Kumar, Mahela and Lasith

Artist: Manon De Jong

KUMAR, MAHELA AND LASITH, FROM SRI LANKA, DETAINED IN MALAYSIA, AGED 11, 10 AND 8

Kumar, Mahela and Lasith fled Sri Lanka with their parents. They were detained in Malaysia. In the detention camp, they were made to strip naked and squat and stand repeatedly while they were checked for unauthorised possessions. If they stopped squatting and standing, they were hit with a stick.

They stayed in a tent. There were two tents joined and together more than a hundred people stayed there. When it rained, water would come inside and it was difficult to sleep. The toilet was in another part of the camp and it was dirty and there were not enough spaces for all the detainees.

‘Sometimes I was scared because they [the guards] beat the fathers,’ Kumar said. ‘They beat our father, one day they beat my father. I am so frightened.

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