Ampara, Human Security, IDPs and Refugees, Mannar, Peace and Conflict, Trincomalee

“I pray God that no one in this world should face the hardships, faced by my child and me”

Eachchilampattai, Trincomalee Sri Lanka. IDP registration point.
this young girl and her family had to flee from their village. They had to walk 36 km to reach this school where hundereds other families are accommodated following escalation of violence last month in Trincomalee district.

Photo credit: Agron

The story of Mrs. Mathivathanan Ponmalar, IDP in Eachchilampattu

Following the suicide attack at Army Head Quarters, Colombo, our village in Eechalampattu was shelled with mortars and multi barrel rockets. We evacuated the village immediately at midnight without our belongings in the pitch dark amidst the deafening sounds of the artillery and mortar fearing for our lives and those of our children. We trekked through the jungle not knowing where we would go. We reached Killiveddy in the morning hours. We left more than 150 gunny bags of paddy, furniture, house hold items, agricultural equipment and all related documents to prove our birth and citizenship. We left our source of income which is livestock and poultry.

We then reached Vaharai trekking along the jungle once again without any food. While in Vaharai, the security forces launched an attack and we trekked again to Batticaloa. While en-route to Batticaloa from Vaharai, a shell fell close to our proximity and my husband, the sole bread winner of our family dies as a result. I along with my two daughters remained in a welfare camp in Batticaloa till March 2007.

On March 2007, we were been brought to Kiliveddy welfare camp. Life in the Killivedy Welfare Camp is very tough due to lack of food and bare necessities. Before the displacement, we were a family of means, thanks to my husband. He was a farmer and we had a lot of money to live comfortably. My children studied well in the village school. Following the displacement my chidren’s education has been disrupted and I have lost my husband and the sole breadwinner. My first daughter is grown up and cannot give her the privacy and needs she require.

After three months at the Kiliveddy welfare centre, we were brought to our native village, Poomarathadichchenai on 27th June 2007. I cried when I saw my once comfortable home. The house is completely damaged and none of our belongings are available. Three International Agencies visited us and promised temporary shelter but they were never sighted again. Two more high profile Internationally recognized agencies arrived and took statistics but did not provide any relief or assistance as yet. I am still living with a grown up daughter and an eleven year old daughter in the damaged house without any security.

None of the livestock we had are available. I cannot go out leaving my daughters in the house. I do not know from where to start. My children are disgusted of life for what they have to go through now, without their father and the basic comforts they had. My request from the INGOS and the local NGOs is to provide me with a livelihood so that I could send my children to school.

Most of the NGOs come to the village and collect data but so far no any proper relief or assistance has been provided. Government or Non – Government sectors, should understand our grievances and help us to lead a normal life with at least a hand to mouth existence and basic needs. My wish is give a good education to both my children and guide them in the right path to lead a better life. We are victims of Tsunami and now once again the conflict.

I pray to God that no one in this world should face the hardships, faced by my children or me. I pray that we come out of this calamity very soon for the sake of my children

Resettled IDP – Eachchilampattu Woman Headed family

Re- Settler: Mrs. Mathivathanan Ponmalar.
Place: Pomarthadichenai.m ,Eachilampattrtu, Trincomalee
Family Details: Mrs. Mathivathanan Ponmalar – 38 Years
Miss. M. Pusparani – 15 years
Miss. M. Sanooja – 11 years