Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the US Bernard A. B. Goonetilleke on Tuesday (06th September) handed over a cheque for US $ 25,000/- to the American Red Cross in Washington D.C. This was in fulfillment of the pledge made by Sri Lanka to help meet the expenses involved in the disaster relief activities, following the devastating hurricane Katrina.

Amb. Goonetilleke hands over cheque to David Meltzer, Senior Vice President of American Red Cross

Handing over the cheque, Ambassador Goonetilleke remarked that this modest contribution was being made available by the Government of Sri Lanka on behalf of its people, to express empathy with the affected victims. He added that it was also in appreciation of the overwhelming generosity of the American people, the corporate sector and the US Government, in the aftermath of the December 26 tsunami.

Ambassador Gooonetilleke also informed the US Red Cross that members of the Sri Lanka Medical Association of North America (SLMANA) stand ready to provide medical personnel to serve the survivors of hurricane Katrina. The Ambassador said he had taken up this matter when he participated in the Annual Sessions of the SLMANA held in Chicago on 2-3 September, attended by several hundred doctors of Sri Lankan origin presently living in various parts of the US. Their services will be rendered on a voluntary basis and they were awaiting information concerning the logistical arrangements to facilitate their deployment.

Ven. Dhammasiri and members of the Sri Lanka community in Washington participate in the ‘pan vadima’
to offer merit to those killed due to the hurricane

A memorial ceremony was also held at the Washington Buddhist Vihara in Washington DC on 4 September under the patronage of the Ven. Maharagama Dhammasiri Thera, Chief incumbent of the Vihara to offer merit to those who were killed due to the hurricane and to bestow blessings to those who have been affected by it. This event was attended by Ambassador Goonetilleke and a cross section of the Sri Lanka Community living in the Greater Washington area. Ven. Dhammasiri urged Sri Lankans to make donations towards helping those affected in America’s hour of need.

Embassy of Sri Lanka
Washington DC

06 Septmeber 2005


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