Ilankai Tamil Sangam

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Untold Tragedies 3

by K. Mylvaganam, July 15, 2008

The Elephant Pass route was also closed by the army. Hence, he decided to go to Jaffna via Kilaly and that was very risky as it was subject to shelling by the army from the E’Pass camp. I was against his taking that perilous route as I preferred to starve and stay alive as long as possible. But he wouldn’t listen as he cared for all of us.

Untold Tragedies #1

This episode is narrated by the wife of Arumugam Sivarasalingam, who who killed while going by boat to Jaffna via Kilaly when the army shelled from Elephant Pass.:

Mrs. Sivarasalingam

We are originally from Theevakam (Islands off Jaffna), but domiciled at Skanthapuram in the Kilinochchi district. We got married in 1978 and we have 5 children – one girl and four boys. My husband was running a small mill and survived with that meager income. Skandapuram is a remote village that is sparsely populated. Since the mill was fairly old, it broke down frequently. He tried to do paddy cultivation but incurred heavy losses. So the mill was repaired and run again. When it broke down again the necessary parts were not available in Vanni. The Elephant Pass route was also closed by the army. Hence, he decided to go to Jaffna via Kilaly and that was very risky as it was subject to shelling by the army from the E’Pass camp. I was against his taking that perilous route as I preferred to starve and stay alive as long as possible. But he wouldn’t listen as he cared for all of us. Finally I agreed.

Late Mr.Sivarasalingam & Family

He, along with three others, hired a boat and left on 06.12.1992. He promised to return on the 09th. But he never did. I reported this to ICRC in Kilinochchi and several others. I didn’t have money for the bus fare either to travel frequently to Kilinochchi. I kept asking all those I met on the road as to whether they had seen my husband. A neighbour told me one day that there was a rumour that a helicopter was heard shooting around the day my husband left. I borrowed some money for the bus fare and went to the ICRC and they confirmed that there was a shooting on the 6th of December. But I hoped my husband was safe in Jaffna searching for the spares for the mill. The friends of my husband went to Kilaly by a tractor after 14 days and found the body of my husband washed ashore. It was in a decomposed state. I felt like committing suicide. There is no life for me without him I thought. But the thought of our five children prevented me from doing anything rash.

Our eldest son was only 11 then, reading in the seventh standard and the youngest was 04 attending a preschool. I rented the mill to a friend of my husband. He gave us something just sufficient enough for us to exist. But I was thankful to him as I was aware that the mill was not a money spinner. When our son completed his O. Level examination, he took over the mill. All our children have completed their O. Level except the youngest, who is still at school. The only consolation is I managed to give my children some education at least. None of them are married.

Dowry System:

The boys do not want to get married before their sister, who is 27, is settled. With no savings to give as dowry, I wonder when I can get her married. The dowry system is a curse in our society. I hate it. I will not allow any of my sons to accept any dowry.

[End]

All the children were unanimous in saying gratefully, that they all are highly indebted to their mother for having strived so hard, undergoing untold miseries in bringing them up.

No.

Name

Relationship

Occupation

Date of Birth

01

Arumugam Rasalingam

Killed

Vendor

27.04.1955

02

S.Ranjithamalar

Wife

Housewife

29.02.1960

03

S.Mohanraj.

Son

Runs Mill

04.02.1980

04

S.Mohana

Daughter

Unemployed

26.09.1981

05

S.Jeyantharaj

Son

Helps Brother

04.01.1984

06

S.Sasitharan

Son

Student

28.07.1986

07

S.Ayanthan

Son

Student

16.06.1988