The two countries most affected by the December 26 tsunami are Indonesia and Sri Lanka. In Sri Lanka the eastern coast took the brunt of tidal waves. The death toll in the northeastern parts is 20,279 (Two-thirds of the total tsunami deaths in Sri Lanka).
As of 7-Jan-05, 6,725 are still missing. The number injured is over 5000. 110,000 people have been displaced from their homes destroyed by the tsunami, and are being fed, clothed and housed in temporary shelters.
This area, which suffered the most damage, is under rebel control and is the most impoverished due to the war. The government is reluctant to send (internationally donated) relief supplies to this part of the country.
"Aid efforts in Sri Lanka are being hampered by obstruction from the island’s air force, inappropriate supplies and a lack of co-ordination on the ground, a British aid worker said today… The Sri Lankan air force is very powerful because of the war and they have a lot of control. They say they want to check that the aid is not going to any Tamil organization." [Caroline Gammell; The Scotsman; 10 Jan 2005]
The Tamils Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) has been providing disaster relief in this region with its own funds and also coordinates the activities of other international NGOs. Several international observers have complemented the TRO for its competence and efficiency.
"In a well-practiced drill, squads set up roadblocks to control panic and prevent looting. Others requisitioned civilian vehicles to move the injured to hospitals. Many donated blood. Teams with digital cameras and laptops moved into disaster zones to photograph the faces of the dead for later identification, then swiftly cremated or buried the corpses. [Arthur Max; Associated Press; 2 January 2005]
"Well-coordinated relief arrangements put in place within so short a time are all really commendable." Carol Bellamy, executive director of UNICEF, after an onsite visit to the tsunami-affected NorthEast.
"The Tamil Rehabilitation Organization, or TRO, has been assisting not only Tamil Hindus in the northeast but also Buddhist Sinhalese and Muslim families." [Boston Globe editorial 5-Jan 2005]
The TRO is the most experienced disaster relief agency in the NorthEast because it served in the area for much of the 20-year civil war.
In a report to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in person [9-Jan-05], the TRO said:
"Our organization mobilized immediately by clearing dead bodies and debris. In the period leading up to yesterday, we have dispatched 137 trucks (938 metric tones) of relief items (which includes volumes of international aid and government distribution), clothing and food items, tents for 3,200 families and 40,000 temporary sanitation facilities in collaboration with international organizations. Jointly with other organization we have 40 operational medical units. In the Jaffna district, we have effectively consolidated 35 camps into 17 currently operated by us and other local organizations."
TRO is ready to start Phase II and III of the relief rehabilitation work and needs your help. TRO is a registered NGO in Sri Lanka.
Its affiliate TRO-USA is registered in the United States with Tax Exempt Status granted by the IRS 501(c) (3) code [Tax ID 52-19-43868].
TRO-USA is a voluntary organization with NO overhead expenses. One hundred percent of donations are used for emergency relief and the ongoing rehabilitation of northeastern Sri Lanka.
We are grateful to the United States government for having pledged support. President Bush also has asked the American people to be generous to the tsunami victims.
Please give generously.
We Assure Every Penny Goes to the Victims.
- 1 866 424 0777
- 1 732 424 2005
- 1 732 424 5678
- 517 Old Town Road
Cumberland, Maryland 21502
"We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give." Sir Winston Churchill
Posted January 16, 2005