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Showing posts from October, 2006

There Is A War

“There is a war,” a colleague said to me when I told her that I was going to Trincomalee on Saturday as if she was referring to a distant land on another part of the world . “Be Careful,” “Be Informative,” another one typed on the skype.

Since I arrived in Sri Lanka about two weeks ago, I have rarely read news. There is no access to radio or television. Sarvodaya headquarters in Moratuwa (20 KM South of Colombo) feels like a peaceful oasis. Even the South that I have traveled betrayed no sign of the war.

Last year, along the coastal areas of the Sri Lanka one could see the tents and temporary shelters that tsunami survivors were residing. These days, it is difficult to find the marks of the tsunami along the Galle road. If one didn’t know that tsunami had struck here only two years ago, it would be easy not to notice that thousands lost their lives in homes, in buses, in trains and in temples.

I was going to Trincomalee, to the East, to see some of the refugee camps. Since the conflict e…

Meeting A Super Model

After visiting war affected Trincomalee yesterday, I was in for a different experience today. "A super model is coming," Dr. Vinya, Executive Director of Sarvodaya, had said. "Come and join us on Sunday."

So, I went. It was Petra Nemcova, a Czech supermodel. ( http://www.petranemcova.org/)
Her foundation Happy Heart Foundation had donated Sarvodaya to build a youth training center in Kalmunai, eastern Sri Lanka. But because of the conflict risk, she was not to go there. Instead, she was to visit a community center, that is being constructed in Balapitiya, 60 KM south of Colombo.

Petra had a horrible experience in the tsunami. She was vacationing, with her boyfriend, in Thailand when the tsunami hit on December 26,2004. The waves swept away both of them from their bungalow. She survived with broken pelvis. Her boyfriend didn't.

We had put an elaborated program for her welcome. Children and their parents had been ready to welcome the donor long, delayed by 2 hours, o…