For those of you who have been following what little coverage they offer on the news here, the 30-year conflict between the Sri Lankan government and the terrorist group known as the LTTE or Tamil Tigers for short has come to a head. While government forces have cornered the hardcore elements of the LTTE in a stretch of land about 10 km square at last report, thousands of innocent civilians have been caught in the middle and they are in dire need of food, clothing, medical attention, and shelter. I am passing on some information from a close family friend who was very involved in the effort to bring relief supplies and monetary aid to Sri Lanka after the tsunami. Now she has stepped up and sent me a request for aid which I am posting here. If you can help in any way, please do as the international community has somewhat shunned the Sri Lankan government.
* * *
Just as we did before to help the victims of the Tsunami, this is an appeal to all Sri Lankans to come forward and assist in meeting immediate needs of the innocent civilians in temporary centers. After years of living in fear, they need compassion and comfort to know that they are safe now. We have to do our part to support them from now on.
In the Maryland Area, a collection point has been arranged with Ven. K. Uparatana at the International Buddhist Center in Wheaton Maryland. Phone (301) 946-9437. 2600 Elmont Street, Wheaton, MD 20902-2760. Virginia and Baltimore can make arrangements or join one central location. Donors may contact the temple and deliver their donations of humanitarian supplies at this location. PLEASE SEE THE LIST BELOW. As for shipment, the Embassy is working out the necessary arrangements. Please circulate the appeal below to all parts of the US and connect with the Embassy for details.
April 24, 2009 MOST IMMEDIATE Urgent Appeal for Humanitarian Assistance to Civilians in Northern Sri Lanka Nearly 180,000 innocent civilians recently escaped from the LTTE captivity are now sheltered in temporary Welfare Centers set up in northern Sri Lanka. In view of the large numbers involved, supplying their essential needs such as food, clothing, medicine etc. requires a substantial amount of resources on daily basis. As such, all Sri Lankan expatriates and well-wishers are kindly requested to join hands in this hour of need and extend their maximum cooperation in organizing donations to support the above civilians. We would appreciate very much, if your temple / kovil / church / mosque / association / organization could give maximum publicity to this request among the Sri Lankan Diaspora and other well-wishes in your area and coordinate their donations. Donations could be in the form of either financial contributions or essential items.
Financial contribution has to be made only through bank checks, written in the name of “Embassy of Sri Lanka” and mailed to the attention of; Accounts Department, Embassy of Sri Lanka, 2148, Wyoming Avenue N. W., Washington D.C. 20008. All donors are requested to write “ Relief Fund for Northern Civilians” in the memo line of their checks. For the purpose of transparency, all financial donations will be recorded under a separate sub-account within the Embassy. The donors will be issued with official receipts in acknowledgment of their contributions. Further, a list of contributions will also be posted on the Embassy web site (www.slembassyusa.org) with the concurrence of the donors concerned. In order to facilitate this, please be good enough to include a brief note along with your bank checks, indicating your complete name, postal address and whether you have any objection to this Embassy posting your contribution details on its web site. For those who wish to contribute essential goods such as foodstuff, clothing etc., a list of most suitable items for donations is attached hereto. In order to facilitate distribution among civilians, the donors are kindly requested to pack their items in corrugated boxes, measuring 2’ x 2’ x 2’ approx. The donors may contact the nearest Sri Lankan temple / kovil / church / mosque / association / organization, that are expected to function as collection centers. All contributions will be channeled through the Presidential Secretariat, Colombo. Consignee address for your donation shipments will be posted on the Embassy website shortly.
With the objective of facilitating smooth coordination of donations, we have set up Special Task Forces at the Embassy of Sri Lanka – Washington D.C., Sri Lanka Permanent Mission to the UN – New York and Sri Lanka Consulate General Office – Los Angeles. Contact details of these Task Forces are given below.
Embassy of Sri Lanka – Washington D.C. Tel: 202 483 4025 / 6 Fax. 202 232 7181 E-mail: email@example.com
Contact Persons: Mr. Tissa Wijeratne / Deputy Chief of Mission Tel: 202 234 9705 / Cell: 202 446 6845
Mr. P. Selvaraj / Minister (Admin.) Tel: 202 667 9043 / Cell: 202 340 0032
Maj. Gen. Samantha Sooriyabandara / Defense Attaché Tel: 202 483 5096 / Cell: 202 390 3034
Mr. Ali Zahir Moulana / Minister (Economic) Tel: 202 355 1180 / Cell: 202 390 2949
Sri Lanka Mission to the UN – New York Tel: 212 986 7040 41 Fax: 212 986 1838 E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org Contact Persons: Mr. R. K. S. Suresh Chandra / Deputy Permanent Representative Tel: 212 867 1243 Ms. Muditha Halliyadde / First Secretary 212 983 4402 Sri Lanka Consulate General – Los Angeles Tel. 213 387 0210 / 11 Fax 213 387 0216 E-mail email@example.com Contact Person: Mr. Asoka Godawita / Consul (Commerce) Tel: 213 387 0214 In case you need any further clarifications, please contact the nearest Task Force. Thank you very much for your kind cooperation. Embassy of Sri Lanka Washington D.C. =================================================================== LIST OF ITEMS MOST SUITABLE FORDONATIONS Foodstuff: Milk powder Sugar Canned food (beans / chickpeas / corn / seafood) Instant Noodles Biscuits Clothing (No used Cloths Please): For Men, Women and Children Trousers / Shirts / T-shirts / Skirts / Blouses etc. Underwear Towels Bed sheets Toiletries: Soap Toothpaste Toothbrush Shampoo Razors Disinfectants (Dettol) Combs Other: Tents / Temporary shelters Baby feeding bottles Band-aid Bandages Candles Slippers Saucepans =