Our forgotten, forsaken heroes
Posted on October 27th, 2016

Dr. Mareena Thaha Reffai, Dehiwela

Recently I had a patient who made my heart bleed. His name was Susantha, aged about 35, he was a soldier fighting for the country during the ethnic war. In 1990’s when he was in the thick of the war he got repeated attacks of Malaria, and the last time happened to be a virulent attack that he had to be airlifted to Colombo. After recovering from it, he returned to the battle field but was advised to take chloroquine continuously. He took it for the next 6 years for fear of contracting the virulent form of malaria.

The normal practice is, when a patient takes long term chloroquine, their eyes have to be checked up regularly, for in some patients it affects the macula – the main part of the eye with which one sees. There was no facilities nor advice about such check ups while in the battle field, and today he is almost blind – He cannot see anything beyond one foot from his face and cannot read any thing – not even very large letters. But the most pathetic thing is that he does not know how exactly his daughter who is about 2 years looks.  He says he sees her face as broken up pieces and cannot put it together to make a full picture. He had tried various ways to get help or compensations  but so far he has filed. His wife works to keep the home fire burning.

Now this is just one case. How many similar cases are out there? Where do they go for compensation? How do these young soldiers survive?

Debates rage about who won the war – was it Mahinda, Gotabaya or Sarath Fonseka? Not really, it is won by these young men of our soil, who put their lives online to save us a country, who fought valiantly not thinking about their own lives, their sight  or their family. Who recognize them today? Who deals with their problems today? Their mental effects of shelling and shooting, their physical effects of war in cases such as this?

We as a nation owe them justice, peace and gainful employment if not a thumping retirement payment as the politicians get after running around in cushy, air conditioned cars, getting paid for service they never provide and  an indecent retirement payment to top it all.

Can we do something about them?

Samantha can be reached at 0718015354

Sent by:

Dr. Mareena Thaha Reffai, Dehiwela


3 Responses to “Our forgotten, forsaken heroes”

  1. S.Gonsal Says:

    This is the very sad reality.

  2. S.Gonsal Says:

    Murder of Rizana Nafeek is equally sad, for which you paid NO MERCY. She too is a little hero, having sacrificed her life fighting immense poverty of her family.

  3. Lorenzo Says:

    Thank you Dr. Mareena.

    “Not really, it is won by these young men of our soil, who put their lives online to save us a country, who fought valiantly not thinking about their own lives, their sight or their family.”


    People now come to REALIZE this. POLITICIANS are only concerned about grabbing the CREDIT for it (they fight among themselves to get the credit) so that their next 10 generations can SELL “WE WON THE WAR” and ROB the country poor.

    Cricketers get MUCH MORE for a RUN they score than soldiers get in a YEAR as COMPENSATION!

    I hear ZERO compensation is paid to RETIRED soldiers since 2010. Only the pension and they have to manage within that!
    Why didn’t the govt. say so in 2005? NO ONE would have gone to war.

    I will use all my might and social media skills to get soldiers INCLUDING DISABLED SOLDIERS to register a political party and contest the next presidential election and general election. I LOVE to see the FACES of those who SCREAM WE WON THE WAR but forgot about soldiers after the war. IF they resort to attack soldiers, they will regret it.

    With close adult family members we are talking about 1,500,000 voters. Enough to win 15% of the vote and 35 MPs.

    They have MORE RIGHTS to be in parliament and contest the presidential election than anyone else.

    We have to END the era of taking soldiers for granted. The BATTLE will separate out THOSE WHO TRULY LOVE SL from THOSE WHO LOVE POLITICIANS (but pretend to love SL).

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