WhatsApp reunion for Lankan refugee siblings after 36 yrs

whatsapp-facebookSeparated by the unrest in Sri Lanka more than three decades ago, a 72-year-old refugee reunited with his 76-year-old sister on Friday in Trichy, thanks to social networking mobile application WhatsApp, the Times of India reported today.

Samuel, 72, and his elder sister Gnanapoo, 76, were residents of Kandy, before the ethnic war broke out in Sri Lanka. Gnanapoo migrated to Thoothukudi after her marriage way back in 1979. Samuel was married to Salomi, 65, and the couple was living in Kandy till all hell broke loose in 1982 with the war between LTTE and the Lankan government intensified.

The couple migrated to Tamil Nadu seeking refuge in Rameswaram in the same year with their new-born son Jesudoss. Since then, Samuel lost contact with his sister Gnanapoo. He was eking out a living by working in a church in Rameswaram.

However, Samuel kept searching for his sister all these years and visited Thoothukudi often but in vain. Jesudoss, son of Samuel who is now 36-years-old, said he frequently visited Thoothukudi and Tirunelveli along with his father in search of his aunty.

“My aunty was married to Rasayya, a merchant from Thoothukudi, after falling in love during his frequent visit to Kandy. Though we were living in the same state for over three decades, we could not meet each other with any means of communication,” he said.

During a recent visit to Sri Lanka, Samuel showed the photograph of his sister to Salomi’s relatives who gave mobile numbers of some people in Thoothukudi.

“We shared the photograph of our aunty along with a message to the mobile numbers through Whatsapp. Fortunately, the message reached my aunt’s family who immediately called us,” Jesudoss said.

“We had a grand reunion of our families on Friday in Trichy where my father met his elder sister after a gap of 36 years,” Jesudoss said.