Trees of Life Mullaitivu District

Tree of Life Mullaitivu 2


I was born in 1978, in this small village of Kokkuthoduwai. My father was a farmer and my mother was a tailor. There were 7 children in our family, 04 males and 03 females. I am the third child. We were living there very happily. In 1994 I was 5 years old and leaving our native place was an unforgettable event for me.

I started my primary education in the Semmalai MahaVidyalayam and studied up to the 5th grade. Then I studied up to grade 10 in Kilinochchi. I finished my grade 11 in Kokkuthoduwai secondary school and stayed for my O/L examination. I passed 5 subjects in the O/L exam. Though my parents were poor, their encouragement to study is something unforgettable for me.

I could not sit for the O/L examination again because of the problems in the country. Since I was the eldest in the family they wanted to give me in marriage and therefore started looking for a partner.

I was married in 2007 when I was 27 years old. I have a daughter of five years. She doesn’t know the face of her father. She was only three months old when her father died.


At present we have returned to our native place, cleaned up the shrubs and trees and made fencing around the land. We were resettled on 7-02-2012 and within two weeks of our return, UNOPS provided a temporary house with cement floors, roofing with tin sheets and roofing with cadjan thatches. My daughter and I live in this house. We don’t have income but they provided relief items for 6 months. Now that also has been stopped. The destitute allowance for this year has not been provided. Samurthy programme also has not commenced. They provided chicken under the livelihood assistance scheme but many have died. We still have a balance of 10 chickens left and we are rearing those.

I have become a member in the women’s society which has been organised recently. I hope that we would be able to get some help and with that I would try to start up  some self employment project. The women’s society has now been registered and hence an organization has come forward to help our people.

We have to go to Mullaitivu to go to the A.G.A’s office for whatever matters concerning our village. Even to get medical facilities we have to go to Mullaitivu. Grocery shops are 16 miles away. If we have to go it would cost Rs. 75/- for a single journey. So up and down it would cost Rs. 150/-. We do not have any employment even to earn this Rs. 150/-. We started vegetable cultivation but all were washed off by the rains.


My child was terrified by the deafening sound of explosions. It was so difficult to leave the child safely in the bunker and go out to buy things for cooking, washing clothes or to talk to someone and we were so afraid to move around. The child developed phlegm and was suffering from fever. We have no way to even buy Panadol syrup. By God’s grace she recovered.

The severe hardships that we underwent were far more intense. No work, no income and not even the possibility to go to work. Like thunder and lightning, bombs fell from the air, the shelling and the roar of the guns on the ground. Though we have survived these ordeals we do not have a peaceful life. When my child cries when she is hungry I curse God; When we were experiencing untold hardships the displacement of people continued; When we couldn’t get any medical facilities or milk food for the child; I’d say “why God, did you create us?”

I was 27 years old when I got married and my first pregnancy was at the age of 30. I was in dire poverty and I did not have proper meals. After the child was born I could not breast feed. I was giving milk powder. I would dissolve Lactogen milk powder in the feeding bottle and feed the child. She would cry. We had to go far in order to get the injection after 2 months. There were instances that many had died, when they had gone to get the injections for their child. The number of days we did not have anything to eat was more than the days we ate. I never expected that we would survive this.

I saved my child by keeping her in the bunker. When we were displaced from one place to another, it was the duty of my husband to construct bunkers in those places to save my child and me. Even though we did not have anything to eat, the priority was to construct a bunker. How many bunkers we would have made in different places…?  Medical facilities were not available at all en route.


Even in such a situation I pray to God daily that our future should be better and that of my child would be brighter. I am hoping for a better life for my child, I wish that she would become a good citizen in society. I wish that, she would get all the skills and the resources for a better life.

Though our village was smaller in size, it was a prosperous village then. My desire is that our village should become prosperous again. When the village improves only, the children’s growth will improve.

When the villages and towns develop, our country also would develop. All the people in our country should live in peace and unity in the future without any ethnic or religious differences. Then we all can live happily.


It was an artillery shell that killed my husband and shattered my hopes in life.

The saying that consoles me is “it is fate, which is to blame”. It is the same for all the people in the village.

I lost my husband but not my confidence. I am determined to bring up my child.


The only wealth I have got is my daughter. In the welfare camps, I saw many that had become mentally weak when they had no children and had lost their husbands in the war. After seeing this I consoled myself that the wealth I have is my child. Therefore I consider my child as a gift.

My only strength is my confidence.  When I went from the war-torn area to Cheddikulam, I only had my child. Only when I am strong enough, I bring up the child.