Victim with Kerala roots had decades-old ties with Sri Lanka

Shaju Philip
A prayer meeting at a Thiruvananthapuram church on Monday. (Express)

One of the Sri Lankan bomb blast victims with roots in Kerala, belonged to a trader's family whose member was abducted by LTTE during height of the militancy. The family has been doing business in the island nation for the last 80 years.

Last rites of P S Raseena, 61, a native of Mogral Puthur in Kasaragod, were held in Colombo on Monday. Her husband Khadar Kukkadi, a Dubai-based businessman and relatives from Kerala and the Middle East were present at the funeral.

The victim's cousin brother Dr P S M Ameer Ali said Raseena was killed in the blast at the restaurant of Shangri-La hotel, where she had been staying with her husband.

"The couple had come to Sri Lanka to visit her brother P S Basheer and other relatives. After seeing off her husband in Colombo airport, Raseena returned to the hotel and was at the restaurant when the blast took place. She was slated to fly back to Mangaluru on Tuesday,'' said Ali, who was in the Sri Lankan capital to attend the burial.

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The family from Mogral Puthur village in Kasaragod had made Sri Lanka their second home decades back. In 1940, family member P S Sainudheen and brother Abbas had migrated to Vavuniya district in Lanka, where he started a rice mill and other business ventures. Later, his son P S Abdulla took over the business.

"Abdulla's children including Raseena were born in Lanka. After schooling, they returned to Kasaragod. After Abdulla died, the family business ventures are managed by Raseen'a brother P S Basheer, who lives in Vavuniya. Many of the family members have dual citizenship,'' said Ali.

He said Abdulla had been an active member of the United National Party in Vavuniya. During the height of LLTE militancy, Abdulla was abducted for ransom. He was released after 28 days of negotiations.