Category Archives: Tsunami Coverage

“I complained I had no shoes…”

In response to a post here –based on a request from a relief worker in Trincomalee– about the need to suply shoes and socks to children returning to schools in affected areas in an East coast city of Sri Lanka, here’s a follow up.

The board of the New Era Children’s Fund, a Arizona-based organization has transfered  $2,000 toward the cause. Also, CEO of NECF, has agreed to privately fund the balance for ths socks. Thank you for such speedy action.

The supplies are being purchased through Ceylon Leather Products, in Colombo 10.

Side note: Other organizations are helping with back-to-school projects. See this BBC article. But let’s not forget these other little projects –especially those in the areas that the media don’t always visit.

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Posted by on January 26, 2005 in Tsunami Coverage


Sarvodaya’s Plan Of Action

Sarvodaya, a grassroots ‘reawakening’ movement in Sri Lanka has been around for a long time –47 years! This blog has been directing many people who asked about donating to a very tangible cause. 

If you haven’t checked th site recently it is worth a visit. They have a team of bloggers updating news. They also have a good plan for Active Engagement to assist villages, here.

through an Income Support scheme combined with upgraded skills for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of affected areas.

Also, to

create other avenues of employment through private traders and government projects, which will be encouraged to employ affected community members.

Its goals of tapping the private sector for marketing of products produced by these communities is just one of the many areas worth looking into.

Here is the link to the National Reawakening Plan.

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Posted by on January 24, 2005 in Tsunami Coverage


Technology helping relief work

Two sites worth a visit:

1. The Center for National Operations ( in Sri Lanka is a powerful database-driven site maintained created by a private group of individuals, and now run by the Presidential Secretariat.

It covers many aspects of disaster operations in the country such as Water and Sanitation, Childcare, Logistics. Even an UN desk, and useful links. See this map of affected areas.

2. MapAction ( a UK-based international charity that assists in mapping of disaster areas. It uses satellite imagery, GIS and GPS. Want to see affected areas in Hambantota, or Galle? Check here.

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Posted by on January 23, 2005 in Tsunami Coverage


The real heroes

Should it take a calamity to make us empty our pockets and mobilize us into action? ‘Honky Tonk Woman,’ writing for the Sunday Leader newspaper in Sri Lanka says something most of us feel, but haven’t put it into words.

After such a tremendous disaster, you begin to realize the triviality of your problems. I’m very sorry to say it has become a kind of a contest with some folks, who like to make sure everyone knows how and what their contributions were to the relief effort. Let’s hope everyone will keep up the the level of enthusiasm over a longer period of time, for this effort has to be continued for a while in order to be successful. The real heroes/ heroines are those who work steadily and silently, they don’t even talk about it. They don’t feel the need for the whole world to know. I called up one of my oldest friends and told her I was proud to know her, she’s one such person. I know she doesn’t wait for tsunamis but always helps people and DOES NOT TALK about it.

I spoke to several people over the last few days who have amazing sories out of Sri Lanka, of Sri Lankans helping Sri Lankans all over the country. These private individuals who load their cars and double-cabs and make sorties into affected areas on work days and weekends. They don’t receive –and don’t care for- media attention. We can’t thank them enough

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Posted by on January 22, 2005 in Tsunami Coverage


Ground Zero, Hambantota Sri Lanka

TowerJust to give you an idea of the force of the tsunami in Hambantota, here’s a telecom tower –or what’s left of it.

Andrew Samuel sent these pics and a comment:

Hambatota These pics are of the city of Hambantota which is now fully bulldozed.
You will notice there are more vehicles to be cabled out of the mud and
water. This is a really sad site. The telecom tower has just crumbled down to
ball of metal.

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Posted by on January 19, 2005 in Tsunami Coverage


Beruwala, Sri Lanka

Relief_2lr At Triton Hotel in Beruwala, several employees living in the area had their homes destroyed. These pictures, sent via Amanthi Dias Abeysinghe (whose dad is the General Manager of the hotel) tell their story. We visited Triton, a beautiful, sprawling beach resort, in June 2003, so I know exactly where these stories come from.

Relief_5This picture shows you the hotel in the background.

Relief_6 And this one, how high the water has reached in the home.

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Posted by on January 14, 2005 in Tsunami Coverage


Fullbright Scholar from US works in tsunami relief ops

Relief_7 Lest we forget the truly amazing stories, I encourage you to please post your own here. Or email me here. I have 2 today:

A health club in California RoughFit is planning to collect money for the four families affected along the southwest coast of Sri Lanka. 

A Fulbright scholar Jeremy Gantz (from Cape Cod, Mass.) who had been in Sri lanka, is reportedly involved in relief work.

For the past three months he had been studying the history of Sri Lankan education and its connection to colonial and post-colonial political and economic developments! He had been on holiday in Thailand when the tsunami struck and he says “I felt fairly hedonistic on holiday in Thailand after learning of the tsunami… so flew back to Sri Lanka to help with the relief effort; my research feels very unimportant now”.

This was reported on the Relief For Sri Lanka blog, maintained by the Colombo Rotary Club.

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Posted by on January 12, 2005 in Tsunami Coverage