Sunday, January 01, 2012

Continuous counselling is needed in the north

I lost by my parents during the war. My elder brother, elder sister and I were living with my uncle and aunt in Maankulam in Vanni district, North of Sri Lanka. We lost our aunt who went to the nearby boutique to buy essentials during the last phase of the war" laments Sutharshana Kanthasamy (16). She wants to be a teacher.

Sutharshana Kanthasamy (16) and her elder sister Sulakshana Kanthasamy

Her elder sister Sulakshana Kanthasamy finished her higher studies, but unable to continue further as nobody supports her.

I just idle. I wanted to study further and become a doctor. Since I lost my parents, I feel helpless” shares Sulakshana Kanthasamy (20).

Roman Catholic Father Damian Soosaipillai and his team of eight counsellors work in 21 villages in Jaffna. Father Damian Soosaipillai has been involved with psycho ~ social activities in the Jaffna Peninsula since 1980s.

Children affected by the prolonged war need continuous counselling. Some of these children have lost their both parents, and others have lost either their mother or father. Many of them are still suffering from psychological problems. It’s an uphill battle to get them back to lead a normal life. I am also concerned not to create dependency” shares Father Damian Soosaipillai.

Sutharshana Kanthasamy and her sister Sulakshana Kanthasamy live with their uncle, who has been a farmer in Maankulam in Vanni district. But he does not want to relocate himself as the memories of war haunt him continuously.

Photo shows their parents taken at their elder brother's birthday party many years ago

Both sisters had many dreams, but they are shattered and feel their dreams will never come true.


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