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Relief and Rehabilitation Desk Newsletter
CEYLON 050227-1
February 27, 2005

[The Church of Ceylon (E-P) - Ceylon] 

Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.


We are very happy to announce that Ms. Chrisahanthi Abeynaike has assumed duties as co-ordinator of the desk. She brings a wealth of administrative experience to the desk.

Below we give you a short summary of some of the projects undertaken by the relief desk. A detailed description with regard to our work in counselling is also provided separately in the newsletter.

A disaster management Programme including listening skills was conducted in Amparai at the Amparai Hospital by Dr. Narme F. Wickremesinghe earlier this month. Hospital staff, representative members of the armed services, police, public service and civil society attended the workshop.

We conducted a residential workshop at Kithusevana in Colombo for laypersons involved tsunami relief work. Four representatives of all the Anglican parishes in the affected areas attended.

The bishop has requested the archdeacons to set up Regional Advisory Committees, comprising Clergy, laity and selected affected persons to advise on appropriate rehabilitation needs of the regions. The respective archdeacon of the area will chair the committees.

We have received a request from the chief monk of the Sri Subadhrarama Viharaya in Kalmunai for assistance to rebuild the monks living quarters. We have requested a bill of quantities and a sketch of the proposed structure. We are also looking into organising a shramadana campaign where Christian youth will work together with Buddhist youth in the area.


Official documentation

The Legal Aid Commission of Sri Lanka is taking steps to help people get copies of official documentation lost due to the Tsunami. The Presidient of the Matara Bar Association who is conducting legal clinics among the displaced in the South, said that they are in the process of compiling information. However it is said to be a difficult task, given the fact that some people are still traumatised and have forgotten important information. The Legal Aid Commission is using a questionnaire to gather information, and working closely with government institutions, with a view to supplying these people with documents like birth certificates and identity cards.

1,060 children lost both parents in tsunami

Latest statistics reveal that 1,060 children had lost both parents to the tsunami tidal waves while 3,414 children had lost one parent. The department of Probation and Child Care Services have said that arrangements have already been made to appoint `competent persons' to entrust the care of 200 orphaned who lost both parents.

Demarcation of Boundaries

The survey general has said that the demarcation of the 100m boundaries on coastal areas will be completed before the end of February. Work in this regard has been completed in galle, while only another 1km needs to be completed in Kalutara, 4km in Matara and Hambantota, 24km in Batticaloa, 20km in Amparai and 47km in Trincomalee.

Railway lines

The Matara-Colombo train service has recommenced nearly three months after the tsunami waves destroyed the coastal railway line.


A number of trained specialists are being brought down to help conduct training programmes in the areas of counselling, trauma counselling and support group building for priests, lay workers, teachers, community leaders and lay people. A number of these programmes will be held concurrently from March to the end of May in tsunami-affected areas. Dr. Chrisantha perera, Dr. Wimala Ismail, Dr. Jeniffer Baughman and Dr. David Baughman have been invited in this regard. Their itineraries have been designed so that they will visit the South, the North and the East in order to strengthen the community infrastructure already in place to deal with problems of this nature.

We are also using these visits to revive the counselling mission of the cathedral and our long-term purpose is to train a select group of individuals who will be able to sustain counselling services at the cathedral premises. We are organising a six-month training programme in this regard.

In addition to this we have taken steps to facilitate the conducting of and a counselling workshop for theological students in Pilimatalawa. The duration of the course will be two and a half weeks.

A residential training course in counselling by Dr. Daya Somasundaram will also soon commence in Jaffna.


Matara: The displaced people in Matara are now being housed in several transit camps which are being managed by the government. The people are on the whole well looked after, apart from a few minor complaints with regard to the variety of food they receive. Demarcation of the 100m coastal boundary is almost complete. The church in Matara is attempting to organise a boat building and repairing workshop, similar to the one currently being carried out by the clergy in Batticaloa, Hambantota and Jaffna. They are currently in talks with various companies in this regard.

Batticaloa: Mr. Justin paul has been appointed as the coordinator for the Eastern Province. Mr. Paul travels to tsunami affected areas in the region and submits reports every day, helping to enhance the work carried out by the clergy in the area. The boat-repairing workshop has been temporarily discontinued, as the repair work was taking far too long to conclude. They are now in negotiations with another company in this regard. In addition to this, the diocese is looking into funding the building of catamarans and boats. Meanwhile the people in the area are now in transit camps and are cooking for themselves with utensils provided by various relief organisations.

Jaffna : From the 1st of March, a programme to hose orphaned schoolchildren in Killinochchi will be implemented. Under the programme. The children will be given hostel facilities and all other necessary facilities to continue their schooling. Under the first stage of the project, 40 school girls will be housed in the Karunaniliyam girls home. The boat building and repairing workshops which are currently being held out of doors will be moved to two sheds. The sheds will be constructed by the 15th of March. The counselling programmes are also continuing and counsellors have started visiting people in their villages instead of getting people to travel to the Karunaniliyam centre. Counsellors have started visiting the Uduthurai village and also Mulativu.

Hymn for Sri Lanka

O Father thou hast promised
The isles shall wait for thee
The joyous isles of ocean
The jewels of the sea
Lo we this island’s watchmen
Would give and take no rest
For thus has thou commanded
Till our dear land be blest

Then bless her mighty Father
With blessings needed most
In every verdant village
By every palmy coast
On every soaring mountain
O’er every spreading plain
May all her sons and daughters
Thy righteousness proclaim

Give peace within her borders
‘Twixt man and man goodwill
The love all unsuspicious
The love that works no ill
In loyal lowly service
Let each from other learn
The guardian and the guarded
Till Christ himself return

To Him our land shall listen
To Him our land shall kneel
All rule be on His shoulder
All wrong beneath His heel
O consummation glorious
Which now by faith we sing
Come cast we up the highway
That brings us back the King

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

District Secretariats