On the 25th
– we closed our curtains so that others didn’t know
that Tamils are inside. We were living like in a prison cell.
Our daughter kept asking so many questions, asking why had it
to be the way we were. We had to sometimes close her mouth so
she would not shout in Tamil. At the time, we were scared to speak
in Tamil. We were scared to use our own mother tongue.
On the 25th
night, they announced on the radio that there are refugee camps
set up in few temples, churches and schools. The same night we
again got some threats from the mobs surrounding us. They came
[to our house] but they didn’t do anything to us but they
were yelling. In Sinhala, they would yell: All the Tamils should
leave this city. So we had a fear because I had children and a
family. We decided to move on the 26th morning to the camp to
26th, we were threatened by some of the mob surrounding the neighbourhood.
We were forced to leave the house. We left the house with the
help of some neighbours. The refugee camp was in Colombo Hindu
temple in front of Bambalapitiya Flats. We were terrified to see
all of our friends and our community, mostly all Tamils, were
injured and crying. They mostly had lost everything and it was
a pathetic scene. At the refugee camps the sanitary conditions
were very poor and the food was also not very healthy. With the
help of some of our friends, we were able to survive. In the nights,
with my children, I had to go out and sleep under the tree –
which was also not very safe. We were there nearly, altogether
6 days. Black Friday was the terrible day - we had some of our
friends who left the camp to buy some food, never returned back.
Later, we came to know that they were killed.
there was a truck with mobs. They came to attack the camps also.
Luckily, they went back. There were a lot of crying and screaming.
We still have the scenes in our memory -very bad memory. And finally
on the 6th day, we were transported to Kangesanthurai by a cargo
ship with my family. As soon as we reached there, my son who was
only 6 months old had terrible diarrhoea and we thought we were
going to lose him also. By god’s grace, we were able to
slowly recover and we came back to Colombo in 1984.