Sri Lankan fighting leaves a gruesome legacy

Matt Wade; 4/2/10

The guns fell silent more than eight months ago but the brutal conclusion to Sri Lanka’s civil war is still being felt by Tamils caught up in the conflict. Anthony Pillai, his wife and four children were among thousands of civilians who fled fighting in the north-east two days before the Tamil Tiger rebels were defeated last May. During the escape, disaster struck. Mr Pillai trod on a landmine hidden beside a lagoon. It blew off his right leg below the knee and sprayed his wife, Mary Josephine, with shrapnel. But worse was to come. When the couple’s son, 26-year old Jayadevan, heard his mother’s scream and turned to help he, too, trod on a mine that shredded his right foot. ”It was so terrible; we couldn’t tell where the mines were,” Mr Pillai told the Herald.