Relief Funds: Where to Contribute

All funds sent to these organizations will be used for emergency assistance for victims of the Dec. 26 tsunami in the NorthEast of Sri Lanka.  Please mark your checks 'NE Tsunami Relief.'  All are staffed by volunteers so there is no overhead taken out of the donations.  All organizations are 501 (c) (3) charities registered in the United States and all donations are tax-deductible.

1.) TRO - Tamil Rehabilitation Organization, the premier indigenous aid-giving NGO in Tamil areas.

www.trousa.org

Tamil Rehabilitation Organization

517 Old Town Road

Cumberland Maryland 21502, USA

2.) ITS - Ilankai Tamil Sangam, USA, the most established Sri Lankan Tamil association in the United States.

Ilankai Tamil Sangam

P.O. Box 46

Maryknoll, NY 10545

3.) THO - Tamil Health Organization, USA, an association of medical professionals focusing on healthcare in the NorthEast.

Tamil Health Organization

P.O. Box 901,

Bel Air, MD 21014-0901, USA

[Make check/M.O. payable to ‘International Medical Health Organization’ (or IMHO) to claim your tax-deduction]

*************************************************************************

AN URGENT APPEAL

By now you have probably heard of the Tsunami (Tidal Waves) that hit countries around the eastern Indian Ocean. According to reports, of all the countries affected, Sri Lanka was affected the most, of which the eastern coast (from eastern Jaffna to Matara) is the worst affected.

Unlike the areas readily accessible to western reporters (south Sri Lanka, eastern India, Thailand, Indonesia, etc.) the news from the northeast Sri Lanka is very sketchy. The resource poor TamilNet (www.tamilnet.com) and TamilNaatham (www.TamilNaatham.com) are doing their best and the news so far shows devastating damage. Over 5,000 have been reported killed, and the death toll is expected to rise. Hundreds of thousands are said to be displaced and the exact figures are unknown. The already impoverished population in the NorthEast are said to be without food, shelter and sanitation.

According to today’s New York Times, officials in Colombo are claiming ignorance of the situation in the NorthEast. The report said:

"It is a huge tragedy," said Lalith Weerathunga, secretary to the Sri Lankan prime minister. "The death toll is going up all the time." He said the government did not know what was happening in areas of the northeast controlled by Tamil Tiger rebels.

This doesn’t surprise us, as the Colombo government as always treated the NorthEast in a step-motherly fashion.

The international community that is likely to respond to Colombo’s call for help will channel relief through the government, and we are concerned as to how much of this will reach the really needy. The past experience is not all very encouraging.

The Tamils Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) and the Tamils Health Organization (THO) are best equipped to provide relief to the displaced survivors and have already started their work. These two organizations are the most transparent and the most cost-effective of all the local and international NGOs functioning in Sri Lanka.

Please make a donation to one of the following organizations. You can rest assured that one hundred percent of your donation will go towards the relief work, with nothing taken out for administrative costs.

This is the greatest tragedy to strike our brethren in the NorthEast Sri Lanka and the need is urgent. Please give the most you can.

Please send your tax deductible donation, by check or money order, made payable to one of the following organizations. DO IT TODAY, and send us an e-mail confirmation. Tell your friends (forward this appeal as an e-mail or call them) and ask them to do the same.

Sincerely

President, Ilankai Tamil Sangam, USA.

president@sangam.org

###

Posted December 27, 2004