‘Son, after I jump into the river, you should take your sister and jump…’
The news that came from Bentara on the 26th was very distressing. A mother told her children this before jumping 40 feet high over the Bentara Bridge’s security fence. On a boat beneath the bridge at the time was Chaturanga Sandaruwan, a boat operator who worked close to the river (Alutgama River Adventure Water Sport and Drive).
Over the bridge, a young child’s whining voice could be heard abruptly. The children were screaming when they noticed their mother drowning in the river after she had already jumped in. The boat driver rushed to the children’s location after hearing their cries and discovered their mother floating in the river. Mr. Chaturanga took immediate action and set his lunch aside in order to jump into the river. This is how Mr. Chaturanga, the boat operator, described the incident he encountered at the time.
‘I was sitting on a boat under the bridge having lunch. A small child was heard shouting from the top of the bridge. Looking at the river, he saw a woman falling into the river and being washed away. I threw the lunch plate aside and jumped into the river. I jumped into the river and swam after the woman who was adrift in the water. At one point she disappeared into the water.
Again in a few moments she was seen coming up in the water. I swam back after her and pulled her by the hand to take her to ashore. After that I called 1990 Suvasarya ambulance and sent her to Bentara Regional Hospital for treatment. It was later learned that she was admitted to Balapitiya Hospital for further treatment…’
A one-and-a-half-year-old baby and a nine-year-old child were helpless on the bridge because their mother jumped into the river. They were crying and shouting to save their mother.
A 33-year-old woman named Chaturani jumped into the river. She is from Welipathaya village, Kalapedigama, Balangoda. She was married to a person from Beligaswella Johnkadaya area. It was reported that he had frequent quarrels with his wife, decided to divorce and filed a case in the Balangoda court.
It has now been revealed that this woman jumped into the river on her way to court to appear in that case. It was also reported that the court had warned her to live in peace with her husband, and accordingly, she was very disappointed due to her husband’s unwillingness to take her to husband’s house with the children.
It has also been revealed that her husband has given her a phone call not to come home. Due to this disturbance, the woman left her two children on the pavement of the Bentara Bridge and jumped from the left side of the first bridge from Aluthgama towards Galle because there was nothing else she could do. Before jumping into the river, she said to her nine-year-old son, ‘Son, after I jump into the river, take your sister and jump into the river…’ the child had said during police interrogation.
Innocent children are helpless due to such marital disputes and foolishness of parents. It is the responsibility of all parents to fulfil their duties and responsibilities to their children. It is the responsibility of all parents to take responsibility for their children’s future.
Chaturani, who tried to commit suicide by jumping into the river, is currently fighting life-and-death battle in the hospital. Who can predict her life? The two children were left helpless by this sad incident. Nowhere in the world do children feel more secure and comforted than with their mother’s protection. As a woman, she could bear these things by thinking of her children. She could have thought a thousand times that she should live to light up the lives of children.
No matter what we say, only Chaturani is aware of the emotional turmoil she was experiencing at the time. She may have found it difficult to carry that burden with a thousand and one problems, including financial difficulties, when she was left to handle all of the children’s responsibilities in the face of her husband walking away from her. Sometimes, the neighbours of this family might not have even offered assistance. She might even have lost the will to live at the same time.
However, the Aluthgama police came forward to help the two children who were helpless in this incident because they too are people with hearts full of humanity. The OIC of Aluthgama Police and the Women’s Police Bureau fulfilled their duty for the children by providing them with the necessary food and drinks. It was seen there that the policewomen were working to embrace and care these orphans with warmth like their own children.
They are also lovely people who understand the love of children, despite the fact that they wear khaki uniforms and enforce the law against the wrongdoers. They do not have less love, kindness, and mercy in their hearts. This note was included by Mr. Samitha Senaka Aluthgamage in relation to the social media posting of images showing police officers cuddling children.
The police investigations into this incident involving 33-year-old Chaturani and the two children were conducted by Aluthgama Police station chief Inspector A.M. Priyantha Kumar and Bureau of Children and Women. The two children are scheduled to be presented to the Kalutara Magistrate’s Court, and according to the verdict, further steps are to be taken regarding the children.
We are all lucky to have people like Chaturanga Sandaruwan who saved the life of Chaturani who tried to commit suicide by jumping into the Bentara river. We must all respect and thank him for saving the lives of Chaturani and her two children. He is a true genius. If he only thought about his own life out of selfishness, Chaturani and the two children would have died by now. In a world full of selfish people, there is nothing wrong in considering him as one of the noblest people alive on earth.
The current society is extremely degraded economically and socially. Many people commit suicide due to misleading thoughts. At the same time, they don’t have the strength to survive in the face of a many problems that life throws at them. It is our opinion that a government should look after the people more responsibly at a time when the country has fallen into a deep abyss economically. At a time when thousands of people are helpless in the face of economic problems, those responsible for their mentality should pay more attention. Otherwise, the number of people who die prematurely cannot be prevented from increasing day by day.