I am Mary Anitta, 27 year old living with my parents. I have two younger sisters and a brother displaced from due to the war. We lost everything including my secondary education. When I return to Maniyamthoodam after the war, there was nothing left. With the little support given by the Government and NGOs, we were able to continue our life. As a young girl, I underwent so many hardships due to the war and displacement.
Therefore I developed a kind of prejudice against Sinhalese and other religious people. However from my teenage, I am willing to take part in community activities.
When Caritas HUDEC introduce Peace and Reconciliation Programme back in 2014, I took the major role and became the secretary for the Maniyamthoodam Peace Group. Through this we had awareness programme on peace building and good governance. Due to the mutual discussion and dialogues, I was able to understand that the ordinary innocent people are only tools before the people who have power. We were lucky to have Sinhala language classes and that made us realize that there is a link between Sinhala and Tamil languages.
During the exposure visit to Kurunagal, I had an opportunity to cooperate and live with a Sinhala family. This helped me to go beyond what I have been thinking in my little brain. Hence I understood their culture and found that there is nothing strange in what we go through and share in our day today lives.
Now I am relaxed and my feelings of prejudice against Sinhalese or other religious people have been forgotten. It is like I have opened a new chapter in my life. I would like to thank Caritas HUDEC for providing opportunities to cooperate with other ethnic and religious people.
Now I am trying to change the attitude of our village community as well, towards peace and reconciliation. I know my efforts are like, only a small drop in the ocean but it also heals my scars and the also the wounds of others around me.