IDPs and Refugees, Mannar, Peace and Conflict

A narrow escape and a great tragedy

I am the director of a convent in Madhu. Our convent was shifted from Adampan to Madhu at the end of January this year due to the heavy shelling & aerial attacks by the security forces. There were 25 school children with me in the convent in Madhu including 300 families also sheltered at the Church compound. The students at the Madhu Church used to travel in the bus that used to set off at Madhu at 7.30am toward Thadchanamadhu School.

On 28th January this year, I had to go to Killinochchi to get a pass. I told the convent children not to go to school in my absence. Only one student from my convent went for basketball practice. On the way from Killinochchi to Mannar, I heard that there was a claymore mine blast on a passenger bus in Thatchanamadhu.

This news was shook my heart. We rushed to Vellankullam hospital where I found dead bodies of schoolboys, most of them under 11 years.

The one student who went for basketball practice got minor injuries.

And then the shells started to fall again, forcing us to leave Madhu to Kaneshapuram.