Kadirgamar's widow, daughter at odds over ashes

[TamilNet, Sunday, 21 August 2005, 15:54 GMT]
The Late Sri Lanka Foreign Minister Mr. Lakhsman Kadirgamar's ashes were scattered over the Kalutura river early morning at 4:30 a.m. Saturday, in what Kadirgamar's eldest daughter, Ms. Ajita Kadirgamar Perera, described to the press as a "blatant disregard" of the Minister’s family.

In a signed statement issued to the press after an Anglican memorial service held at Colombo's Cathedral Saturday evening for her father, Ms.Perera accused Kadirgamar's widow, Mrs. Sugandi Kadirgamar, of not respecting the family's wishes that the ashes or at least a portion of them be handed over to the family for burial in the family plot.

Ms. Perera referred to her brother, aunts, cousin and herself as the family that requested the ashes, adding that she had sent letters, one a personal request on Thursday, and one a formal legal request on Friday to Kadirgamar's widow, requesting the ashes.

"I even nominated a senior legal personality to mediate on our behalf,” said Ms. Perera. “Despite all these efforts and within hours of this final act of diplomacy, his widow has shown the utmost lack of respect and common decency in ignoring our wishes."

"Even if my father's last wishes had been for his ashes to be scattered over water, and this we do not know as we have not been granted access to his last will, common decency and indeed the law would allow for a part of them to be handed over to the family," Ms. Perera noted in the statement.

The strongly worded statement accused Mrs. Kadirgamar for depriving the family and their father in the last decade of his life by "preventing" them from having "any contacts with him".

The statement noted further that the legacy of Mr. Kadirgamar has now been "lost in more ways than one."

 

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