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3RD LEAD (UPDATE)

Horror in the afternoon

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 29 January 2008, 22:42 GMT]
While attempts by Sri Lanka Army (SLA) to breach Tiger Defense Lines to advance into LTTE territory have become daily occurrences in Mannaar-Madu theater of battle, civilians have become the silent casualties bearing the brunt of SLA rage. Hundreds of families have been displaced and live in refugee camps, and many have been traumatized by injuries and deaths to family members due to aerial attacks, SLA mortar fire, and claymore attacks by SLA's Deep Penetration Units (DPUs). Ms. Mary Consulator from Thadcha'naamaruthamadu refugee camp is one such victim.

Mary Consulator
Mary tells her tragic tale to reporters at the hospital


Voice: Mary Consulator

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When her bunker at the Thadcha'naamaruthamadu refugee camp came under SLA shelling last Sunday, Mary sustained minor injuries, and her child, Rajani Peries, was critically wounded. She faced the crisis with the courage of a mother in a war-zone: she admitted her child to the Pa'l'lamadu hospital and stayed with the child to nurse him to health. She sent the other children to stay with her first daughter, Shobhana Peries, who is married and living near Madu Church.

Mary Consulator
P. Mary Consulator, mother of five, at Ki'linochchi hospital
On Tuesday, her two grown-up daughters, Rosmy Peries, 17, and Shobhana, 23, with her 18-month-old baby boy, J. Pradeepan, and Mary's two teenage sons, Jeniston Peries, 12, and Antony Peries, 17, came to the Pa'l'lamadu hospital by bus to look at their wounded sibling. The bus by which they left was attacked by the SLA's Deep Penetration Unit that triggered a Claymore mine. They returned to the hospital as fatally wounded victims, or didn't return at all.

As tears stream down her face, Mary repeats her tragic tale.

A native of Periya Pan'ndivirichchaan, Mary was displaced and was living in the Thadcha'naamaruthamadu refugee camp. When her child was severely wounded in the SLA shelling last Sunday, she admitted the child to the Pa'l'lamadu hospital. She was taking care of her wounded child who regained consciousness only yesterday.

Her eldest daughter, Shobana, with her baby, Mary's two sons and another daughter, came to see them at the hospital by the 7:30 a.m. bus. The five of them left the hospital and took the 1:30 bus.

On the way, Shobana's younger sister Rosmy, got off at Thadcha'naamaruthamadu where the refugee camp is located. The others were in the bus on their way to Madu when the claymore attack took place. On board were schoolchildren returning from a school sports event.

Mary recounts how the wounded in the claymore blast were brought to the hospital in ambulances and private vehicles from Madu. Mary, stunned by the wounded and dying young and the rivers of blood, spotted her elder daughter Shobana who was brought by ambulance back to the Pa'l'lamadu hospital.

Shobana was wounded in her legs and hand, and was in a state of shock. When Mary asked her the fate of her 18-months old baby Pratheepan, she said she was unaware of what had happened to the infant, or even to her two brothers Antony Peiris and Prasath.

Mary's 13-year-old Jeniston was brought to the hospital with wounds a while later. Another son aged 15 years and her grandchild are still missing. Mary is at Ki'linochchi hospital looking after Jeniston and Shobana. Her youngest child wounded last Sunday is still at the Pa'l'lamadu hospital.

Mary with her 13-year-old son Jeniston Peries at Ki'linochchi hospital


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