Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Sri Lanka Benefits in Atlanta, LA, and New York area

Crossposted at SEA EAT. Thanks to D'Lo for sending this:

Greetings, everyone.

As you may have already known, I had left Sri Lanka only hours before the Tsunami hit - only to return to the States to hear of the great devastation, including the death of a dear friend of mine and her mother.

I’m hella thankful that it wasn’t in God’s plan for me to be on the beach on the 26th of December (which is what normally is scheduled every year we go), but it made me hella sad not to be there to help. I am sure that the amount of hurt and feelings of helplessness was felt by all who identify on a national or ancestral level with the countries that got hit.

Immediately, a non-profit was formed by a friend and I to make sure that relief supplies and funds were going to the places in Sri Lanka that weren’t mentioned on the news or places that are hard to reach. Attached is a letter stating what it is that we are doing.

It’s funny, y’know. With so much corruption and everyday occurrences that reflect a lack of compassion from people, it is easy to lose faith in the human race. But what has happened to renew my faith has been the immense amount of love and support from close friends AND acquaintances as well as the community at large. It seems that everyone has donated something to the cause, whether it be money, supplies or food – and if they didn’t have much to give, the amount of volunteering has been heart warming. The aftermath of the tsunami has made many a people’s lives hectic with organizing aide to those countries affected and unfortunately there hasn’t been time for much else. I’m writing this letter to say thankyou to all of you who have shown their concern, empathized with and prayed for those of us who are going through this process of mourning- your love is not ignored and will not be forgotten.
If you didn’t know where Sri Lanka was, now you won’t forget. Unfortunately, on the negative side, the relief efforts have been at times overshadowed by the politics between the North and South. On a positive note, the organizing efforts have shown their faces through emergency non-profits and relief movements all over the world. Wanting to bring the larger Sri Lankan community together, I would like to share the different efforts that I am involved with so that you may find the time or money or supplies to donate to whatever you feel best fits your ability KNOWING that it will all go to a worthy and bridge-connecting cause.

Arts Events
Minneapolis – Jan 23
New York – Jan 15th (Brooklyn)
(shows being organized in both Los Angeles and New York) specifically for rebuilding/rehabilitation efforts for the months of March and April
Non- Profit – Aide to Sir Lankan Tsunami Victims

In solidarity and with love to all those who have lost people
and those who are dedicating their lives helping rebuild,

From Diasporaflow (arts org. in Minneapolis founded by 2 Sri Lankan Americans):

Over 47,000 Sri Lankans have died from the tsunamis and one million are homeless. Sri Lanka is in great need of financial support to aid the survivors and help in the rebuilding process. We are in a position of great power and privilege and with that privilege comes the responsibility to aid people who have been left injured and without shelter. Diaspora Flow, a Sri Lankan run 501(c)3 nonprofit arts organization, has started an initiative called The Sri Lanka Relief Fund, a coalition of Tamil and Sinhala Sri Lankans committed to the long-term rebuilding of the lives of all Sri Lankans (Sinhala, Tamil, and Muslim) affected by this destruction. A benefit show will be held on January 23rd, We firmly believe in the power of art to create social change, please click on Benefit Show for more info. All donations will go to provide basic needs as well as long-term rebuilding projects in the Eastern Province. ALL funds will go directly to aid survivors, absolutely no overhead costs on our end or the volunteers doing the work in Sri Lanka.This has been one of the most traumatic times in the history of our country. The crisis has nothing to do with politics or ethnic conflict. This is a natural disaster that has affected everyone on the island. What took lifetimes to create was destroyed within a few hours. It will take years to rebuild the lives of the coastal regions. We urge everyone to donate in this time of great need.
If you have questions about the fund, email us at: please feel free to contact any of the people below:
Pradeepa 612-237-7670
Chamindika 651-489-8393
Vinothini (Vino) 763-443-1320
Amirthini (Amu) 763-639-6833


Diaspora Flow presents a Benefit Show forThe Sri Lanka Relief Fund Sunday, January 23rd 7 pmreception following showsliding scale : $10-to as much as you want to give!!!!!Coffman Memorial Union Theater at the University of Minnesota 300 Washington Ave. S.E. Minneapolis, MN 55455

We're deeply grateful for the donation of time from all artists, but especially those coming out of state/country, taking days out of their schedule:
D'Lo, Sri Lankan performance artist from L.A. will also MC the evening.
Rose of the music group Lal, from Toronto.
participating local artists:
DJ Don Cuco Sri Lankan
composer/musician Manjunan GnanaratnamSri Lankan
visual artists Chamindika and Sumitra Wanduragala, whose posters will also be raffled off for the fund
Sri Lankan dancer/choreographer Pradeepa Jeevamanoharan in collaboration with dancer Annelize Machado


Dear Friends and Family,

As you by now are aware, the tsumani that washed over much of South and South East Asia and parts of Africa has devastated humanity in many ways.
1) Almost 120,000 to date are dead.
2) Over nine major nations have been severely affected.
3) 5 million people are at risk without food, shelter, or water.

Sri Lanka's death toll stands at 45, 000 people. Over 15,000 people are missing. Over one million people are homeless.

In affirmation that we are indeed one world, our brothers and sisters from various nations have stepped up to the plate in organizing various relief efforts. In solidarity and fueled by the pain and suffering of our ancestral home, Aide to Sri Lankan Tsunami Victims was created.
Aide to Sri Lankan Tsunami Victims was organized in Los Angeles by Nisha Rodrigo and D'Lo, both Sri Lankan Americans from opposite sides of the tracks (Nisha being Singhalese and D'Lo being Tamil). Maintaining a friendship over years, the decision to create the organization for the sole purpose of relieving the suffering in their homeland, was immediate and without question.
As the stories have unfolded, we are realizing large relief organizations, while successful in obtaining funds and supplies, have been struggling to administer distribution on a local level. Consequently, victims are still without food, water, clothing, shelter, and comfort. ATSTVs' efforts are to ensure that supplies and funds will get to where they are needed most through ground-level grassroot teams.

Unable to stand by complacently and realizing aide is not reaching victims in time, teams have taken it upon themselves to travel to remote areas in need. These teams are comprised of people who have experienced the horror first-hand and were fortunate to escape with minimal physical loss.

Enclosed with this email, is a direct account of one grassroot team's efforts to save lives. More importantly, the account demonstrates the dire need to deliver aid to parts of the country you have not yet heard from. While there has been ample coverage of the Tsunami effects on the southern regions of Sri Lanka, there has been none on that of the north or northeast. It is crucial to mention due to the ongoing civil war, these provinces are far more challenging to travel to and therefore report from. In desperate need of our support, these teams are dedicated to saving people trapped in the wreckage, without food or clean water.
ATSTV vehemently asks the people of the world to donate money, clothing, food and water for this cause. This natural disaster has affected each of us differently. The common goal we now have is to heal so many nations in our global community. All of us have experienced adversity and struggle in our own right. We have endured it with the help of others. We cannot recover from this in a vacuum. It will take a united front to relieve this magnitude of suffering. Please help us bring hope back to a nation without any.
Financial donations should be made out to the order of: Aide to Sri Lankan Tsunami Victims (Tax Deductible)
Monetary or any other donations such as medicine, and blankets should be sent/dropped off:
Shakti's Elements
717 Broadway Ave.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
tel: (310) 576-2008
cell: Nisha (310) 200-6353
D'Lo (310) 576 5696

Nisha & D'Lo