my children and myself went to kadirgamar welfare centre and lived there for three and a half years from 2009 till 2012. While we were there the army took my 22year old son on 07.05.2009 and he has not been released so far. Later we went back to our native place thinking that our life would be better there. But in our land there were arms and ammunition buried and those were safely removed by the army and organizations. Two of my brothers had been shot dead by the army in 1985. When the LTTE came to conscript my daughter in 2009, my husband was protesting. This happened near a tea boutique and the LTTE threw hot water on the face of husband, opened fire in the air and on the ground and dragged my child and went. But later my child escaped and returned
Woman 4 My third child was born with a deformity on her lips. I was so sad that she had such a deformity. I took her to the Anuradhapura hospital after three months and they corrected the deformity through a surgery. Then the deformity on her nose too was corrected. I was very happy. I faced immense hardship when the child was in the hospital. She is like a normal child and very good in her studies. She got 102 points in the scholarship examination. If I had not taken the corrective steps she would have been neglected by the other children. With our efforts she has been a good child and we have saved her during the war situation too. My husband was dead in 2006 and then my eldest son was 7 years old. and the youngest daughter was 4 years old. We experienced severe hard ships. No one was there to help us. I was also suffering from piles and I could not do any hard work. We are living amidst lot of difficulties. My eldest son is in the A/L and the second son is in the O/L. My youngest daughter is also studying in Grade 7. I found it so difficult to save them during the war situation. The children were hungry and we were always afraid that the LTTE might conscript my children. The children were crying of hunger and I placed my life into danger and went to obtain gruel provided by TRO. When I went near the gruel would be over. I would be so sad. I will sob and return to the bunker. What can I tell when children ask for the gruel. I will cry and then we console one another. I always keep my children in the bunker. Ther would be no chance for the LTTE to take them. They told that Vallipuram is a safe zone but when we arrived, there too Shell attacks and aerial bombings continued. We ran from there to Irannaippalai. Shells were landing at the Iranaippalai junction. We found shelter in a temple. There we saw our aunty crying and waiting for the ship to take a wounded child. She had lost 4 of her children when a shell landed on the bunker in which they were living. Whenever we want to buy anything or to search for our children we risk our lives and come out of the bunkers. I had my 72 year old mother with me. and she was 72 years old. With so much of difficulty we carried her and came to the welfare camp. Our sufferings are not yet over. In the Chettikulam camp my children would cry when they stand in the queue for gruel and when the reach the distribution point the gruel will be over. They were so hungry that they felled a palmyrah tree, split it and get the tender leaves and ate.
Woman 1 I don’t know for what reason they had taken my son to Colombo. He left us in 2002. When We were in the Anandaku-maraswamy camp and we left from there in 2012 for resettlement in Wanni. When we were resettled in Wanni he came back. When we were going through Jaffna they took him. We were all affected by the war. These kind of difficulties should not befall on others. The hardships were intolerable. Our life is full of sorrows. No one can forget this war and should not forget this was. It shows how we were affected. We lost our relatives, our belongings and our children. We faced dire poverty. We ran for our lives in search of safe places. We struggled to live and searched for lost relatives but we couldn’t. Who is to look after whom. The people in the Bunkers were like lotus floating in the water. When are they going to be relieved. A time should come for them.
Woman 2 Having lived in the welfare camp, we were the last ones to be resettled. We were happy that we were going to see our own place and unhappy to go there without the husband. We were sad that many of our relatives had been lost. A life in each household is no more and there were people who have lost their legs and arms in this war. The relatives who were scattered are uniting again in 2012 was a happy and sad event. What would make us happy? Our resourceful village is turned out to be jungle or even like a burial grounds. The chief occupants of the families are no more. We women are the men today. We cleared the jungle and made temporary tarpaulin sheds. We do not have a permanent house or not even a temporary house. We are in a resettled situation similar to that of a displaced situation. Four months have passed since we have been resettled. We have not been provided any facilities for livelihood improvement so that we could look after ourselves. We need livelihood assistance as soon as possible. Now we get 6months relief consisting of Rice, Dhal,Tamarind and sugar. Our schools which have been damaged are not repaired yet. Our children are studying under the shades of trees. Ther is no light other than kerosene lamps for the children to study. However we have a feeling that we are living in an abandoned place.
Woman 3 As at present, one of my children is going to school and he is studying in grade 10. The school is far away and he has to walk about a kilometer to go to school. Puthukkudiyiruppu is our village. We are in dire poverty. My husband is sick and suffering from paralysis. He has been mentally affected too and is unable to do any work. I am the only one looking after him. In order to overcome the current situation I have planned to open up a small boutique. But I do not have the resources for that. My 22 year old son has been detained by the army for the last four years. My son’s detention is the cause for my husband’s mental disturbance. Our life is in the grace of the God. I have a 17 year old daughter living with me. Having understood the difficult conditions and she goes to work as a manual worker and support the family with her small income. We are in dire poverty. My son has to return home from the rehabilitation camp so that situation at home would improve. Though we are in severe hardships, I have come forward to write all these because of my determination.
