Refugee children's drawings express anger, frustration

[TamilNet, Friday, 01 October 2004, 17:37 GMT]
“It is sad that there are some parts of our country where children can only dream of a normal life”, said Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, chairperson of the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission speaking at an art exhibition by refugee children to mark ‘World Children Day’ in Colombo Friday. Drawings by children from 307 refugee camps, mostly from the northeast, were on exhibit. Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister, Mr. Mahinda Rajapksha, also spoke at the exhibition, titled 'Can a Colour Pencil Talk?' Friday afternoon.

“We are not asking you to send us to universities. We are only asking you to help us learn”, said the refugee children in a special message to the Prime Minister.

Responding to the request in his address, Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksha said that his government will do everything to bring about permanent peace and thereby ensure their education.

In an analysis of the more than 4000 drawings collected by the Human Rights Commission under the ‘National Protection and Durable Solution for Internally Displaced Persons Project’ was analysed by Dr. Hemamali Perera, child psychiatrist and senior lecturer of the medical faculty of the University of Colombo.

“The general analsis is that these drawings express anger, depression and the frustration that they (refugee children) suffered. The children would not show any hopes or dreams of a better future. No lush greenery, (but) drawings of killings of civilians. No schools, religious places or public places are to be seen in their drawings”, says Dr. Perera in her analysis of the displaced children’s paintings.

The exhbition is at the Jeyawardene Centre near the Colombo Town Hall.

View Photo Gallery of World Children Day celebrated in the North East >>


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