8-year-old Aaliyah Dilshan shares her experience of the Digana anti-Muslim riots

It was a very calm morning, I got up went to the hall and saw my mummy doing her work on her laptop, daddy was playing with my brothers. I had my breakfast and had a wash, my mummy took her break and kept my baby brother in his high chair and me and my other brother on the couch. My mummy was going to feed us. My grandma was in the out side- kitchen. Just then there was a noise like people FIGHTING.

My mummy thought that it was my father watching a video but when she asked him he said that he was not watching a video so she ran out and when she came back inside she was crying. I was really puzzled but then I went and saw outside and started to cry to because there were people running here and there and BURNING MY TOWN DOWN. So when I came in, my mummy went and prayed to god and I was crying that they might BURN OUR HOUSE DOWN. My grandpa told me , my brothers , my mummy and my daddy to go to the house up where my grandma’s sister’s house was but I was so scared that I did not want to go anywhere I THOUGT THAT I WOULD NOT LIVE A HOUR. My grandpa and my daddy called 119 and the police. By the time they came the whole town was burnt even my uncle’s shop.  They only managed to call the fire fighters and when they came they fogot [sic] to bring the water so by the time they brought it the shop was burnt. People think it was a petral bom [sic]. And back in the house people were calling and I was scared and was crying. In an hour the whole of 8TH mile post was burnt. And because shops were burnt the power went of [sic]. My daddy said that the police told him that if the power was on the fire could get bigger and spread so it was out till night.

 And when it came back my fright was a tiny bit better so because of that my mummy told me that me that I could sleep with her for the rest of the week.

Because I was so frightened that I could not sleep alone.

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