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Tsunami 3 years on: Remembering Prasanna Kirtisinghe

"Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy."

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Sri Lanka: Tsunami two years on

Out of the womb of sightless night – bring out the word of healing strong

Colombo, 26 December, 2007

Two years after Sri Lanka faced death and destruction of unimaginable proportions there is much soul searching. Many are the questions being asked – where did the aid  money go, how many houses were built, how many are more to be build, what went wrong and what did we do right, did we forget the people concentrating on statistics? – the search for answers continue…. One thing for sure we couldn’t do was to unite the people of this land. We did unite very briefly in the immediate aftermath but that was just a very very brief moment.

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Tsunami Recovery: It’s the people that matter

“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” – Kahlil Gibran

This is a truth that some of us forgot in the tsunami recovery swamped by statistics. We got side tracked by numbers – the 100 metre no built zone, number of houses being built, amount of cash grants, goods dispersed etc. We failed in many instances to value our own compassion and to recognize and support the tough resilience of the survivors. The handful I kept in touch with and met repeatedly said they are driven by one focused need – to see that their children get a good education. This is a first look at mothers and a grandmother who are striving to do that with an abiding love for their offsprings shining through.

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A look back twenty four moons after the tsunami

“Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding” – Khalil Gibran

The fragrance of cinnamon mingled with the salty sea breeze wafted in as I walked into the garden of our house in Hikkaduwa on the second anniversary of the tsunami. The cinnamon twigs were piled up on the back verandah. “we are  rebuilding the fence on the seaside,” said Gunadasa, our caretaker, a polio victim when young, he survived the tsunami.

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A Look Back at Tsunami

I met Shanika and her father Priyantha from Pereliya, when I went searching for Shainika at the request of Shahidul Alam who had first photographed her soon after the tsunami and written about her in a story titled the Human Spirit.

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