Let’s give a moment’s silence for the 150 poorest of the poor buried alive in mud. RIP !!

Dear friends,

I am the most rubbish blogger or website writer or whoever.  My motherhood and otherhood life is too busy and demanding to consistently write and respond on the digital media. I hardly have time to read. But this is different. At times like this, you are once again reminded of who you are and what hardship is borne and tragedy encountered by the communities on a little island which surely has had more than its fair share of disaster.

Meeriyabeddawatte is in the Badulla district and many have heard of it since Thursday.  Likewise, we  got a geography lesson in Mullaivaikkal and Aranthalawa and Kokillai and the entire world realised during the Tsunamis of 2004 where Banda Aceh and Sri Lanka were located on the world map. Maybe it’s not just the Americans who learn geography of the world in strange ways eh?

Screen shot 2014-10-31 at 10.23.36 AMOne hundred and fifty people are now given up for dead, buried alive in mud.  In an ironic twist, the custom of parents to send all the kids to school saved the children or most of them from being killed, but left them orphaned. Too many of them. Poor little souls. My FB friend whose been living awhile in Badulla District, Padraig Colman’s blog is a responsible read on the tragedy.

A line room is a sad place to begin with.  It is a phenomenon that should not continue to be a ‘home’ in the Sri Lankan landscape and the poor Tamils of Indian Origin brought as near-slaves by the British from India to work in the tea plantations continue to live in these sad circumstances. When I read on Cesar Chavez’ s nonviolent campaign it was all too close to home and to the sad state of some of these tea estate workers.

If you would like to help, there are many calls put out on Facebook.

The catholic church has put out theirs. Sirasa is collecting for a lorry that leaves by nidnight tonight SL time.

My friends have created whatsapp groups and messaged us overseas.

I am trying to call my cousin’s home – he is the Chief of the Paediatric Hospital in Badulla.

I will be adding numbers to this or a new post. Please feel free to add your info as a comment below.

In all this, one of the proud moments is to see the speed of disaster response among ordinary people. The Government and churches and institutions are not lagging behind it appears.  All respect to the armed forces who scrabbled with their bare hands for survivors in the first rescue operations.  We have had a period of relative calm recently. I was stung by how each tragedy brings it all back somehow. The long shadow cast by the memory of pain, tears, tragic loss and damning sensation is revived by news on a community yet again suffering in Sri Lanka.

tea 150 dead, too many missing, 60 line rooms, 2 houses, a Kovil, A supermarket, a playground… a village, a community.

When you drink your next cup of tea, savour it, sip it slowly and observe a minute’s silence for the poorest of the poor who are today’s victims of an incredible tragedy.

Note: Harin Fernando’s callout:

Harin Fernando the famous record-breaking politician has published his. Call  Bala on 072 9113305 or email harinfernando@hotmail.com.

“My dear friends
With an extremely heavy heart I wish to put on record that I was in Meeriyabedda, Koslanda in Haldummulla whole of yesterday and today to offer my condolences to victims of this unimaginable disaster and also to see how best we as citizens of Sri Lanka could help this very innocent and poor people living well below the poverty lines.
About 400 persons are reported missing, submerged due to an earth slip owing to torrential rain and regretfully many are feared dead. A geographical area of about 200 to 250 acres have been effected and many other areas are deemed as high risk.
In a few days’ time, we will able to gauge the lives lost, the seriously injured and the long suffering. I honestly don’t have any idea at this stage of the physical and emotional recovery process which would be very long, lengthy and painful journey.
My dear friends, It will be with the support of people like you that will measure our compassion for others and our fellow citizens.
We are in dire need of following items
1) Drinking Water
2) Food ( dry rations & non-perishable items )
3) Milk Powder
4) Clothing ( Ladies Kaftans, gents sarongs and tshirts, kids clothing and blankets since its very cold )
5) Temporary Shelter
6) Personal Hygiene Products ( Toothbrushes / Soap / Toothpaste / Sanitarywear For Ladies & Infants )
7) Medicine.
8) Volunteers ( Doctors / Nurses / Physiatrists etc
9) cash donation for minor expenses
As we ask for your generous financial support ( in cash or kind ) to rebuild their lives in a way that can bring the most comfort during these very difficult times, I would earnestly like to request for your heartfelt prayers to those who were lucky to survive, injured from this calamity and also the diseased. Please be kind enough to re-forward this message to people whom you might think will be generous and kind enough to help us.
Those who wish to step forward to help this worthy cause, please feel free to directly get in touch with my staff Bala on < 072 9113305> or email me harinfernando@hotmail.com
Yours sincerely
Harin Fernando”

Credits: Above photo of soldiers in rescue operations credited to this website http://www.nst.com.my/node/47846