The Sunday Leader

Who Set Fire To Geetha’s Dreams?

By Ranee Mohamed

Dharmasoka, Geetha and their little family in front of their home before the fire

It was the stirring of her little sons that woke her on the night of January 20.
When Jayasinghe ArachchigeGeetha opened her eyes,  and looked at her sons aged four and five years of age, they were both cuddled up to her from both sides.
She had been tempted to turn towards her youngest – hug him, and go back to sleep.
Then she began to cough. As she opened her eyes she found that she was blurry eyed.
“My greatest fear was whether anything will happen to my sons. So I sat upright and looked around. There was a mist that had settled inside our little home. Then I heard a strange wailing,” recalled Geetha.
This young mother had then got off the bed and opened the door of the bedroom. Without warning the scorching flames lunged towards her, as if angryand impatient about having to wait outside her door.
“I fell backwards but scrambled up again and  ran towards my little sons screaming. I carried them amidst resistance and and ran out of the next door, into the garden where they sat sleepily. It was the screaming that awoke my husband. When we looked around, every space in our humble home was filled with fire. Our home was a blaze,” cried Geetha.
As the angry flames licked and swallowed their clothes, documents and possessions of a lifetime that they had lovingly gathered, all that Geetha and her husband Dharmasoka could do was stand and stare, with only their hearts threatening to stop.
“January was a difficult month for us. We had to balance between finding the money and the strength to prepare our five-year-old son for school,” said Geetha.
Their older son Isuru GihanWickremanayake, aged five years and six months however had only excitement in his life. With new books covered in brown paper,  a new pencil case and a new uniform.
On January 16, Geetha and her husband Dharmasoka had taken their son to school and had handed the smiling little boy over to the teacher.
But  their youngest son, Mahela Nuwan Wickremasinghe, (4) was not to be left out.
“He too insisted that he wanted to go to pre-school, so to make him happy, we had to buy him his pre-school books which he cherished and kissed every night before going to bed. It is not that money comes easily into our lives. We have to work in the field and do all the work around the house too,” said Geetha in tears.
On that day, we had woken up at about 4.30 a.m. as usual. My sons told us that we will all sleep till 7.30 a.m. the next day.  As we were very tired, we prepared our meals early and had our dinner and went to bed early,” said a heartbroken Geetha.
But someone crept into their garden set fire to their home – their hearts, their dreams and their lives.
“Our sons are crying for their new books. They are also crying for their toys. Though all their toys have been broken, they collected all the pieces lovingly in a bag. Every morning and afternoon, they have to play with these toys – these special pieces of toys were ‘essentials’ in our sons’ lives, some of them even have special names,” cried Geetha.
It is an unbearable heartache for this poor couple. Having lost their home, their possessions and their documents, they now find that they have no answers to the questions that their sons are asking.
“Our clothes, our undergarments, the clothes of our children, our identity cards and documents that we preserved with great care have all been reduced to ashes. Please, can someone help us to get ourselves another little home. Who will hear us,” lamented Geetha. “Where are my children going to sleep. What will become of our little family?” she cried. For Geetha and Dharmasoka have no means to buy themselves a square meal.
“Every hour or so, my little sons tell us that they want to go home. How can we tell them that we have no home now?” asks Geetha.
Dharmasoka and Geetha have been having a ‘land dispute’ and ‘problems with relatives’.
Today they have no place to go to. They have no answers to the questions that their sons are asking.
Their plea is for help to get them another home.
What can be worse than this – for a couple to watch their home of a lifetime burn this way, scalding and scarring the owners forever. As the fire devoured every item in the house, Dharmasoka and Geetha had tried to fan off the flames from their sons’ books, because they knew how much their children loved these books.
“We threw water on these books and it only got worse. Though it was close to midnight our whole neighbourhood came to put the fire out, even little children threw water; but it was too late. Everything that belonged to us was gone,” said Geetha.
Dharmasoka and Geetha had telephoned 119 but there had been a response from the police only at 6.30 a.m.  So what can the police do now? Their home is gone and there is no way that it can be found again. If home is where the heart is then Geetha’s heart has been reduced to ashes.Their postal address in Uduwatte, Udahentenna, Gampola, remains: but their home is gone.

15 Comments for “Who Set Fire To Geetha’s Dreams?”

  1. Lalith Hettiarachchi

    It really is a sad story. Whatever the reason for chasing out this poor family from the place where they were living the way they had been chased out is not only inhuman but criminal. Hope there is some little law in the country to bring the culprits to books(unless some powerful political hand is behind!)

    If there is some bank account of this father or mother I would like to have it so that a little help can be given to the innocent two kids.

  2. Nandana

    Sad story. Feel sorry for poor family and the kids. Please let us have their Bank account details so that every little help from readers could help them re-build their life.

  3. Pushpa Goonetilleke

    I too wants to help them. How can I contact them?

  4. Who ever who did this are such heartless, inhuman, cruel bastards. They should be shot dead. Only hope these culprits are caught and brought to justice

  5. Suba

    I agree with Mr Lalith. Very sad to read, I would love to help the kids too.


    To set fire to a house with people sleeping in it? Do these people have anything called hearts in them? What sort of ceretures are these? Have they gone to a school, attended a temple or a church in their lives? It will be an insult to animals to call them animals.

  7. Malaka

    Please publish their contact details or bank account details so we can help.

  8. Jayan

    We will contribute some money for this family. Pls let us know bank acct #.

  9. Desha Premi

    Yes, this is very sad indeed.
    As requested by the others, I would like to request to account details or contact details of this couple, so that we could contribute something.

  10. gunadasa


  11. Charmaine Jackson

    I would like to help these two boys and would like to have a contact number so that i can speak to the parents.

  12. Thambinana

    Please provide bank Account details and I will assist this family who will be in My Prayers.

  13. Ruwan

    Hi Friends,

    Do you believe is there any law in this country? Certainly not. Unfortunately for these little kids, they suffered for the unkind of the justice in this country. Nothing else.

  14. Confused

    Pelase see that an account is opened in a reputed bank in the name of the poor victims of this tragedy , and please let the public know about it . There are so many kind hearted people who would help them

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