Orphans recount father's death

[TamilNet, Thursday, 28 January 1999, 19:26 GMT]
"Our father did not have any food for three days, and he was weak before he died" said Selvakumari Subramaniam (16) whose father Mathuraiveeran Subramaniam (53) died on their way to the army controlled area from Madhu, on Tuesday (26).

She testified before the Magistrate at the district courts in Mannar yesterday (27), at the inquest held into the sudden death of her father.

She said that her family with her father, 3 younger sisters and the youngest brother were walking to Madhu road junction along with 11 families, in order to come to Vavuniya with the hope of leading a better life.

"Our mother died of typhoid 6 months ago. We were displaced from the Oddusuddan area and first sought refuge at Muththayankaddu, Puthukudiyeruppu and Madhu. We came from Madhu to go to Vavuniya. On our way my father fell down and fainted in a jungle area. Our efforts to bring him to his senses failed. Then with the help of others we carried him wrapped in two sarongs made as a stretcher to Madhu Road junction. The soldiers who inspected him there said he was dead. Then we were handed over to Murunkan Police and they took us to Mannar hospital," she told the magistrate.

Magistrate's ordered the body of the man to be buried at the State's expense with the permission of his daughter.

Employees of Mannar district court felt sorry for the children and collected some money among them and gave it to the children. As the children were willing to go to Vavuniya to live with their only relative an uncle, the magistrate wrote a letter to the army authorities requesting them to do the needful to send these children to Vavuniya without any delay.

Government officials in Vavuniya said that they were making arrangements to send these children to an orphanage to be looked after.


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