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Doctor relieved spouse’s Sri Lankan ordeal over
A SYDNEY doctor whose activist husband disappeared in Sri Lanka over the weekend has revealed to MO that her husband has “serious psychological trauma” but she is hugely relieved to have him back home in Australia.
An emotional Dr Champa Somaratna said she felt “unbelievable, indescribable” relief at husband Premakumar Gunaratnam’s return and thanked “the Australian government and the people who supported me” after she had initially feared his disappearance had been the result of an abduction by secret police and had voiced concerns for his life.
Mr Gunaratnam, a joint Sri Lankan-Australian citizen, went missing on Friday in Sri Lanka where it is understood he was preparing to launch an anti-government Marxist party. That country’s government has reportedly stated that Mr Gunaratnam was deported on Tuesday.
Dr Somaratna said her husband was safely at their Sydney home but he was too traumatised to speak at length.
“Once my husband recovers from serious trauma, he’s happy to give lengthy discussions… but not at this moment,” she said.
“He’s in a severe psychological trauma at this moment.”
Dr Somaratna said her husband was physically “fine” but his psychological state was so serious she was forced to take leave from work at Ryde Hospital, where she works as an emergency doctor, until he was better.
“He’s had some physical trauma but physically he’s not that bad,” she said.
“The psychological trauma is very serious; he’s very depressed and he’s very upset.”
She said she was thankful to the Australian government as “without their support probably he wouldn’t be here”.
She added: “Soon I’ll go back to work, but I don’t know when. I need a little bit of time to help him get recovered.”