SRI LANKANS IN GREATER WASHINGTON COMMEMORATE
THE THIRD ANNIVERSARY OF THE TSUNAMI AT IBC IN WHEATON, MARYLAND
A special religious program to commemorate the
third anniversary of the tsunami and to remember all those who
suffered in the devastation in 2004, was held at the International
Buddhist Center in Wheaton, Maryland, on Friday, December 28,
Religious prayers were conducted by Ven. Katugastota
Uparatana Nayake Thera and the Anushana was delivered by Ven.
Kirinde Dhammaloka Thera.
Delivering the tsunami memorial speech, chief
guest Ambassador Bernard Goonetilleke said that the effects of
the tsunami which occurred three years ago, still linger on in
the lives of Sri Lankans. He said that while we try to understand
this natural calamity in the light of the Buddha’s philosophy,
we need to bolster the strength of our society with whatever assistance
we can provide. The Ambassador informed the Sri Lankans of the
Greater Washington area who had gathered at the commemoration,
that about 80% of those displaced by the tsunami have already
been resettled. Devastated infrastructure and medical facilities
have been rebuilt and one hundred schools have replaced those
destroyed by the tsunami, while more than 80 are under reconstruction.
The Ambassador expressed his deep appreciation of the generosity
and compassion of the international community and Sri Lankan expatriates
living in all parts of the world, who gave their utmost help they
could to Sri Lanka in its hour of dire need and distress.
The Ambassador thanked the Coalition of Sri Lankan
Americans (COSLA) for its efforts at organizing the religious
program. The President of COSLA, Mr. Sudath Gunasekera who spoke
at the event said that even though more than 30,000 people died
in the tsunami three years ago, memories of the tragedy slowly
fade away with time, and that events such as this were necessary
to keep alive the memories to remind all the extent of the catastrophe
and the need to assist those who were affected, who are still
in need of help. He also handed over to the Ambassador, some medical
equipment to be sent to Sri Lanka.
Embassy of Sri Lanka
03 January 2008