» 08/04/2012 SRI LANKA Sisters of the Holy Family aid Mullikulam refugees by Melani Manel Perera For the first time, 215 families have received medical and food aid: rice, flour, milk powder, soap and medicines. Driven from their village in the district of Mannar 20 years ago, Tamil Catholics now live in a jungle, with no chance of work.
Mannar (AsiaNews) - For the first
time since they were forced
to live in a jungle, the Mullikulam refugees have received a huge load of aid, thanks to
the Sisters of the Holy Family. Through a collection that involved several
people in the Colombo Province, on 2 August Sr. Deepa Fernando and Sr. Pearly Augusta brought 215 families, rice,
sugar, flour and different types of cereal, milk and powdered tea, biscuits and
noodles, soap, medicines and first aid materials. "This - they told the
displaced, all Tamil Catholics - is only the first of many visits. We will
return, and not only with needed assistance."
Sister Deepa Fernando, from the Congregation's convent in Colombo, says: "When we discovered these
people's story, I heard something snap inside of me. I wanted to give practical
meaning to the prayer 'Our Father', which we recite every day. So I informed my
sisters in the Colombo Province,
who encouraged me. Together, we have been given to do this. "Through word
of mouth in their communities, the sisters were able to collect the goods, food
and medical aid they delivered on 2 August.
Driven from their village 20 years ago, for over a month these IDPs (Internally Displaced People) have been relegated
to the jungle Marichchikattu, home to mosquitoes, elephants and snakes, with no
possibility of fishing or cultivating the land. In theory, their transfer to
this forest is part of the Government resettlement program provided for civil