Appeal to help Sri Lankan sisters who survived suicide pact

Consulate urges philanthropists to aid young women who are now in police custody

The hotel apartment building in Sharjah from which the head of the family took the fatal plunge.
Image CreditAghaddir Ali/Gulf News

Dubai: The Sri Lankan Consulate in Dubai has appealed to community members and other philanthropists to support two sisters who survived a family suicide pact in Sharjah.

The sisters, identified as R.I., 17, and Y.I., 27, were found lying in a pool of blood while their parents and brother were found dead at a hotel apartment on August 29.

The younger sister told Gulf News that the financially broken family with no valid visas had decided to end their lives after they lost the 19-year-old boy due to lack of medical attention following an epileptic attack two days earlier.

The sisters and their mother, who later bled to death, had allegedly got their wrists slashed by the father who later jumped to his death.

On Monday, sources said the sisters, who had been under treatment at Ebrahim Hamad Obaidalla Hospital in Ras Al Khaimah, have been shifted to the custody of Sharjah Police for further investigation since they are the only witnesses in the case.

Confirming this, the Sri Lankan Consulate said the mission has appealed to the community members to support the young women once they are out after the completion of investigation and legal formalities.

“We would like to offer them all the support to repatriate them if they wish to go back to Sri Lanka,” a spokesperson of the mission said.

“However, we do not know if they wish to continue here since they have lived most of their lives here. In that case, we need to support them for their livelihood.”

For this, he said the mission would like the community members to offer their support directly to the sisters or through the Sri Lankan Welfare Association (Sahana), licensed by the Community Development Authority in Dubai.

“We will also check with the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children about the possibility of sheltering the girls if needed,” the spokesperson said.

He hoped that someone would offer a job to the elder sister so that the both can sustain their lives.

Upul Gamage, the president of Sahana, said the association had also spread the word about the need to support the two survivors. “It looks like the family was living an isolated life. Nobody has come forward saying they knew them or they were family friends. We have no information from schools or teachers saying they knew the kids,” said Gamage.

He said the association has a common fund which is limited. “It is used mainly for some critically ill patients to pay part of their bills and for arranging their air tickets. So we are requesting the community to support the girls.”

He added that the bodies of the deceased parents and son, kept in the police morgue, are likely to be buried here.