05/09/2020, 11.22
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Sudhara, 16: I passed my exams, as I promised my father, killed by the Easter bombs

by Melani Manel Perera

Sudhara's father, 48 year-old Sudheera Fernando, was one of the victims of the Saint Sebastian church in Katuwapitiya (Negombo). His son put aside his grief to support the family. "We have experienced Jesus' great love for us".

Negombo (AsiaNews) - Sudhara Fernando ran to his father's grave last week as soon as he received the results of his school exams. He thanked Jesus for guiding him, helping him endure the pain of losing his dad, and also his teachers for supporting him.

Sudhara Fernando is 16, a student at Maris Stella College and attends the parish of Saint Sebastian, in the village of Katuwapitiya (Negombo), where a terrorist attack took place last Easter.

In the attack, Sudhara lost his father, Sudheera Fernando, 48 years old. At Easter Mass in 2019, his mother, Geetha, 42, and his brother Elisha aged 12 and his sister Feona Angel aged 11 were also close to his dad.

While still a teenager, but also the eldest son, Sudhara promised to take care of the family in front of his father's dismembered body. And he also made three vows.

"I promised - he says - to have good results on the exam; then that I would become a member of the national cricket team; and third that I would have worked on Sri Lankan Airlines, as my Thaththi (father) did."

"At the exam I got good results (1-B, 3-C, 5-S), although not the best, but I'm satisfied. Now I want to go on to higher education and do accounting."

Sudhara is also grateful to his teachers: Prof. Chathuranga, who gave him additional math lessons, and Prof. Chamikara, who taught him Sinhalese.

His mother, Geetha Appuhamy, tells AsiaNews that she cried when the results of her son's exams arrived: "Despite our situation, despite the mental stress of my son, he got a good result. We have experienced Jesus' great love for us. The fathers of the parish, Card. Ranjith, the nuns, have always been close to us. We are grateful to Jesus, even though we have lost a member of our family."

"On the day of the results - continues Geetha - we went to share this victory at my husband's grave, bringing flowers to his grave and talking to him".

Before the exams, Sudhara also went to visit his father's grave every day, to ask him for strength.

"My father has helped me in everything - he says - and I want to make my dad's soul happy, studying well, living well and doing good things".

Sudhara wants to send a message to his peers: “Our parents are the ones who love us most and in a true way. This is why we should not discourage them and make them cry. Instead, we must always listen to them and love them”.

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