I wanted to make this site in dedicationg of the people I've met from this unique nation over these past years. First, Junius, who went to UMM for 2 years (98'-01'). Below is an e-mail I got from him...
From: "Junius G"
Subject: Re: Sal-Hi from Morris....
Sal (and others I've randomly cc-ed),
Thanks for your concern. Most of my immediate relatives in Sri Lanka live in-land, so they are alright. I have an uncle we have not heard from who lives near Galle--one of the worst hit cities--and we can only hope he wasn't near the shore. The village my father grew up in and the town I used to live near were destroyed. The main road I took from the village to the school I attended has been washed away. Our family's friend was unfortunate enough to have relatives on a seaside train from Colombo to Galle.
While a local fund has been set up in the Fargo-Moorhead area by the Singhalese community, I believe the most helpful thing you can do is to encourage people to contribute to the various international relief funds if they're able to do so. Sadly, it's the poorest people who are most affected. They're normally ignored even by natives--not to mention the international community. It takes this tragedy to focus attention on them.
Kind regards and best wishes for the New Year,
Asian Tsunami hits Sri Lanka, Part I
"‘We organized this festival to bring Tamil and Sinhala artistes, poets, writers and scholars from all parts of the country to foster and build harmony between the communities that have been divided by the two decade old war.’
But the war mongers who were dedicated to Sinhala supremacy were spewing their hateful propaganda two days before the conference was to be held."
"However one railroad official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said two train guards traveling in the last car survived. The official said he thought some passengers had survived through he didn't know how many."
"Here in Galle, authorities estimate that as many 2,000 people were killed in the disaster, most of them in the commercial area of town and at the bus station. Armed police and troops are patrolling the streets and have imposed a nighttime curfew to prevent looting. In contrast to Weligama, where there is little organized relief effort, bulldozers have begun to remove rubble from the streets of Galle and push upturned vehicles out of the road."
Second, "Mary", who just recently married an old UMM pal this month.
Orphans in Sri Lanka Saved From Tsunami by the Hand of God
"When the tsunamis hit there was much devastation but in the story, reported by CNN, a man talks about how God delivered him and some orphan children from the storm."
-Videos The Asian tsunami on the 26th December (part1), from youtube.com "The Asian tsunami on the 26th December 2004 killed over 40,000 people in Sri Lanka. Thousands of those missing were never recovered. Many of the small, coastal villages in southern and eastern Sri Lanka were completely destroyed. (more) " Asian Tsunami 26 December 2004, from youtube.com "This video shows how destructive a tsunami can be"
"In the 14th century, a south Indian dynasty seized power in the north and established a Tamil kingdom. Occupied by the Portuguese in the 16th century and by the Dutch in the 17th century, the island was ceded to the British in 1796, became a crown colony in 1802, and was united under British rule by 1815. As Ceylon, it became independent in 1948; its name was changed to Sri Lanka in 1972. Tensions between the Sinhalese majority and Tamil separatists erupted into war in 1983. Tens of thousands have died in the ethnic conflict that continues to fester. After two decades of fighting, the government and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) formalized a cease-fire in February 2002 with Norway brokering peace negotiations. Violence between the LTTE and government forces intensified in 2006, but neither side has formally withdrawn from the cease-fire."
"...Indo-Aryan emigration from India in the 5th century B.C. came to form the largest ethnic group on Sri Lanka today, the Sinhalese. Tamils, the second-largest ethnic group on the island, were originally from the Tamil region of India and emigrated between the 3rd century B.C. and A.D. 1200. Until colonial powers controlled Ceylon (the country's name until 1972), Sinhalese and Tamil rulers fought for dominance over the island..."
"...Famous for the production and export of tea, coffee, rubber and coconuts, Sri Lanka boasts a progressive and modern industrial economy. The natural beauty of Sri Lanka's tropical forests, beaches and landscape, as well as its rich cultural heritage, make it a world famous tourist destination..."