Ilankai Tamil Sangam

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Association of Tamils of Sri Lanka in the USA

Untold Tragedies That Follow a Tragedy

by K. Mylvaganam, June 12, 2008

"I also work as a labourer. I am married and have 3 children. Now I have to shoulder the responsibility of looking after all his 6 children, our parents and my family totaling 12 in number. Finding labour work here is very difficult. If I were to find work, I have to go through a jungle path. This is very risky and if I were to get killed then the fate of the 12, who are dependent on me, becomes unthinkable.”

The Tragedies behind the recent tragedy on the claymore attack near Thirumurukandy is little known to the outside world. Some know that sixteen (16) lives were lost in this brutal attack, including five from the same family. But the misery for the living is worse than for those who died in that incident. I append the statement of the Village Officer, who gives the details of those remaining. To them life is a misery for the rest of their lives.

The village officer from this area Mr. A. Simsan Paul states as follows:

A. Simsan Paul, Village Officer“On 23.05.2008 due to the claymore attack on Akkarayan road at Thirumurukandy 12 people from Malayalapuram and 4 people from Bharathipuram were killed. 2 children got injured. All of them were taken to the Kilinochchi district hospital. When one looks at the family relationship it will appear very pathetic and heart rendering.

The family details are:-

  • Mr. Alakan Subramaniyam and his wife Sarasvathy were killed. They left behind 6 children. The eldest is 14 years old and youngest is one and a half year old.
  • Mr. Periyasamy Vijayaratnam, his wife and three of their children were killed. Their youngest child was seriously injured in the attack.
  • Mr.S.Karuppaija and his wife were killed. They left behind 3 children. The eldest is 12 years old.
  • Mrs S Kalathevi succumbed in the attack. Her husband deserted her some time back. Her five children have become orphans.
  • Mrs. P. Alakurani died in this incident. Her 4 children are left in the lurch.”

Under these circumstances, one wonders as how these children, who have become orphans, are going to survive. Who is going to help these children? Even if they do get some sort of assistance, it is certain that they will be very severely affected mentally.

Mr. Alakan Keatheswaran, the brother of the diseased   Mr. Alakan Subramaniyam, pours out is grief:

“My brother and his wife while returning after visiting a patient at the Mulankavil hospital got killed in a claymore attack. They have 6 children out of whom 3 are girls. The eldest daughter is 14 years old and the youngest 1 1/2 years old. Our parents also were looked after by my brother. Since he was a labourer he did not leave any savings behind for the children. He and his family were displaced in 1996 to Akkarayan and returned to his native place in 2000. When he returned there was no trace of their old house. With the help from the Government he rebuilt this house. But it is still incomplete.

I also work as a labourer. I am married and have 3 children. Now I have to shoulder the responsibility of looking after all his 6 children, our parents and my family totaling 12 in number. Finding labour work here is very difficult. If I were to find work, I have to go through a jungle path. This is very risky and if I were to get killed then the fate of the 12, who are dependent on me, becomes unthinkable.”

Only when we place ourselves in the shoes of those affected we will realize the full impact of the Real Tragedy.

The government pays Rs. one Lakh as compensation to every Sinhalese who dies in claymore or bomb attacks in the South. But the Tamils are not treated equally. Aren’t the Tamils also citizens and enjoy equal rights in the so called Unitary State of Sri Lanka?