Kumuthini is the name of the passenger ferry between the island of Delft and Punguduthivu, via Nainathivu.

On the 15th May 1985, Sri Lankan Navy personnel stopped her at mid-sea, and the government Navy personnel bludgeoned and cut to death all her passengers, including women and children.

The following poem appeared in The Morning Star of May 10th 2002.

Still fresh in my heart!

Kumuthini! What a lovely name she bore!
But on that fateful day she had not known,
As she crossed the deep ocean from the Delft shore
That she would create a history on her own!

The passengers were from all categories
The young, the old, the peasants and the learned,
Scurried and hurried to get into Kumuthini
To reach the mainland early in the morning!

Pregnant with people, the cargo and the produces
She started to sail elegantly like a woman!
In the deep blue sea, men in deep blue suits
From nowhere stopped by to check the crew!

“All on board get on to the top board
The identity cards in your hands you hold
Down when you come, yell from your throat
The place that you would like to go!”

The valiant first and the weak went last
Then the ladies the babies and the pregnant mothers,
All descended, one by one
Knowing not what awaited in the gloom

They realized the guys were ‘butchers’ in disguise
Who confused the human beings as animals
They received blows of hammers and axes
Stabs and cuts with swords and knives!

The strong ones opposed and struggled
The women with Deep wound wriggled
The bellies of the babies got dissected
They left, the bodies butchered!

The thirst of the bleeding ones
Was quenched with the blood of others
And the dying embraced the dead
To give company in death itself!

With none to give witness to her ‘fate’
But the lamenting and wailing waves
Kumuthini with her ‘still born’ babes
Drifted painfully towards the shores!

This incident, like other similar ones
That demanded justice to be done
Though become “long forgotten ones”
Is still fresh in the hearts of the affected ones

- Thaya

Courtesy: The Morning Star [10 May 2002]