My Son's Shattered Arm & Future
Another narration by an internally displaced father about a Sri Lankan airforce bombing raid that led to his teenage son’s loss of right arm.
My son qualified for faculty of arts through the 2006 university entrace exam. Due to the resumption of war he could not go to University and waited for situation to improve.
We lived in Vavunikulam until the war situation escalted in Vanni, northern Sri Lanka. There was heavy shelling in our village. One day a shell fell closer to our house (25m away). Shaken by the proximity of the front line we hastily left our village for safer inland. We decided to go to Mallavi town (6km away) with our house hold items on June 19th 2008.
We reached Mallavi town at night on the same day and we stayed there for about a month. Soon the shelling started reach our neighbourhood and increased in intensity as the time passed. We had to take a decision to leave Malllavi and to settle temporarily at Murikandy. We put up a new temporary shed there. There is a church in front of our new shelter.
On September 15th 2008, there was heavy shelling around Murikandy and we were compelled to leave Murikandy (4 km away) in the night. Next day, I went back to Murikandy with my son and 2 nephews. We were removing our temporary shed in Murikandy.
Suddenly the sound of a bomber aircraft (presumably Kifir jet) was heard. All of us escaped from the first explosion. The second blast was heard when we started to run for a safe place. The bomber circled and the explosions continued as we tried to run away from the place. Then I heard my son crying ‘amma amma’ loudly. I ran back and found my son. He was severely injured on his right arm and my two nephews were badly injured on their legs, arms, and head. With the help of others we brought the injured to hospital. In the afternoon I went to see my son at the hospital. His right arm had been amputated.
Univeryity All the dreams and ambitions we had for him have crash landed. He is still struggling to come to terms with his loss and frankly we all of us are.
PS: Unlike the developed world, getting qualified to enter university and finishing the studies is often a life changing step not just for the individual but for the entire family in Sri Lanka. Due to limited resources, the qualification for university education is based on a highly competitive examination and regional quota allocation based on ethnic demography.
TamilNet coverage on the incident.