When the embryo forms in the womb there is a new hope in the universe of the arrival of a new life. With its first cry the Baby is born into the world. The infant grows into childhood, develops into adolescence and then slowly reaches adulthood. The body grows into its full form and slowly with adulthood the body ceases its growth process. It is marvelous and fascinating fact that although the growth of the body comes to a halt, it is possible for the mind, heart and the spirit to be fully alive. The grandeur of adulthood is its life force of the mind, heart and spirit. It has the potential to remain “Ever Green” until a man or a woman departs from the world he or she was born into. And this is not with a cry of wailing but with a glimpse of hope.
Most of the family members of the disappeared are at the stage of adulthood and late adulthood. They lost their loved ones during the JVP insurrection in late 80’s and early 90’s. The best part of their life was spent in tears, full of uncertainty about the ambiguous loss of their loved ones. They went through a memorial burial service of funeral rite s last year in 2011 , organized by the Human Rights office and now they are at the threshold of searching for a glimpse of hope for the rest of their life.
To search and to unfold the potential of being fully alive with a meaning in life, the family members of the disappeared entered into a three day workshop from the 18th to the 21st of November 2012. The workshop was held at Lewella Fatima Retreat House and around 40 members took part in a soul searching process in order to have a glimpse of hope at the sunset of their lives.
At the beginning of the workshop guidance was given to place themselves at the present moment “The Now” of their life with the aid of visual presentations of their journey of life through pain and suffering and their process of healing coinciding with the journey.
Then they were directed towards “Forgiveness”. To forgive their perpetrators who were responsible for the disappearance of their loved ones. The sense of forgiveness and the good will of pardon helped the group members “To forgive and be forgiven”. The rest of days were geared towards inputs and hope building activities to be fully alive in mind, heart and spirit.
The group was very enthusiastic in participating in the soul s searching reflections and creative in producing art in their groups. Their sharing was very open and enriching. According to their evaluation of the process of the workshop all the participants had drawn maximum benefit from the workshop.
They enjoyed the creative talent show. They re-created joy happiness and became messengers of joy to one another.
The culmination of the workshop was the address of the director of the Human Rights Office, Rev. Fr. Nandana Manatunga. In his special address to the gathering, he encouraged them further to continue their search for hope and appreciated the good will in their search.
Human Rights Office Kandy, Torture in Sri Lanka, Disappearances in Sri Lanka, Healing and Counseling
@ 2019 All Rights Received