Sri Lankan ‘miracle of Lebanon’ returns home penniless

Former MP Duminda Silva opens trading in Adam Investments (AINV) at the CSE, Photo Credit Hiru News

TYRE, Lebanon, July 30, 2006 (AFP) – Vasanthi Darmadasa was sweeping her employers’ garden when her life changed. An Israeli bomb came thundering out of the sky, destroying the house and killing everyone there — except her. “I was thrown to the ground by the shockwave. I didn’t feel anything in my legs and I did not feel anything in my hands,” said the young Sri Lankan maid who came to work in the southern Lebanese village of Yaruon, seeking a better life.

“I didn’t dare to look,” she said. “I knew what happened was horrible. I started to cry, and cry, and cry.”

When she opened her eyes she discovered that her employer Hassan Farhat, his mother, his wife and their two children — aged two-and-a-half and four months — were lying dead under the rubble of their house.

Three days after the air strike she was able to join a convoy of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) heading for the southern port city of Tyre which although itself battered by Israeli raids has become a sanctuary for refugees.

Somehow, miraculously, the 20-year-old was not hit by the bombardment and the debris which flattened everything surrounding her.

The border village of Yaroun lies virtually in the middle of the maelstr