In the past years, the month of May was a month in which war songs, old war memoirs, and war victories were recalled after a year of hiatus. But this time, people are not free to do so because of the severe economic crisis in the country, people's struggle for survival, and their uncertainty about the future of themselves and their children…
Also, the forces today have to protect the rulers of the country because it is their duty in a time where rulers are been severely disgraced by the people. Somehow, even though many of those who are currently working in the tri army forces joined the service after 2009 when they are seen in their uniforms, they used to be greeted by people saying 'we live because of you'...
Unfortunately, like mentioned many of those who actually fought the war (about 90%) have now retired from service. Ordinary soldiers in the army often retire before the age of 45. That's because their service time is about 25 years. Only high-ranked officers in the military remain until 55 years. Therefore, most of the ordinary soldiers currently serving in the security forces joined it after the conclusion of the war. Which means, there's not many who has the memories of being in the battle fields.
As university students, and 90's kids we still have some memories of the war.
I was in grade 5 when the war ended, and in the days leading up to the end of the war in May, I have memories of the army helicopters that often flew across the sky. The school was held until the evening for us, who were severely anxious and pressured by the grade 05 scholarship mentality. But our class teacher did not forget to rejoice with us about the victory of the war. When the helicopters flew in the sky more than usual, the kids in our class cheered in joy because our teacher encouraged us by saying 'It seems the war is over'. During this time we often saw updates on the war on TV. So, our generation also had experienced the fear of war, and we too enjoyed the great joy of its end.
Anyway, my intention in writing this blog is not to brag about any of the above.
I have heard stories from my mother about war and military life. My father served in the army and when I was a toddler and we lived in Ampara. During the period between 1999 and 2001, these areas were prone to frequent terrorist attacks. At that time my father had to do his duties in the Ampara area and due to financial difficulties and other issues my mother and I had to move to Ampara temporarily with our father. My mother sometimes tells me the horrible memories of that time, when she faced economic hardships as well as the fear of death.
Some days I am told how the LTTE had terrorized the whole area when they reached our village and how my mother had felt those days. She had come out from the home through the window and locked the door from outside and went back home through the window into the house and spent the night with me in fear of death pretending that no one was at home. She had thought that if the terrorists broke in at night, they would think that no one was in the house and leaves it alone. My mother spent her life with me in the midst of many such challenges when my father was alive.
Somehow in 2001, my father died during a terrorist operation, leaving my 24 years old my mother and 2 years old me alone in the world. Then onwards, the war inside our lives began while a war was happening in the country too. A lonely young woman with a child faces many challenges in life, even if she had economic protection. It can never be understood by outsiders who are not from such a family background. It really is a war of life.
To bring me to where I am today, I must say that my mother fought through a terrible war of life. She faced thousands of challenges to look after me while bearing the sorrow of the loss of my father.
So, may these words of mine be a tribute to all the heroic wives like my mother out there in the country for sacrificing their young lives on behalf of their children after their husband sacrificed their life on behalf of the motherland. And most of these mothers didn’t go for another marriage thinking that it would be an injustice for the children just like my mother.
All the sons in my father's family were in the army. My grandparents lost two of their sons, including my father. May this blog be a tribute to all those great parents out there, who sacrificed their sons for the motherland of freedom on behalf of each and everyone of us...
It has been 13 years since the end of the war. Perhaps you are unaware that such people still exist in your country, but there are still those of us who are living with the old scars of war.