Friday, December 31, 2004

Message From Past Rotary International President - Frank Devlyn

Dear Friends in Rotary

We join our prayers with you in the suffering & pain your people are receiving. We know that the Rotary Family in Sri Lanka & India will find ways to help.

Please continue to Create Awareness & Take Action by sharing ways for Rotary Clubs to Celebrate Rotary.

Your Amigo in Mexico City,

Frank Devlyn
Trustee, The Rotary Foundation 2002-2006
Past Rotary International President 2000-2001

Where we are heading next

The generosity of people both here in Sri Lanka and in far corners of the world, from all walks of life have been tremendous. On top of the much needed funds, the words of encouragement they give us are very encouraging, and they keep us going. So a very big thank you to all of you for being with us at this time!

We have been working through the night into the wee hours of the mornings – some of us making relief packs, and others answering e-mails and phone calls to co-ordinate our activities.

There will be a group of us leaving to Batticaloa early morning tomorrow with items required immediately – water purification units, some medications, sleeping mats and bedsheets, clothes etc. Our group will be working with the Rotary Club of Batticaloa and during this visit will conduct medical camps to provide much needed care for the injured. But more importantly, they will look into possible areas where we can help rebuild the livelihoods lost, and provide long term assistance to develop an area. As you may know, some villages have been wiped off by the tidal waves, with no trace of their existence left!

We will keep you updated of the ground situation when they get back.

May the force be with all of you!

Tharanga.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

The Movie Day After Tomorrow is REAL

I visited Galle with relief efforts which all friends of Rotary, family, friends all donated for dispatch.From Moratuwa it was a sight of just piles of wood, bricks and walls piled up along the coast, I called my friend who has reached Galle and then I mentioned this is a terrible site, he mentioned that it gets worse as you move along the coast and belive me if any sight I could delete it would have been my drive down to Galle from Colombo.

People qued up on the roads and pleading from a candle to mats to food and many of them did not want money when offered but wanted water, biscuits etc.

I was glad to be a Rotarian at this point in time and thanks to Members of our club who have been working tirelessly to provide relief, believe me its all worth it.

The journey to Galle takes 5-6hrs which is usually 3 but you do not feel the tiredness except the sorrow and the pain in your mind that is caused by the sights of horror.Its really inspirational to see all Sri Lankans from all parts of the Island in all types of vehicles they could find taking relief to all the affected areas.

We distributed food items in Galle fort, Talapitiya and sent to Ahangama, Deveta which are badly effected areas.Due to many towns being wiped out even non effected persons are short of food, I spoke to many Doctors, Lawyers who were in the cues to obtain Rations from the Camp that was distributing the same.

Finally the movie is true, we need to visit these areas more as persons want to express to us what happened and release there story to some one else.

God Bless all of us and the effected humans for a speedy recovery to Mother Lanka.

Rtn. Bary Jaleel
Director Community Service, Rotary Club of Colombo Regency

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

More Donations via Lankafood.com

We wish to acknowledge and thank the following kind people for their very valuable contributions towards our relief effort;

Tammy Fonseka - Great Britian
Prakash William - Centerville, VA, USA
Collen Dunn - New Jersey, USA
Janu Perera - Skarholmen, SE
KMSN Dharmasena - Middlesex, GB
Diluk Aluwihare - New York, USA
Roger Pinkelman - Corrales, NM, USA
Jagath Yapa - Shiohama, Ichikawa
Samanthi Jayasekera - Philadelphia, USA
Caterina Valente - Rome, Italy
Thilina Guruge - Noble Park, Australia
Namal Weerasuriya - Nottinghamshire, GB
Mahesh Perera - Glasgow, Scotland
Hiru Vaas - California, USA

As most of you have requested - we will get your donations across to the neediest locations ASAP

Urgent need for Medical Supplies

Thank you once again to all of you that have been sending us donations in kind and in cash. The priority now is for medicines since the Sri Lankan authorities fear that deaths from disease may be as high as the 21000 confirmed dead from the Tsunami. This is horrifying news and we must try and save as many lives as possible. We will be uploading more information on medicines that can be ordered through lankafood.com

This is a message from a fellow Rotarian in Washington who has made a contibution through lankafood.com

"As a Rotarian from Sammamish, Washington, USA, I wanted to help the survivors of the tsunami. I am so pleased that your Rotary club has acted quickly to make my donation possible. It was very easy to use LankaFood.com to make a donation. I am comforted that Rotary is involved and feel that my donation will reach people in need.

Your members must be touched by the tragedy personally. I am so sorry for your losses of family and friends and everything else.

Bless You for being a connection for those of us who want to help and for offering your hearts and minds and hands to those in need.

Yours in Service,
Anita Anita Boser, Hellerwork Structural IntegrationRestoring Alignment, Agility & Awareness425-765-2713www.anitahellerworker.com"

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Visit to Paiyagala refugee camp

I visited Paiyagala refugee camp today as one of the guys working for our company lost his house and was there. Paiyagala is about 40km south of Colombo, just after Kalutara. The camp is at a Buddhist Temple there. There were approx. 2000 refugees there.

They had received plenty of cooked food, dry food & clothes. But there were requests for undergarments. Yes, undergarments!!!!! No one really thinks of donating this stuff for ladies and gents. I'm guessing this must be the same situation at other camps as well. So buy some undergarments and drop them off at Bary's residence at 15, Cambridge place, Colombo 07. Also stuff like toothpaste & brushes would be welcome as well.

I feel health is going to be a major issue in the coming days. Even at this camp there was a pretty bad smell from the toilets. Think about it, the toilet system at the temple was not built accommodate 2000 users.

If anyone is thinking of using Galle Road to go to the south, please rethink. I took 3 hours to make a 40km journey which usually takes 45 mins. The roads upto Paiyagala were fine, but beyond that it is supposed to be really bad and that was causing a severe traffic problem.

What we have done so far.....

There has been a tremendous response to our appeals for help. Scores of people from friends to complete strangers have been dropping by and donating stuff from clothes, dry food items, cooked food, milk food & medicines. All items received up to last night were dispatched either last night or this morning.

This morning our club sent 2000kg of rice and 500kg of sugar to the east coast. These were purchased from cash donations given by friends of our club.

Also a team of doctors (around 15) and couple of our members left to Matara this morning to conduct a health camp. Apparently there is a severe diarrhea problem there.

We are expecting major health situations in the coming days. So medicines are a major need. Medicine lists with prices will be available at www.lankafood.com who is working with us on this.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Introduction

This site was initiated to co-ordinate collection and distribution of relief items to the victims of the single largest disaster to hit Sri Lanka on the morning of December 26th.

As you would have learned by now, a massive tsunami hit Sri Lankan coastal areas causing extensive damage to areas in the western, southern, and eastern coasts. An assessment of the actual damage to the victims and property is not yet been made, as the danger is still not over, with fears of further tidal waves forming. Upto now a minimum of 10,500 human lives are reported lost, but it is feared that the actual number could be much more than that.

We, the Rotary Club of Colombo Regency [www.rotaryCregency.org] are formulating plans to channel relief to the areas where they are most needed in Sri Lanka. At a time of this national disaster the nation and its people must stand together. Stand together to help the million victims who have been displaced from their homes and loved ones. Not only have these people lost their family/loved ones they have lost everything except for the clothes on their back.