By Sri Lanka Relief Team (Originally in Sinhala)
In mid-May 2016, torrential rains brought on by Cyclone Roanu caused serious floods in the capital city of Colombo and landslides in the central mountainous area in Sri Lanka. In some locations, over 373 millimeters (14 inches) of water fell in 24 hours. At least 104 people lost their lives, with 99 missing. More than 300,000 people were displaced and over 5,000 homes were damaged or destroyed.
To provide timely assistance to the afflicted people, Supreme Master Ching Hai offered a US$19,000 relief fund. On the early morning of May 25, our Sri Lanka Association members welcomed a relief team that flew in from Formosa. Together, following Master’s instruction to assist those in need, we went to the temporary shelter at R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium in Colombo to discuss the situation with Lieutenant Colonel Mr. Pradeep Vithanarachchi. We then decided to go to an affected village in Kolonnawa District, a heavily flooded area in the city, where we requested a list of urgent supplies needed, accompanied by the Assistant Commissioner of Elections Mr. Nalaka Rathnayake.
The next day, we visited Kegalle District, where Mawanella Divisional Secretary Ms. M. M. P. Priyangani Pethangoda told us they were taking care of three camps where a total of 370 people were staying. We also went to three camps in Aranayaka Division guided by the staff there, and inquired about the immediate needs of the people.
Returning to Colombo, we spent the next two days preparing the required supplies and started the distribution process on May 29. On behalf of the victims in Mawanella, Ms. Priyangani Pethangoda accepted four sets of kitchenware, two large gas cylinders and gas burners with accessories. She said these supplies would make it easier for them to prepare food for the 370 people.
In Aranayaka Division, we delivered 140 mattresses, and undergarments for children and adults. According to Divisional Secretary Mr. A.M. Faizal, the mattresses would be stored in a district warehouse until the affected people were resettled. We also contributed kitchenware to the camps. Then, we went to the hospital to give the medical team stethoscopes and blood pressure monitors for when they examine individuals outside the clinic. Before leaving, we visited the children in a camp and distributed stationery that would be useful when they return to school. We are grateful to the suppliers who kindly waived the transportation fee, knowing the purpose of our work.
On May 30, we went block by block to distribute gas burner cookers in Kolonnawa District, accompanied by Assistant Commissioner Mr. Nalaka Rathnayake and Lieutenant Colonel Mr. Madugalla, who is the disaster relief commander of Colombo, Sri Lanka Army. Although it was time consuming, it was all worthwhile when we saw the smiles on the recipients’ faces.
The remaining of the 1,254 gas cookers were later given to needy families by our local team with the help of Assistant Commissioner Mr. Nalaka Rathnayake and the staff member of Kolonnawa Divisional Secretary’s office.
Our local Association members would like to thank our team from Formosa for their timely help. We are grateful for the opportunity to bring Master’s immense love and grace to the families and individuals who are facing difficulties.
Expenditures By Supreme Master Ching Hai and Her International Association For Flood and Landslide Relief Work In Sri Lanka
|1,254 burner gas cookers, two jumbo sets of kitchenware, 140 mattresses, kitchen supplies, undergarments, school stationery, stethoscopes and blood pressure monitors||2,824,052.50||A|
|Total|| LKR 2,824,052.50
The relief team members paid US$3,500 for their own transportation and accommodations.