posted in Diaspora


Pathmapraba (47 years)
Davos, Switzerland

‘In July 83’ we arrived in Kankesanthurai and went to our home in Point Pedro. In one month all our belongings arrived from Colombo. This is when it struck me that we will not be going back again. This was difficult for me…. Life in Jaffna is very different to the life we lived in Colombo. I could not accept this change all of a sudden.’’

Pathmapraba who was 17 at the time of the riots, used to live down Muhandiram Lane in Colombo, while her father was employed as a personal accountant for Upali Wijewardena. She relates the incident of a petrol bomb being aimed at their house and a Sinhalese neighbour who obstructs the attacker saving her family from harm. Pathmapraba cannot fully accept the sudden displacement from her life in Colombo even today, 30 years later.

P. Vijayashanthan – Concept, Photography & Editing
Tanuja Thurairajah – Concept and Text Summaries