Two mothers claim wounded Tiger
[TamilNet, Saturday, 04 September 1999, 20:41 GMT]
Two women in Batticaloa are claiming that an ex-militant whose memory has been affected by shrapnel lodged in his cranium is their son. The case was brought up yesterday by the two women at the office of the Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO), a paramilitary group operating with the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and the Special Task Force (STF) in Batticaloa. Both produced certificates of birth for the youth to claim him as their son.
The TamilNet correspondent spoke to the youth and the women yesterday.
One of them, Nageswari Anandarasa, 38, of Kallady, on the southern outskirts of Batticaloa town, said, "I have three children. He, Anuranjan, is my eldest son. He was born on November 30, 1977. He went away from his school, Shivananda Viththiyalayam in Kallady, to join the Liberation Tigers on February 2, 1995.
I saw my son after two years in the Vanni. He was married to a girl displaced from Jaffna. The Tigers told me not to confuse him about the past as he had shrapnel in his cranium and his memory was affected as a consequence. I brought him back from the Vanni and, through the TELO, had him cleared by the Sri Lankan Security forces who sent him to the rehabilitation centre at Bandarawela. He had to spend nine months at the army rehabilitation centre for ex-militants."
"During this period, his wife went back to the Vanni. I brought home my son last Sunday. A woman came to my house two days later and said that her son too was at the Bandarawela rehabilitation camp. She said that she wanted to speak to Anuranjan to find out how her son was faring at the centre. But when my son who was watching TV inside walked in, she embraced him and cried, claiming that he was her son. Anuranjan and I were shocked. The woman came the next day with letters supposedly written by my son to her and some photographs to prove that he was her son. She argued with me that Anuranjan was her son and I should let him go with her."
Tears welling up in her eyes, Nagaesawry Anandarasa said that she wants to have a blood test done to prove that the boy is her son.
The other woman, Komalawathy Ravinthirarasa, 45, of Adigar Road in Batticaloa town who is also claiming the youth as her son, told the TamilNet correspondent "My son Sathees Kanna joined the Liberation Tigers in 1995 when he was studying at the Methodist Central College in Batticaloa town. I received letters and photos from him from the Bandarawela rehabilitation centre this year. I went to find about him when I heard that a Kallady youth had come back home from the centre. But I saw my own son there. He might have forgotten us because of the wound in his head; but he is my son"
The woman showed photos of herself in her youth to prove her claim - the young Komalawathy bore a striking resemblance to the boy in dispute.
The TamilNet correspondent spoke to the youth.
The boy said that his friends who had had his photos might have sent them to Komalawathy and written letters to her.
"When I see all this, I feel that I should have died in the war" he cried, unable to control his sadness.
He could not sit comfortably in his chair for long as he had large, deep scars on his legs. He said he had fought the Sri Lanka Army during the Riviresa (Jaffna, 1995) and Sath Jaya (Kilinochchi, 1996) Operations and that he was wounded in both legs and his chest. A bullet was lodged in his head the boy said.
"As far as I can recollect, Nageswary of Velore colony in Kallady is my mother and my father is Gnanamuththu Anandarasa who works as a mason. My parents are now separated. This problem has cropped up now when I am trying to bring my father and mother together. I have only one sister. She is to be married next month. My calamity might ruin her wedding. I was married to a girl called Kamala in the Vanni. She had problems with my mother while I was held at the Banadarawela rehabilitation centre. She went back to the Vanni because of this" the boy told the TamilNet correspondent.
Nageswary's neighbours, however, said that the boy did not appear to be her son. "He joined the Tigers five years ago and might have died. It is hard to say. Nageswary may have got it wrong" said one of them.
Meanwhile, friends of the boy's family in Kallady claimed that the Razeek group is trying to exploit the his distress to pressure him to join up and take part in operations against the Tigers in Batticaloa.
The two families claiming the youth intend to file action against each other in court.