Effects of War on Women: Remembering 1983

“Thirty – five years  have passed by and I still have not been able to forget that day in my life; when I am speaking now, I can see our home amidst those hot red flames” shudders 41 year old Shevani from Thirunelvely, Jaffna. Shevani, a mother of two boys considers herself lucky to be alive today, and employed by a bank in Jaffna.

When her parents’ home was set fire to by few groups of Sinhala extremists on 25 July 1983, Shevani was only six years old. After escaping from death, the family had found refuge in the homes of some relatives before bidding goodbye to their friends and relatives, and to the place they thought they belonged to. Together with her parents, siblings and many other Tamils, Shevani arrived in the Northern shores in a crowded ship, which had then carried the ‘riots affected refugees’ (as how they had been termed then) from the capital city and other southern areas of Sri Lanka.

Teaching the Unlearnt Lessons

Just one week before the 1st of May: the International Worker’s Day, Hindu teachers of Sri Shanmuga Hindu Ladies College in Trincomalee District, made a protest against the violence behavior of husbands of some teachers of the same school.

Girls not brides; yet Yes, they are

“I am 20 years old and this is my second baby, my prince.”

Jhumki, was returning to her home carrying her new born son from her maternal house. She smiled with desperation while continuing her story. “I got married when I was 16; I had wanted to study, but my grandmother was old and wanted to see me married soon; it was her last wish she said to me. So I agreed. I married to fulfill my grandmother’s wish before her death. But then I had to kill my wish.”

Jhumki’s innocent eyes stayed on my face with a question. “What about you?” She was surprised to learn that I was nearing my thirties and still had not married. “You are so much elder than me, and still unmarried; didn’t anyone you into marriage? I can’t imagine that you are still allowed to study and work too.” Jhumki’s words were strong, and yet it was filled with remorse and grief.

“I had wanted to become a teacher, but all my dreams were in vain. My parents stopped me from school when I was in grade 6; and see me now; I am mothering two children.”

Why don’t the waters of Unichai wet the grounds of Nediyamadhu?

Then, Lord Shiva easily held Ganga in his locks. Today the people of Nediyamadhu still search for the keys to unlock the Ganga”

Sagar the powerful king of India made a horse sacrifice named ‘AshwamedhaYagya’ to declare his supremacy to the gods. King of heaven Indra who became jealous of this kidnapped the horse, tying it in an ashram of a Sage named Kapil who was meditating. When Sagar went looking for his and found it in the ashram, he assaulted the sage assuming him to be the thief. When the Sage woke up from his trance, his anger arose and he started destroying the sons of Sagar. Sagar’s grandson Anshuman pleaded for forgiveness, and the Sage ordered him to bring down the sacred river Ganga from heaven to purify the souls of the Sage and his ancestors so they could attain enlightenment.