Disabled ex-LTTE female cadre, surviving suicide attempt, speaks out

[TamilNet, Saturday, 05 September 2015, 23:09 GMT]
A former LTTE combatant, who attempted to commit suicide in July 2015 as she was unable to repay the loans taken from her relatives in order to complete the construction of their house, which the family received through the Indian Housing Scheme, told TamilNet that disabled ex-LTTE members, especially women, have been subjected to constant trauma as they were unable to sustain their livelihood. Instead of receiving monetary assistance, the disabled former fighters preferred employment opportunities, which could relieve them from discriminatory practices in the job market such as in the garment industry, the recovered mother of three told TamilNet on Saturday.

Premalatha from Batticaloa was in the LTTE for 8 years and survived Mu'l'livaaykkaal genocidal onslaught, prolonged incarceration and the SL military ‘rehabilitation’. She survived a suicide attempt in July 2015.

“I succumbed to overwhelming trauma. Thanks to God, I survived,” Ms Premalatha says.

In order to meet the standards of the housing scheme, she had to take loans from her relatives.

But, being unable to repay the loan, and as a disabled person, who also has to look after her 12-year-old twin daughters, who lost their hearing due to the explosions during the genocidal onslaught, she was subjected extreme trauma, she says.

In order to receive the housing assistance, the family needed a plot of land, which they had to purchase on their own. She took up a loan from her relatives.

Premalatha says her family is thankful to the housing scheme, which consists of an allocation of 550,000 rupees. The money is being released step-by-step by the authorities.

In order to move to the next step, the family has to complete every stage confirming to the expected standards that need to be met. In every stage, the expense comes above an additional 40% beyond the allocation, she says.

Without being capable of making enough savings through own income, Premalatha is still struggling with her loans.

Premalatha's husband, also an ex-LTTE combatant with injuries and shrapnel fragments inside his body, is barely managing to sustain the day-to-day income for their living.



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