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One woman's plight is a reflection of life in Jaffna

Sutharshini Jasuthan has been waiting for her husband for the last four months. She has taken every possible step to find out the whereabouts of her husband, Kandaiyah Jasuthan, who was taken away by armed men last October.

Sutharshini's case is an individual representation of the suffering and agony the families and loved ones of those who were abducted undergo in the Jaffna peninsula.

Speaking to The Sunday Leader of her experience on that fateful day, Sutharshini said that about four armed men, whose faces were covered with black cloth had come to their house in Neerveli, Jaffna on October 19 around 12.15 a.m.

"They asked the door to be opened. My mother asked them to come in the morning. However, she was forced to open the door as they began to break open the door by kicking it," she said.

According to Sutharshini, nearly 30 armed persons had surrounded the house at the time. Their faces were also covered with black cloth.

"They spoke fluent Sinhala and they did not speak proper Tamil. That is why I suspect the army of having taken my husband," she said.

The armed men had come into the house and searched all the rooms before taking her husband away with them.

"He held on to the door and shouted that he cannot go. But, they dragged him away. I have not heard of him since that day," she said.

A mother of two children aged seven and five, Sutharshini with little hope could only go to every possible place she could and complain.

"I complained to the Human Rights Commission (HRC) in Jaffna, the SLMM (Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission), the police and the army.”

“Our house was near the army camp. Therefore, I never dreamt that my husband would be taken away like this as he was friendly with the army personnel," she added.

According to the wife, Jasuthan was not connected with the LTTE or any other organisation connected to it.

"We married seven years ago. Both of us are of the same age. He is a three-wheel driver. I know my husband. All he knew was his job and his family," she said.

Even after four months, she had not given up hope and still continues her mission to find her husband.

"I have complained to the HRC head office and the SLMM head office in Colombo. I will never give up until I find my husband.”

“But, I need help. I cannot do this alone with my two children and my mother. I cannot live without my husband. Our family depended on the income brought home by him and now we do not know what is going to happen to us."

The abduction of Jasuthan had also affected the studies of the two children. "How can they study when their father was taken away like this in front of their eyes? They are still scared and everyday they cry for him to come back," she said.

Now, the whole family is depending on the money sent to them by Sutharshini's sister, who is living abroad.

"My sister who is abroad is supporting me and the rest of my family. I don't know how long this will be going on," she added.

There are many families and loved ones crying in agony and living in anxiety and fear as to what had befallen the loved ones who were abducted in the peninsula.

Sutharshini is just one of them.

One of Sutharshini's cousins, Atchuthan Vaikunthan (24), was also abducted on the same day. "He lived near our house in Neerveli. He was not married," she said.

She said that he had also not received threats before and was not connected to any armed organisation.

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