Mother finds child lost in tsunami after 16 years of suffering


Sixteen years after a Muslim child’s disappearance from the village Maligaikadu in Sainthamarudu in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami disaster, the child has now come in search of his mother. According to reports, the child had been brought up by a Sinhala family, and the mother and child are both refraining from disclosing any information about them for fear that the family will face legal problems. 

The family has taken good care of the child, but since he was not brought up in the house legally, it is reported that the child’s mother and close associates are preventing the information from being made public.

The mother had been looking for her child for nearly 16 years and had visited the new home of the child pretending to be an employment agent after receiving some information from an institution. The mother had then seen and recognized her son and then contacted him by phone. According to her thereafter her son had told his new family he was going in search of a job in Colombo and had then come in search of his mother instead. 

The child, identified as Akram Riskan, had gone missing during the tsunami at the age of 5. He is now a 21 year old youth. After finally finding her son after 16 years, Akram’s mother Abu Sally Siththy Kamaliya had this to say.

“My only son went missing during the tsunami. Some people told me had died but I strongly believed that he was still alive. I went all over the country in search of my son. I cannot explain my joy in finally finding my son after all that suffering”

When the tsunami hit on December 26, 2004, Kamaliya was at work at the Kalmunai Ashroff Memorial Hospital. 

“Three days after the tsunami my sister’s husband told me my son was found in hospital. But when I went there I could not find him. Someone had taken him away. I couldn’t bear it. But I didn’t give up. I used to keep my son’s photo with me and show it to everyone. Some used to give me tips and I used to go to these places. I even complained to the Police. I spoke to the media. In 2016 a Sinhala friend of mine told me my son was studying in a Sinhala school. I tried to go there and meet my son but the Principal and the teachers did not allow me to see him” she said.

Sometimes I disguised myself as a Sinhalese woman and roamed in areas where I heard he might be. I pretended to be an employment agent and at times as a beggar. I held on to the belief I would find him. Sometimes I had to face difficult situations and even insults but I didn’t give upsaid. 

“My husband left me and married someone else. But I went in search of my son. I even wrote to the President and other politicians. But there was no result.


One agency identified where my son could be. I went there disguised in search of him. There he recognized me and we spoke over the phone. I told him of his physical features and he confirmed. He later left his house and came in search of me” she said. “I have now finally found my son”. She added. 

“I went and made a vow in Mecca and asked God to find my son. I will now go with him to Mecca to fulfill this vow. I will also help the Sinhalese sister who raised my son for all these years” she said.