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Message from Jerome

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  • max
    Dear Max, Thanks for the mail and we are safe here. Colombo does not affected much but the other costal areas were affected seriously and we lost nearly 30 000
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 30, 2004
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      Dear Max,

      Thanks for the mail and we are safe here. Colombo does not affected
      much but the other costal areas were affected seriously and we lost
      nearly 30 000 lives so far. It is expecting more than 50 000 in Sri
      Lanka. It is a huge loss for us since we are tiny Island. I was
      visiting the affected areas in the East yesterday. It was really sad
      to hear their stories. Hope everthing will be fine in few days.

      Take care,
      Jerome.
    • max
      Dear CJPA comrades: Recently I wrote to Jerome asking if it would be helpful for one or two of us from CJPA to visit Sri Lanka to help in the cleanup etc.
      Message 2 of 2 , Jan 4, 2005
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        Dear CJPA comrades: Recently I wrote to Jerome asking if it would be
        helpful for one or two of us from CJPA to visit Sri Lanka to help in
        the cleanup etc. His response, copied below, suggests that now is
        not the right time for such a visit. However, at a future time it
        might be good for us to make a visit and offer some of our strength
        and energy to help out. We will continue to rely on Jerome to help
        us in deciding when and how.

        In the meantime, I urge all to use all of your creative abilities and
        energy to think of ways to be supportive and encouraging at this
        difficult time. If you want to sent some medicines as Jerome has
        suggested, you can send them to the National Council of Churches in
        Sri Lanka. Contact Jerome for details.

        peace......max


        Dear Max:

        Its nice to hear from you. Well, according to my humble
        knowledge and the experiences that I had recently with regard to the
        Tsunami disaster there is a huge number of foreign aid agencies, UN,
        foreign governments and other local and International NGOs are
        working in the Island in relief activities. There were people like
        social activists, journalists, Church workers visited to the country
        and did what they could as well as collected the details of the
        situations. Even I was involved in guiding the foreign people to
        visit the affected areas. Most of them were just visiting the areas
        and sending the news for their countries. Though it is a good way to
        collect aid in their countries this kind of collecting news and
        visiting the unclear areas (not controlling by the Government) h
        raised suspicions among some people as well as some armed groups.
        Therefore these kind of visiting are now strictly controlling by the
        government.

        As you may know there are a huge number of foreign military troops
        have arrived in the Island and many are expected to arrive soon.
        According to the unofficial statements around 1500 troops of the US
        military will be arrive soon with all there military equipments. So
        these kinds of activities are not safe for our country in future for
        our defense. Therefore the government is very strict of foreign
        visitors now days.

        Though the armed groups in the country are now joined together with
        the government in the relief works they still have suspicions on the
        people who are visiting the people from foreign countries as well as
        from the local government officials; because the government and the
        other groups are still expecting spies from various ways to the
        country.

        Also I should mention that people who are coming through media and
        other Government relief teems are allowed to go into the field.

        There is also another problem began that the government says that
        foreign aid coming to the Churches as well as to the Church based
        organizations are should be distributed by the government not by the
        Churches because it is free of duty. So the churches also facing
        difficulties on their relief work as well as their foreign visitors
        to the Island.

        Since this the current situation here I would suggest you not to pay
        a visit to this country now. It will take some more time to solve all
        these practical issues in relief work and to build a good
        understanding among the parties. But at the same time as you know,
        new needs will be raised in near future and also the people will need
        counseling and other related works.

        When distributing goods is also now controlled by the government and
        you cannot distribute them directly to the people. Max, if you really
        willing to send something to the people here, the most important is
        the medicines such as Antibiotics and other pain killers. Food and
        others we are getting more than we needed. If you are sending
        anything please send those to the NCC, and then we can get it without
        duty.

        Again I don't think that this is not the correct time to visit here
        and you should need advises from the other friends in the country
        too. When the situations are OK as CJPA members we can plan something
        for the people here according to there need.

        Take care,
        Loving,
        Jerome.
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