In an emotional reunion, a father was given the ownership and custody of his daughter who had been washed away by the tsunami in December 2004.
The girl who was just two and six months old then is now aged 14. The court order was given by Kalmunai Magistrate Fiaz Razzak after considering the father’s plea.
The father, M. Mowlana said on December 26, 2004 when the tsunami hit the country his little daughter Shareefa Ashra was washed away from his clutch about 1 ½ kilometers from the beach near the Hambantota saltern area.
A few days after the tsunami on December 31 he had gone to the Debarawewa Hospital in search of the daughter and he later came to know some clues about her. But he found that his child has been taken away by someone from the hospital. Since then he had been searching hard to find his daughter until he gave up the hope in 2010.
However on January 29 this year he had got some credible news about her child from Kalmunai. And satisfied with the identity of the child now aged 14 years he had submitted an appeal to the court claiming the fatherhood of the child.
But since his claim was disputed by two other women who pretended as the child’s mother, court ordered to send the child to the Kalmunai Probation and Child Office’s custody.
However after a long process of investigations and considering the evidence of the father about the child’s age and other details the Judge ordered to release the child to her father. The girl had been named Keshani when she was brought to court. (Navarathna Samarathunga)