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 Post subject: Father committed suicide after his soldier son was killed
 Post Posted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 3:55 am 
Father committed suicide after his soldier son was killed

In hope of being re-united?

By Shalindra Seneviratne & Niranjala Ariyawansa

Sunday Leader / 2000

There are few people in the world who love their families, more than their lives. Abey Wewegama was one of them. His whole world shattered when he heard that his youngest son Sanath had perished defending Elephant Pass.

67-year-old Abey Wewegama was the father of five children and they lived in Katugastota, Kandy. He and his wife Manel revelled in family life. Yet Abey had a nagging thought about the safety of his two sons, the eldest Ajith, who was in the air force and the youngest son Sanath, who served the army as a major.

Couldn't bear

Abey couldn't bear the thought of parents loosing their children to war anywhere. He always told his wife Manel that it's better to loose a limb, that way they won't to go back to the war front.

Perhaps his motto in life must have been "there is hope as long as there is life."

Sanath Wewegama studied at Dharmaraja College, Kandy, and was a boy scout. Being the youngest in the family, he was his father's pet. Although he studied bio-science for his A/L's his aim in life was to join the army.


In 1991 he joined the army and got a scholarship to be trained in England.

In 1997 Sanath got married to the girl of his dreams with his and her parents' blessings, and one-and-a-half-years later their lives were completed with the arrival of their son.

In the meantime, Abey Wewegama planned to celebrate the Sinhala and Tamil New Year surrounded by his children, their spouses and grandchildren.

On April 1, Sanath came home with five days leave to see his family and on the April 5 he had to return to Vavuniya.

Abey and Manel went to Himbutana to see him. Little did they known the next time they would see him lifeless, laid out in a coffin.

Abey couldn't bear it, when his eldest son Ajith came home on April 10, with news about his youngest brother, Sanath, who had perished the very same day he was sent to Elephant Pass.

When the entire country celebrated the new year, Abey Wewegama saw his beloved son dead. Perhaps that's when his will to live, to go on, was shattered.

For a man who believed in life, the absence of hope to go on resulted in him neglecting himself.

Refused food

Manel said he refused food continuously and fell ill. He was then rushed to hospital where the doctors said that he suffered from gastritis. Manel was in Himbutana at her son's alms giving, when he called to tell her that he would be coming home on Tuesday.

"On Monday evening my daughter called me and said that my husband had left the hospital. I came home Tuesday morning," she said.

Abey Wewegama kept his promise of returning home and he too sreturned, laid out in a coffin.

He couldn't bear his grief so he decided to take his life. He committed suicide by hurling himself in to the waters of the Mahaweli River.

Perhaps he thought he would be reunited with his son, perhaps he thought he will be put out of his misery. Either way he was lost to his family who loved him the most.

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