By Sri Lanka Relief Team (Originally in Sinhala)
In late December 2014, several days of heavy rainfall and high winds caused severe flooding and landslides in Sri Lanka. It is estimated that 1.1 million people were affected, with 39 losing their lives and over 6,400 houses being destroyed. Thousands of families were displaced and had to stay at schools and temples converted to relief centers by the government.
Very concerned for those affected, our beloved Supreme Master Ching Hai graciously offered US$10,000 in relief funds and asked our local Association members to provide material comfort and convey Her love. In January, one of our Sri Lankan Association members and several friends thus formed a team and visited four severely hit areas to determine the people’s needs and deliver supplies.
On January 8, 2015, our team distributed relief packages to 47 families staying temporarily at the Galahitiyawa Temple in the village of Galahitiyawa near Thanthirimale in the North Central Province. Each package contained rice, dhal (legumes), other dry foods, bed sheets, sarongs for the men and chintz cloths (traditional colorful fabric) for the women. The recipients were delighted to receive the items and sincerely thanked Master for Her love and concern.
On January 16, based on information received from a company in Kilinochchi, our relief team was able to bring 219 packages of needed supplies including vegan foods, soap, medicine, and notebooks for school children to affected residents of six remote villages in the Kilinochchi region of the Northern Province. The people also received mosquito nets and lanterns. Even though our team members did not speak their language, the recipients’ happiness could be readily seen in their sparkling eyes.
On January 23, accompanied by the divisional secretary of the village of Medirigiriya in the North Central Province, we distributed 75 packages to families in the village, which is near the town of Polonnaruwa. The secretary offered his sincere thanks to Master for providing timely aid to those in need.
Continuing our efforts in the North Central Province, on January 28, our relief team delivered more packages to 35 families in the village of Siyabalagaswewa, near the town of Thanthirimale. Venerable Chief Thero of Siyabalagaswewa Temple, who assisted us, expressed his special thanks to Master for the loving kindness She extended to the Sri Lankan people.
Expenditures by Supreme Master Ching Hai for Flood Relief Work in Sri Lanka
|Galahitiyawa Relief: food (rice, dhal and other dry foods), bed sheets, sarongs and chintz cloth for 47 families||178,899.50||A|
|Kilinochchi Relief: food (rice, dhal, sugar, potatoes, onions, tea leaves, gram flour, soya protein etc.), soap, medicine, notebooks for school children, mosquito nets and lanterns for 219 families||706,949.00||B|
|Medirigiriya Relief: food (rice, sugar, dhal, onions, potatoes, soya protein, gram flour, tea leaves etc.), sarongs, chintz cloth, towels, school supplies and sweets for children for 75 families||297,879.75||C|
|Siyabalagaswewa Relief: food (rice, sugar, dhal, onions, potatoes, soya protein, gram flour, tea leaves etc.), sarongs, chintz cloth, towels and bed sheets for 35 families||121,655.00||D|
|Total|| LKR 1,305,383.25