Father dies of exhaustion

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 27 January 1999, 23:16 GMT]
A father of five died yesterday of the strain of his journey while coming from Madhu to the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) controlled area said sources. He had been weakened by malnutrition they said. Mathuraiveeran Subramaniam collapsed a mile from the Forward Defence Line at Madhu road junction, they added.

Subramaniam had been a resident of Oddusuddan where he had lived with his wife and 5 children - four daughters and a son (3 years old).

They had been displaced from the area and were living at Karipaddamurippu when they had been displaced again and had sought refuge in the Madhu area.

However, during the displacement his wife had died and he and the children were struggling to survive without proper food said aid workers from Maddhu.

The family finally decided to leave for the SLA-controlled area and had started to walk the distance of about 7 km to Madhu Road junction from Madhu town.

Subramaniam could not walk far as he was exhausted and had stopped to rest in many places during their journey. After 3 hours he could not walk any further and laid down to rest.

To the horror of the five children they were unable to wake him a little later. He had passed away in his sleep.

The Maddhu road junction was about a mile away, but was relatively isolated, due to the surrounding jungle.

The children decided to carry their dead father, wrapping a sarong around him and using two poles as a stretcher.

Carrying a white flag on a stick, they approached the Forward Defence Line near Madhu Road junction.

After routine checking, the soldiers allowed them through, inside their area, and then sent them on to Mannar hospital. The body was cremated there at the state’s expense.

The children have been sent to Vavuniya welfare centre.


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