As part of a continuous series on Heal Lanka, this is Brigadier (Retd) L.C. Perera talking about how he came full circle from the 1983 riots in 1986, when he opened an IDP center for Sinhalese massacred by the LTTE.
Note that this series is his personal stories about what he saw during the war, what it means, and ultimately about the hope for reconciliation on a human, non-political level.
“Let me take you to 1986. When I was in the East I was suddenly called, they said it was very urgent, come immediately. When I went, they said two villages, Sinhala villages, have been attacked and we just don’t know what’s happening, go with the reinforcements, bring the bodies back and see what we can do.
So, on the Trinco border, Meegaswewa and Wadigawewa, two villages were attacked and mercifully by the time we went there was full moon and far away we could see the villages burning and some 29 civilians had been murdered. First time in my life, I saw a village burning by moonlight, and the first time in my life, I opened an IDP center for the Sinhalese in this country. So, that day I realized I had come a full circle from 83.
So much of pain, so much of hurt. They had put some into a generator room by a river, put grenades and shot, and you know, you could see the blood marks. I’m still talking of the wounds, of a generation.”