Saturday, January 08, 2005

Sri Lanka : Ampara District

8 Jan
Anarkali and her friends, through their NGO ( mainly
with funds collected amongst friends)are involved in looking after
about 750 families in Ampara district, in three villages called Sinna
Ulla ( Arugam Bay - A famous tourist beach) Kudakalliya and Passaracheniya.
The access bridge is washed away and only access is by boat. Armed
forces are helping with the logistics, and this group also have got
two boats to carry urgently needed food stuffs to the refugees. 40% of
the people are fisherman , 70% are muslims 15% tamils and 15%
sinhalese. They have been feeding these people from the 26th onwards
and next week govt has agreed to provide dry rations relieving them of
the financial burden of having to feed this large no of people. Some
families have fled the coast for fear of further flash floods,
tsunamis and tidal waves, but they come to collect their dry rations.

Area is under the command of COL Jagath Dias,his deputy LT COL Chargi
Gallage are co-ordinating relief efforts in the Ampara district.

A French team has set up a medical centre which is functioning
extremely well, therefore medicines are not necessary for this area .

The camps are just tents, which are not weather proof, and is in need
of things to make life comfortsble for the inmates. These people have
lost all hope ,having been subject to the war for 20yrs they were just
beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel with tourism picking
up. All tourist guest houses are destroyed, and the fisherman who
have lost most of their loved ones, especially children ,have lost
their boats and nets, in addition to losing their homes and

Even though govt has ruled no houses can be built on the coast ,they
need to protect their fishing gear once they get them and resume their
lives. We are waiting for govt to take a policy decision about this
areas re- construction, and awaiting allocation of new land by govt to
commence the construction of houses to move these people out of theses
camps. Hence the need for tents, to protect them from the heavy rains
in the area.
The schools are damaged and many NGOs have undertaken to rebuild.

We need to build a small medical facility for these people, on a
permanent basis, and ofcourse the houses, and an orphanage. But we are
awaiting guidelines from govt about orphans, because we do not want
children to be taken for illegal activities.

We are providing children with a school pack consisting of pencils,
pens, erasers drawing books and crayons exercise books, just to give
these children some hope. Also planning to give the very small
children some toys, just to relieve them of the traums.Plastic water
bottle and a school bag will be given if sufficient funds.

Its extremely cheap to buy them here ,if cash donations are sent.
Also we need to give them kerosene lanterns, as there is no generator
to light up the area.umless we get sponsors for a couple of generators
to be purchased locally. While kerosene lamps are dangerous,a kerosene
lantern costs only four sing dollars locally.and we are looking at
that option.

That's why cash donations are better in order to avoid blockages at
airport and port clearing stuff and once it arrives we have no
control, as everything goes to govt. institutions and they distribute
them according to a needs base.
We already got 50 tents and we have a commitment for a further 200
but awaiting our clearence to send them, because we want to send them
to these people.

Tomorrow the President's senior advisor Mano Tittawela is going to this
area and I am in touch with him to get all these issues sorted out.
We need to clear all wells and clear the debri from the area to make
life better for these people, and we are hoping that the armed forces
will assist us soon. If not we will hire heavy eqpt locally and do it.

Airport is unable to clear stuff as fast as they arrive but the need
is so great everything just moves out to the entire coast line
affected by this tragedy.

If anyone wishes to tour this area when they come to SL we can arrange
to take them . Its about a 8hr drive from Colombo.

Meantime all commitments made to construct houses, please send the
money to the account on this website.

I am pleased to tell you that the Gangarama temple effort to raise
money to build homes on self help manner has received funds already
for 750 houses.
Therefore please contribute to re-building this remotest area in the
eastern province.
The donors can decide which area they want to assist.
I have also given you the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce website and how
to send monies to that., which will be administered by the chamber.

All these funds are being utilised in a very transparent accountable
manner , and audited accounts will be available.

Thanks for all your compassion in this tragedy, the enormity of which
is now felt world over. Sumi Moonesinghe.

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