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05/20/2010

To Recover the Life We Once Had

It will soon be one year since the conclusion of the 26-year conflict, the longest in Asia.

The Tamil people live in the northern regions of Sri Lanka. Virtually all of them were caught up in the war and taken as “human shields” for the anti-government movement, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). They became refugees, running from the government forces that pursued them, and finally fled here through harsh gunfire.

At present, these people are ending nearly two years of refugee existence to finally return to their ruined homes. Though anxious, they are fighting to re-establish their former lives. Today, we will introduce one of those returnees.

Nawam (47 years old)
When we returned to our own homes in March, all we received from the UN was sugar, oil and grain such as rice and wheat. In April, we received food such as curry powder and coconuts from JEN. We’re a family of seven, so that helped a great deal. The day the cooking supplies from JEN arrived was like a festival day; we had four different types of delicious, flavored curries which we hadn’t eaten in a long time.
I’m a car repairman, and plan to look for work soon. We lost my wife in the war, so my children seem nervous about me going far away for work. I still have no idea what I should do from here on.

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May 20, 2010 in Sri Lanka |