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Relief and Rehabilitation Desk Newsletter 2 - Diocese of Colombo
CEYLON 050113-1
January 13, 2005

Local Circular – No. 2

[The Church of Ceylon (E-P) - Ceylon] “As we bury our dead, it is important that we bury our differences”
Fr. Stephen Leader Volunteer nurse involved in the relief work


Lost Vehicles

Persons who lost their cars or motor cycles following the tsunami contact the police on 2433671 or 2421111 Ext: 141, or DIG Jayantha Wickremeratne on 2421111 Ext: 329 or 0722244088 for further information.

State Documentation

CNO asks people affected by the Tsunami, who have now moved to new areas, to register their details with the district secretariats in the areas they are now in. This is to aid the documentation of displaced people. People who have lost their ID cards are advised to furnish information to the nearest police station or grama niladhari.

Identification of Train Crash Victims

Photographs of 80 victims of the Kahawa train tragedy will be displayed at the Colombo Court Medical Office on a 24 hour basis. The clothes, belongings and jewellery on the bodies of 245 persons are at the Meetiyagoda police station. People who identify the bodies through these items will be issued a free identification certificate.

Please bring a copy of the missing persons complaint filed with the police, ID card and any other documentation that proves relations with the victims.


The Ministry of Small and Rural Industries and the Central Bank have set up programmes to revive small and medium industries affected by the Tsunami. Ministry information centre - Tel - 2665120.

Statistics on children

Statistics of children who lost both parents from an immediate assessment in the Southern Province by the NCPA and UNICEF:

Galle 33
Matara 21
H’tota 46
Total 100
* this total has not taken in to account children who are living with relatives.

A hotline will soon be set up by the NCPA and Police for all child related complaints.


People are slowly moving back to villages affected by the Tsunami. Plans to move the whole town of Hambantota 4 miles interior towards Gonnoruwa are being considered. Residents are not happy with government plans to build apartment complexes to replace damaged houses.

People are still living in temporary shacks and tents. Schools in LTTE controlled areas will reopen on the 17th, so the camps in schools are still operational.

Initial demand for emergency rations is waning, as the numbers in the camps are decreasing. Displaced people are being encouraged to go back to their homes but they still need food & temporary accommodation. The immediate need now is to equip these people with the basic house-hold goods for moving into their semi-permanent homes.

There are about 78 people from all faiths in this camp. The people are fed well and have adequate medical facilities.

Foreign Troops have arrived in the East from the Royal Navy and from the US Forces. Most of the camps that were in schools have been vacated with the exception of S. Michael’s and S. Cecilia’s. Government Officials are asking for land to relocate the camps. Overcrowding is still a problem, but has been somewhat eased by the donations of tents. In Usainmadu there are refugees from 3 villages. A team of French doctors have set up a medicine camp there.


In response to the need for counselling, the Desk is networking with counselling experts (both local and foreign) to organise training programmes.

Jaffna Archdeaconry Counselling Programmes

Karunaniliam in Killinochchi will be used as a counselling centre running programmes 7 days of the week. The proposed programmes lined up are…

** Two month training programme for 50 ‘befrienders’ from within the affected communities.

** Training for Teachers – To deal with students who might be traumatised. These will be short workshops and will be held before school re-commences. Programmes will be mainly along the coastal areas.

** Training for Health Workers and Authorities

Information and Documentation

The Desk is taking steps to net work with authorities to ease the process of documentation. We are in contact with a group of Presidents’ Scouts and also Law Faculty Students who are also exploring ways of streamlining this process. No concrete programmes have been embarked on as the gathering of information and the networking with authorities is still taking place.


Daily News - ‘Trains beyond Kalutara in next two weeks’- Transport minister Felix Perera said that given the pace of the reconstruction, it will be possible to extend the service up to Aluthgama earlier than expected.

Daily News - The Samurdhi and Poverty Alleviation Ministry will issue new Samurdhi coupons to all Samurdhi beneficiary families who lost their coupons in the tsunami tidal wave disaster.

Lankadeepa – The Government is taking steps to treat the missing as dead and pay families compensation. President Chandrika Kumaratunge has asked parliament to make the necessary amendments to the Law so that this can be expedited. The law at present only allows the treating of the missing as dead after a period of one year. These amendments will be made so as to hasten the payment of compensation.

Sunday Times - The lack of sanitary facilities, especially for women, has become a crisis in certain areas. Only 60 temporary toilets presently exist in Kalmunai, but plans to construct 1 toilet per 25 families is under way.

Daily News - O/L and A/L information The 2005 G.C.E Ordinary level exams will be held as scheduled. The Dept. of Examinations will also issue fresh O/L and A/L certificates free of charge to those who lost them in the Tsunami disaster.


Rev. Stephen Leader from St. Johns Church in Middlesex England, worked as a nurse in at least 4 camps in Deniyaya, Matara. Speaking of his experiences, Fr. Stephen related how he tried to help children express their feelings. Fr. Stephen said that during one of his visits he had created a hen by blowing up one of the latex gloves used by doctors at the camps. “I showed it to the children and asked them to name the chicken” he said.

“They named it rankikili. Next I asked them if the chicken was happy or sad; they said it was sad. So I drew a sad face on the chicken and I told them that the only way they could make rankikili happy was by telling it how they felt.” “I don’t know how successful Rankikili has been” he adds, “But I sincerely hope that it has done them some good.”


Summary of statistics as of 12th January 2005

Camps 457
Missing persons 6,038
Deaths 30,893
Displaced Persons 441,410
Displaced Families 73,154
Injured 15,256
(From the Centre for National Operations website - www.cnosrilanka.org )

Important Church Contacts

Relief and Rehabilitation Desk - 0114740261, diocese_reliefdesk@wow.lk
NCC Temporary Relief Unit 0115335276/5335186 tru@nccsl.org
Bishop’s Office – 0112 696208, bishop@eureka.lk
Archdeacon of Colombo 0112-696363, diocol@eureka.lk
Archdeacon of Galle 0912246064, archdg@sltnet.lk
Archdeacon of Jaffna 0212222270, neshan@sltnet.lk
Archdeacon of N’eliya 057-2232481, archdenu@eureka.lk

Important Phone Numbers

Centre for National Operations (CNO)

CNO Education Desk

CNO Health Desk


District Secretariats










368/3 Bauddhaloka Mw, Colombo – 07, Sri Lanka, Tel – 0114740261, Fax – 0114-740347, email - diocese_reliefdesk@wow.lk