Editor’s Note: The following is a translation of a photo essay produced by Maatram‘s editor, Selvaraja Rajasegar.

These are the stories of people whose daily struggles come from witnessing and being trapped in the middle of a war that lasted three decades, who think that it would have been better for them to die when they were injured, instead of living in hell everyday. Many of the people who were affected by war in the North and East of Sri Lanka continue to live with the metal shrapnel from deadly weapons lodged in their bodies. They live with daily pain, humiliation, and frustration.

Ravi says the shrapnel causes him unbearable pain whenever he prays, but due to the poverty he lives in, he is unable to have it removed. Sixteen-year-old Akalvizhi says that the doctor advised her that removing the metal shrapnel from her body could be life threatening.

Maatram traveled to Mullaitivu to meet 10 people including Akalvizhi, whose head was injured when she was six years old; a former combatant who was injured at the battlefront; and a mother who lost her daughter in a shell attack, but continues to live with the remnants of that shell in her body.

View the story directly on Adobe Spark here, or embedded below.

Traces of War on Their Bodies