As with Eelam War IV the Western media juggernaut, primed and fed by the extensive LTTE networks abroad, mounted an effective disinformation campaign on this topic. One illustration was when Jeremy Page of the BBC reported in June 2009 that 1400 persons were dying per week in the Manik Farm camps.
Coping with the influx of internal Tamil IDPS from late 2008 onwards was in fact a huge administrative and humanitarian problem with security implications. The task was faced by the Government of Sri Lanka and a collection of INGOS and NGOs with the support of monetary aid provided by the Western governments and UN agencies and with a Coordinating Committee chaired by Mahinda Samarasinghe keeping an eye on proceedings.
Annet Royce (standing) and Sewalanak Cooking team at Omanthai transit camp in mid-May 2009 preparing food packets for IDPS bussed in from war front on way to Manik Farm Camps Continue reading
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A Tale from”Prasa,” her proud father
Dear Friends, …… I like to share something with you which made me very proud of my older daughter Ruwani, who is now in Sri Lanka. During last years floods she together with a group of friends formed an impromptu relief and rescue group. To my knowledge it included two doctors, a couple of divers, an ex Army Major and a handful of others including Ruwani. They went when there was an appeal for swimmers to rescue marooned people. Last time she had swam out and done a number of swims carrying food parcels in siri siri bags in her mouth for the stranded victims who could not be brought a shore. They set up camp and treated many with first aid. They also collected dry rations clothes etc. individually through friends and made sure they went 100% deserving.
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I: “From people to places, the bond will always bring him back” – by Duvindi Illankoon in the Sunday Times
Walter Keller (in middle) at on of his photographic exhibitions
Back in 1977, Walter Keller-Kirchhoff was a 25-year-old Economics student fulfilling a young and carefree impulse to travel. He came to Sri Lanka on a little Volkswagen aboard a ferry, imagining it to be just another stop on his Asian tour. Life has a way of surprising us and Keller was no exception-almost four decades later he sits in an office down Jawatte Avenue on a sweltering Colombo morning, asking us if he can turn down the air conditioner because “it’s a little cold”.
Perhaps some would recognize Walter more for his colourful photographs of the island, so often exhibited in its galleries. Most would draw the connection between the 62-year-old and his work with the GIZ (German Development Cooperation) in Sri Lanka. Yet there are those individuals who would simply remember him as the sudu mahattaya who helped them find a footing in the world. Whichever way you look at it and however you may know him, there’s no denying that Keller was a live spark within his circles. Continue reading
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I. LIBRARY PROJECT: Pethalai Vipulanandam Maha Vidyalayam is situated in Kalkudah in the district of Batticaloa in the eastern province of Sri Lanka. This school has been in existence since 1945. During the years of the ethnic war, the school suffered a fair amount of damage as it is situated in the conflict zone. Though some repairs have already been carried out, there is still work to be done to restore the school to its original status. Currently there are 837 students and 36 teachers. The school caters to students from Grades 4 to 13. In response to a request made by the School, CandleAid donated books to open a library facility for the students. The books were selected in consultation with the school authorities. The name board (please see below) for the library and stickers for the books amounted to Rs. 3,005. The total cost of the library amounted to Rs. 72,008. Continue reading