Woman 4 My husband is no more with us. My three children are studying in the (eldest son) A/L, O/L and grade 7. The school is 1.5 KM away from home. They all go to school by walk. I am educating them even without their father. I am educating them with much difficulties and without anyone’s help. I four family has to improve my children should study well. I have confidence in my efforts and that of my children. As regards to our livelihood , our family totally depends on the food rations and the assistance of Rs. 400/- a month. With these only we are living and educating our children. My eldest son at times asks me whether he should go for work. I told them they need not spoil their life because of our difficulties. We are in dire poverty and have to face so many difficulties. I hope that I would be able to get some assistance at least for the education of my children through such meetings. We have returned to our own place from the camp and resettled. We didn’t have any kind of help. We have put up a temporary shed with the tarpaulin sheets they gave us and living there. Though I am enlisted as a widow so far I have not been given any assistance. Our land looks like a jungle with overgrown vegetation and trees. I have no money to clear the land. Our shed is surrounded by Shrubs and so far I have killed 8 snakes. Even in this situation I have determined I would educate my children. I am afraid to start clearing my land because I fear that there may me explosives and ammunition buried underneath. Therefore I am afraid to involve my children in the clearing and I do not have money to employ workers either. I am a widow and I am helpless. I fully depend in the mercy of God.
Woman 1 When we were displaced for the third time and living in Valaignarmadam, they have taken my daughter and son-in-law. He is in the Poosa detention camp. Our daughter is still missing. She has gone in to the army controlled area but we have not seen her. I am sad about what would have happened to them. Later when my daughter was in Jaffna she was taken by the C.I.D. He has four children. His living condition is too bad and I couldn’t bear that. 26 years are over since I have been separated from my husband. I lost all in the war and have become a lonely tree. I lost my 14 year old son. My daughter’s husband was taken by them and he has not been released. from the Poosa detention camp. The land, house and money were all lost. These we could get tomorrow but not our lives. We are very poor and we do not know as to what would happen to us. I have started a small boutique business. I am bringing up my two children. My daughter also has a son. I have saved all but not my son. We experienced artillery shelling, shooting rounds, aerial bombings by Kiffir and mortar shelling. I hoped everything would be Ok bu I lost my children.
Woman 2 We should have the forethought of how tomorrow would be. That also I would reveal. My son and I expected that he should study well. We should live happily in the village. The responsibility of developing our villages lies not only with my son but also with the younger generation of the future. Our village Puthukkudiyiruppu was known popularly as a prosperous village. But now it looks like a cremation grounds. Our village should regain its prosperity and stand on its own without anyone’s help. Our school should have good teachers. Our village should grow and improve the younger generation. I wish that my son should become a teacher. I should fulfill the wishes of his father. We should live happily with all my relatives. Our village should return to its original state. Without having to rely on other’s help we should stand on our own. When we were returning to our land we expected that all the sky-high trees would remain but not a single one was there. Therefore we need someone’s help if he have to return to our previous state. We can’t expect any help from our brothers or relatives as they are helpless because we lost everything in the displacements. Now only we have to seek for everything. We need external help to resume back to normal life.
Woman 3 If our families and our society are to improve, we need the advice of people like you. The life of our husbands and children completely lies in my hands. I need livelihood assistance in order to achieve this. It would be of help if get some assistance to open up a small boutique. My son is studying but he doesn’t have any facilities. He needs help to buy a bicycle. My husband should recover from his illness. We are living in a temporary tarpaulin shed put up in our land. Instead we need a reasonable small house. We have a daughter and my husband’s wish is to bring her up well and give her in marriage. But all these lie in my hands. I think that the release of my son from the detention camp will make our lives comfortable. Our aspiration is that, we should get back all the freedom that we experienced earlier and live happily and peacefully, instead of wandering as to what would happen tomorrow. We have described in brief as to what our feelings are and anyone who reads, please pray for us.
Woman 4 My village is Puthukudiyiruppu. I will educate my children and bring them up to a beter position. I would feel happy in my children’s happiness. I would be happy during their marriages and other special events. I would bring up my children so that the villagers respect them and myself. My children are very important to me. Hygienic conditions in our village, is not up to the mark. I would try to get the necessary assistance for the people through relevant authority for them to live healthily. I would look after my siblings with the skills and help of my children. I would help them in all their needs. I would encourage my children to help people who are faced with difficulties and I will show them ways to improve their conditions. I would help them, to find proper employment for them and to improve their lives. I will make improvement in the society with the help of my children. I will help the children for their education, organize tuition classes and educate them and make them scholars in the future. These scholars in turn would improve the village. After the society has come to a better stage, I would put my effort to improve my division. I swear that I would make use of the educated people to assess the needs and try to improve the living conditions of all the people.