character

Sri Lanka

When the war was finally over in May 2009, we didn’t have a house and because I was still wounded, I couldn’t help Lathika scrape together a place for the family and Thrisha. We barely survived but slowly rebuilt our lives as best we could. In 2011, a commemoration was organized to remember those lost. When we arrived, riot police were waiting for us. As we walked over to the spot the commemoration was to take place, some of the policemen approached with loaded guns pointed at us. Those who refused to stop the commemoration and continued walking were bashed by the police. People were screaming and most of us scattered. Fifteen men were hospitalised.

Two nights later, friends of mine who walked with me disappeared, most taken off the street by unmarked vans. Lathika watches at the window always worried someone will come looking for me at our house. She is convinced that my friends will give in to torture and give my name up so she doesn’t let me walk down the street for fear they are looking for me. I know some Tamils who have escaped these threats by taking a boat to Australia but I can’t afford to take my wife and daughter with me.