Sri Lanka: Widows of War

Al JazeeraAl Jazeera’s 101 East programme examined the plight of thousands of widows struggling to survive, mainly in the North-East of Sri Lanka.

Speaking to several Tamil and one Sinhalese war widow, the programme highlighted the lack of support received by the Tamil women.

When questioned by Al Jazeera correspondent Drew Ambrose about the obvious difference in support given out, the minister of women’s affairs, Chandrani Bandara denied that the Tamil war widows are not taken care of.

When a barrage of artillery slammed into Sivalingam Maheswary’s town in Sri Lanka’s northeast, her husband and son were among those killed.

Sivalingam was one of the few survivors, but she lost her right arm in the shelling on the frontline of the country’s civil war.

The guns have since fallen silent but 90,000 widows like Sivalingam are now struggling to earn enough to feed themselves and their children. The number of widows is almost as high as the death toll caused by the decades-long war.

101 East examines the plight of Sri Lanka’s forgotten war widows and asks how the island nation’s new regime will help thousands of widows struggling to survive.

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