Baby Abilash and his parents, Murugupillai and Jenita Jeyarajah were brought to New York City in the week of March 2, 2005 by ABC News to appear on the “Good Morning America” program. While in New York, the recently united family toured the city, including a visit to Ground Zero of the World Trade Center site. During their visit the family had the opportunity of meeting with Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the United States Devinda R. Subasinghe and, the conversation with Ambassador Subasinghe was taped for a segment on the Good Morning America show which was aired on March 3, 2005.

Ambassador Subasinghe, in his conversation with Mr. and Mrs. Jeyarajah discussed the family’s plans for the future and Sri Lanka’s recovery efforts while Abilash peacefully slept. Mr. Jeyarajah, a barber by profession, stated that his family was very happy about the reunion with Abilash and wanted to rebuild their lives in their hometown, Kalmunai, which is located in the North- eastern coast of Sri Lanka. Mr. Jeyarajah’s home and barber shop were destroyed when the Tsunami struck. He also hoped that the world- wide attention baby Abilash’s story was receiving, would help the recovery efforts for the Kalmunai community and the children of Sri Lanka who have been affected by this tragic event. Ambassador Subasinghe added that, "The baby's survival and reunion with the family indicates a real sign of hope for the future of children, as well as, our country”.

The miracle baby Abilash was reunited with his family on Feb. 16th after a court ordered DNA test confirmed the parent’s identity. Abilash, who is now 4 months old, survived the December 26, 2004 Tsunami unharmed after his house was washed away and he was separated from his parents. Abilash was later found by a Good Samaritan and taken to hospital where the unidentified baby was the 81st patient admitted that day as a result of the Tsunami.

The Jeyarajah family traveled to Oregon this past weekend as honored guests for a Tsunami Recovery fund-raiser benefiting Sri Lankan children.

The Embassy of Sri Lanka would like to thank the United States Embassy in Colombo, ABC News Good Morning America program and specifically, Mrs. Lisa Sharkey for hosting the family and making their visit to the United States possible.

Embassy of Sri Lanka
Washington DC

07 March 2005

Related Stories and Links:

“Tsunami aid fund-raiser has perfect star” (The Oregonian)

“Tsunami Baby and Parents Tour NYC” (ABC News)

“Tsunami Survivor 'Baby 81' Visits America” (ABC News)

“Reporters Notebook: Sri Lanka and Baby 81” (ABC News)


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