Healing spirit, harder task for tsunami-hit Sri Lanka
"In the name of a mother, could you please restore my procreation
ability?" Sirisena Fernando, 37, pleading Liu Zuohui, another mother and a
Chinese nurse as well.
It was on Thursday at the Jananandaramaya temple, a
makeshift asylum for some 700 refugees in Hikkaduwa town, 90 km off Colombo,
capital of tsunami-hit Sri Lanka.
A 14-member Chinese medical squad was on
its aid mission for the third straight day and Liu Zuohui was facing the hardest
ever plea from the patients in her 10-year nursing course.
The Sri Lankan
mother's salpinx had been cut off in the wake of her third child's birth and the
only thing Liu, mother of a 3-year- old girl, could do is wiping the tears off
the other mother's face.
The tidal wave came up to swell in over a two-story
building in the tsunami tragedy on Dec. 26. Sirisena Fernando and her husband
made desperate efforts to grasp all their three children to try to flee the
All the three children, the eldest 10 and the youngest only one
year old, were washed away while the parents who held onto a palm tree
"I wish that my husband and I would die soon if I could not resume
my procreation," the mother told Xinhua.
Sirisena is hardly the only one in
the town of 15,000 who remain in the aftershock of the worst-ever natural
disaster, which claimed for some 30,000 lives across the island
According to Dr. P. L. Gunawardene, head of the health authority in
the Galle district, a huge amount of survivors might suffer from mental
"Too many wounds in body await curing and we have no time at the
moment to handle people's wounds in heart," said the official.
surgeons and physicians are under Gunawardene's charge in the district, where
4,000 were killed and thousands more injured in the disaster. The official still
Moreover, said the official, healing the soul is a harder
task than healing the body.
Gunawardene had approached mental health research
units in the capital for the needed assistance and the prospect remains
At a grocery shop, which survived the tidal wave hit on the
Galle Road in Hikkaduwa, Ruwan Kumara, a 26-year-old shop assistant, was seen
struggling for a way out of the sorrow of loss.
Ruwan lost all his family --
parents, two sisters and three children of the sisters -- in Paraliya village,
three km off the town.
He was at service when the disaster happened all the
sudden in the morning on Dec. 26. As the shop was not damaged, he rushed back
home to check and found nothing but water blanketed the area, where the
seven-room shelter supposed to lie.
"I swim and swim but nothing could be
found out," Ruwan lamented.
His mother's dead body was found one day later,
and one of his sisters a week later. The rest of the family remain
Ruwan said he would work harder to make enough money to buy a new
house and this house will never be seated near the beach side.
rebuilding of the property is one way out of the dismay.
In the town of
Hikkaduwa, pieces of rubble are seen on the tops of trees higher than houses,
boats lie snapped in half and vibrant sarees tangled around branches as if hung
out under the sun.
Bulldozers are busily removing relics and governmental
employees are assessing the damages house to house.
The central government
said a reconstruction plan across the nation will kick off Jan. 15 and that will
hopefully be the best healing for people's spirit.