Vasuki: The Story of a Young Eelam Tamil Girl

May we remember. The month of May creates a sense of calmness, the calmness that follows terror and torture. Here, we present to you, a collection of life incidents, compiled by Anbu from eyewitness accounts.  They represent thousands of other stories that have been left untold.  Please be advised that these stories contain materials that may be unsuitable for some readers.  You may continue to read at your own discretion.
The real names of the author and characters in these short stories are not available to public at the moment.  Thazhumbkam is obliged to protect the identities of the people involved in these stories and their relatives whom may be in danger should their identities be revealed.  Thazhumbakam is a Tamil Genocide Memorial Museum initiated by the Human Rights Advocacy Council of Canadian Tamil Youth Alliance.
Painting by Keera Ratnam
Vasuki: The Story of a Young Eelam Tamil Girl
There was barely any food left. Starvation, exhaustion and the barrage of artilleries continued on as we feared for our lives. One morning, my mother and my aunt came out of the bunker to help my aged grandmother with her morning routines. Myself (age 13), my sister (age 10) and my brother (age 6) and my cousins aged 4 and 1 and my father stayed inside the bunker. My uncle had died in an air attack on Vaddakachchi last year. So, my aunt left her young children with us and went along with my mother outside the bunker to help my grandmother. As they were outside, a shell fell close to our place and my father peeked out of the bunker and called my mother. My mother and aunt were trying to help grandmother who was unable to run back to the bunker. Just then, another shell blasted closer to our bunker. The continuous barrage of shells continued for a few minutes. We ran outside after the blasts died down. We saw flesh strewn around the bunker. I kept my hands on my mother’s chest. It was a huge hole. My aunt’s head was chopped off. Blood was oozing from my grandmother’s ears. Many others were dead. Shelling continued. We hugged our mother’s body tight and we wept. Father and all of us wept in the bunker. My little cousins could not figure out what had happened to their mother and they cried in fear as well. All five of us were now alone with our father. We stepped out of the bunker after four hours and buried them in a place near the bunker.
Towards the end of the war, we were taken to the camps. There were no actual shelters. We slept in a large barren land. We were mentally exhausted to continue on with our lives. But now the responsibility to look after my siblings and my cousins were in my hands. I gathered all my energy inspite of my sickness and started taking care of my family.
During the time we were in the camp, the army men came and tried to forcibly take my little sister away for questioning. My father begged with them saying that she was a child. This continued for a few days. They took away several young girls in the pretext of questioning. If there were no relatives or parents to question, the girls were gone forever. Some of those who came back fell ill in the camps and died. My father was concerned for our safety. A family who were beside us were also facing the same torture from the army. My father talked to the family and decided to seek help. He approached an aid organization that came to the camp to provide medical help. He requested that the two girls be taken to the hospital to be treated as they are sick. My father knew there was a church beside the hospital. He asked my sister to escape to the church and seek help from the priest. They received help from him and they were sent safely to Mannar. My sister is currently living there now. I continue to stay in the shelters in the camp. My uncle’s relatives have requested to adopt the children, my cousins. However, the army had denied their requests repeatedly. I continue to live in the camps, not wanting to leave the two children, my cousins. My relatives from abroad had tried several ways, including bribing paramilitary groups, to bring us out of the camp. But their efforts were all fruitless. I want to continue my schooling as soon as possible. I am living with no hope for my future. (2011)

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply