Suicide on the rise among NE war victims
[TamilNet, Thursday, 20 December 2001, 18:47 GMT]
“The rate of suicide and attempted suicide is on the increase in northeast province. The time has come for the provincial authorities to take immediate steps to arrest this trend by educating internally displaced persons and refugees through field officers of the social services department”, said Mr. S. Amirthalingam, Secretary to the Northeast Provincial Ministry of Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Social Welfare inaugurating a three day workshop for social services and probation officers in Trincomalee from 19 to 21 December.
Meanwhile, the North East Provincial Council (NEPC) directed all divisional social service officers and childcare and probation officers in the province to submit reports immediately about internally displaced persons and refugees who have committed suicide and attempted to commit suicide due to war and war related factors.
Addressing the second day workshop, Provincial Director of Social Services Mr. M. S. M. Croos said, “refugees and internally displaced living in welfare camps and other places think that they have no future at all due to the continuing brutal war. Hence they are driven to the state of committing suicide due to frustration and desperation. Social service officers and probation officers should visit places where internally displaced and refugees live and make them realize that the rash act of committing suicide would not solve the problem. Instead, in the long run, it would create more hardships for their children and relatives."
Mr. Croos was formerly Government Agent for Mannar. He was arrested and detained on suspicion by the Terrorism Investigation department in Mannar under the Emergency and PTA last year. He was eventually released without charges.
The residential workshop, which commenced on December 19, is to conclude on December 21 at provincial circuit bungalow. About seventy-five social service department officials from the province attend the workshop.