NEWS

YOUR COMMENTS

News Articles

Oh! The Child of Woori Village! - Nadaraja Kuruparan:-

 

Oh! The Child of Woori Village! - Nadaraja Kuruparan:- (Translated: Maharathi)

Oh! The Child of Woori  Village! -  Nadaraja Kuruparan:-

 


  Translated: Maharathi)

Oh dear child who was born in a non-descript family living in suppression in a corner of Woori village in Karainagar besieged by the Navy!

Your father is jobless, incapacitated as he is by some physical ailment. In a family which is gasping with poverty’s deadly grip, depending as it is on the mother’s coolie profession, you are the last child. For an 11-year-old girl who is supposed to sway, swing and sing as a breeze-kissed bud and enjoy the fun and frolic of childhood, your life is left in a stark contrast.

One day, as you were going to school through the usual route meandering through the lonely thorny forests, a group of Navymen long targeting you lifted you and carried you away. When they were lapping up you, driven by lust, you were shouting, resisting and trying to fight back. But they did not let you free; they threatened you with knife. Hearing your cries of anguish, an old man passing by questioned them and asked them to let you free. However, threatened by the Navymen, he went away in fear.

A beast bounced on you - a beast you might not have seen before. You have carried the beast every day, with your mouth dripping with blood.

The neighbours say that these lust-driven animals have not spared even the nine-year-old daughter of your sister.

Yet, all the same, your mother is too engrossed in earning the livelihood of family to pay attention to or empathize with the excruciating pain that your eyes and mind exude. The rape of you did not stop with one day. That flesh-hungry Navyman waits next day too at the school-going time; takes you away, enjoys you and releases you only at the end of school working hours. Over the days he has made it a point to find in you an outlet for his perversion.

But unfortunately you have not realized the need to voice your injustice. Your childhood has sunk into fear and silence. Slowly you have lost appetite for schooling and started wearing ordinary clothes over the school uniform.

Finding you play truant often, the school management has, as per its rules and regulations, taken your issue to the officials in charge of juvenile discipline.

One day, you return home ahead of the usual school closing time. When your mother, who is back from work now, asks you why you are home very early. Unconvinced by your reply that the school itself has allowed students to go back home earlier, your mother takes you to the school authorities.

That is the moment that has triggered the exposure of the injustice meted out to you.

When your mother happens to find hemorrage in your organ as a result of the 11-day rape, you are admitted in hospital. The issue gets into the media limelight.

The Navy and its usual protector Gotabhaya regiment are put on alert. They threaten your family and your elder sister, telling them all not to blow up the issue, declaring that the matter had better be hushed up so that the family lives in peace.

As usual, Rajani, who is one of the boot-lickers of the soldiers, approaches your family members as a middleman of the Navy and promises them money if they backtrack on their accusations.

The Jaffna Hospital management and the Health Department are silent and careful, in deference to the wishes of the powers-that-be and ensure that nobody meets you.

Your mother wrings her hand in helplessness and fear. The mounting pressure leads her to say, “What can we do? The damage is not at all massive’’.

How and whom can your mother fight, struggling as she is to keep the wolf from the door?


She cannot shell out hefty amounts to lawyers for their action of moving eyes and hands by way of arguing in the court and getting your family the much elusive justice. Even if she asks for justice, is it the country where the angel of justice lives happily?

The juvenile court has refused to grant bail, wanting to know the explanations. But some other exclusive judge has granted it, before whom the accused have been produced by the Navy. It is said that when the rapist Navymen were produced in their uniforms, you were unable to identify them.

How can you afford to dare to identify them? Will you identify them, even after your family has told you in no mistakable terms that it has no mental and physical stamina or strength to survive the fight against the unjust officials?

Is there no DNA test facility in Sri Lanka to prove the guilt of the accused very easily? Even if such a facility is there, I don’t think the accused will be exposed and justice rendered to you.

Hardly minding that you are just a girl child, the jungle reign of Rajapaksha has conducted an identification parade at which you are asked to find out the accused.

Born in poverty and tormented by poverty, you do not know the uncles who have been supporting the government in the five years after the Mullivaikkal massacre.

The uncles (insensitive and indifferent) say that all these atrocities are an in-thing in a war-ravaged country and such things can be set right only gradually.

They say indirectly that children like you must go down on all fours before the Sinhalese armymen. They know fully well that it is absolutely easy to make children like you scapegoats. But they are very careful to ensure the security and safety of their own children.

These uncles advocating harmony are silent on the military’s sexual abuse of children and sexual violence on women.

Recently, a British court awarded severe punishment to a woman teacher for having sex with a 16-yer-old male student. It did not reduce punishment even after the student in question came forward and deposed that they had sex only on mutual consent. The court explained that the teacher, being a physically and cognitively grown adult, has misused a minor boy’s emotion-based instincts and hence what she has done is an offence.

 Anoma Dissanayake, head of National Child Protection Authority, has announced that steps have been initiated to upgrade the quality of the 24-hour child helpline 1929 so that at a time as many calls as possible can be attended. As of now, there are only four telephones having this number. After an emergency call section is set up, the number of telephones will be raised to 10 in a span of four years, she has said.

In the last four years, there were 2,10,314 calls made to this emergency number and this year has recorded till now 40,404 calls and of them, the number of calls from Colombo alone has been 790, she says.

Even though the juvenile court refused to grant bail, the good old Rajapaksa government released the guilt sepoys.

What can these emergency calls do against the Gotabhaya regiment which is always on the prowl, targeting girl children, young women and even old women, who are languishing in utter poverty day in, day out?

A soldier who was raping a young Tamil woman alone in her hut in a paddyfield in Mannar ran away, on seeing a few well-known people who later tried to make it a big issue. But an old man in the village said, “It all seems odd and strange to you. But we have resigned ourselves to this state of affairs’’.

At a point in the post-war period, a family man of Poonagari said these words: “We are a poor family living in a hut in an area besieged by the army. A solider used to come to our hut and sleep at night. We had only two options: either I commit suicide along with my wife and two kids or bear with this trespass for the sake of our children. We followed the second one’’.

Is this called ‘life of harmony’?

Dear Child!

Your wounds will heal. But it will take several years for the stench and ferocity of the beast that has trespassed on you to go for ever.

I hope the psychologists in the North and East will provided the necessary psychological counseling for that.

We stand naked, mind wounded, before a gigantic beast.            

We feel like crying at the top pitch of voice in an open space reverberating with our wailings and feelings.

But, alas! We have no  space at all.

 THE END.

Nadaraja Kuruparan - (Translated: Maharathi)

 


 

Comment(s)
There are currently no comments, be the first to post one.
Add Comment
Only registered users may post comments.
 
 

 

.