Friday, June 25, 2010

Jaffna, where women weep

By Melani Manel Perera

Tens of thousands of women lost their husbands, innocent victims of the civil war. The government however appears indifferent to their fate, and even Tamil society is keen on marginalising them. The correspondent of AsiaNews continues to cover the aftermath of the long and disastrous civil war.

Anyone who visits Jaffna for pleasure is in for an agreeable time these days. The Jaffna Peninsula is a pretty place, and is slowly modernising, both in the city of Jaffna and along the A9 Roadway. Roads, railway lines and bridges are being fixed. Sites like the Nagadeepa Viharaya Buddhist Temple are increasingly popular. Everything is beautiful.

However, anyone interested in knowing know how people live will find a different story. In Jaffna, the civil war between the Sri Lankan army and Tiger Tamil rebels has left so many women without husbands. The government and public institutions have no plan to help or protect them. Often, these women have four or even five children, to be raises on their own, doing odd jobs. The children sometimes go hungry. Only private groups provide some help in finding jobs for them.

Subajini Thurairajah, coordinator of the Women Cultural Centre (WCC), told AsiaNews that on Jaffna Peninsula there are about 26,300 widows, and that many tens of thousands more can be found in the northern and eastern provinces, especially Tamil and Muslim.

Many widows have had “troubles” with Sri Lankan soldiers, with some people suggesting they “get married,” Thurairajah said. However, soldiers who are temporarily stationed in the area just want “to have fun”. Many locals are upset that, with so many women without a man, the government does not issue orders to Sinhalese soldiers to respect them and refrain from taking advantage of their situation of need.

“These widows are still living the trauma of the cruel events of the war, especially the horrible moment when their husbands died, often before their eyes. Some do not know how to tell the children that their beloved father is no more. It is hard to tell children that their father died hit by a nameless bomb, without rhyme or reason.”

Only women who lost their husbands before 2008 were given a death certificate, which was denied to the others.

Making matters worse is a certain prejudice widows suffer from within Tamil society, for they are seen as bearers of bad luck. Women who lost their husbands are not invited to happy occasions and upper caste Tamils avoid and exclude them.

“We do not like this pattern,” the activist said. Instead, “we want to help these women. We must help them develop a different outlook to life so that they can find a place for themselves in society. We must give them greater dignity as women and mothers.”

© Asia News

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nimal said...


This is a Superimposed photograph of an extra judicial killing supervised by your so called UN Expert in another country. Yes ' NOT FAKE '.

nimal said...

This message is directed to the Originator of the E mail under reference
You have cunningly compiled various incidents that took place in Sri Lanka with a selfish motive to ridicule the on going relief wok that is taking place in the North And East by the Government of Sri Lanka and other charitable Organizations. You have highlighted the images of tsunami ,Human rights, War crimes ,missing journalist ,police beatings and adverse comments on Law and order of this Island.
At the start you say Jaffna where women weeps .Why is that the Asia news correspondent is silent about the tens and thousands of women in other districts of Sri Lanka Who lost their husbands wives and Children due to the heinous crimes committed by LTTE. Subashini seems to be worried about Jaffna only. The cruel effect of massacres by LTTE and the subsequent humanitarian operations carried out by the Sri Lanka Army, has resulted in loosing many lives From all communities in Sri Lanka because War was not fought by LTTE with the use of Drumsticks, Brinjals and Tomatoes. They have used Sophisticated weapons in the Tiger Held territories. Your coordinator of WCC has reported to the Asian News that there are about 26300 widows in Jaffna .Are all these husbands are innocent civilians killed by Bombs? I am positive that these husbands are active LTTE carders who died in action. If Sri lankan Soldiers are suggesting to these women to get married .They should consider their suggestions on case by case basis and you should encourage such proposals. This might further dialute the ethnic differences haunting in the minds of Sinhalese and Tamil community .Without mutual consent it is not possible for one to have fun with opposite sex. as pointed out by thurairajah in a scarcastic manner.

I believe that this Web site has been created with an Ulterior motive to regain support and sympathy towards the LTTE Diaspora and I call upon every Sri lankan Citizens to view this Web page and lodge their protest against these attempts by dollar hungry block heads operating in sri lanka and abroad.

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