APPEAL from Jayantha Pathikirikorale, President, Federation of Sri Lankan Organisations of Queensland Inc.
Dear friends, ….. You will be aware of the terrible events in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, April 21. A wave of terrorist bombings of churches and hotels claimed the lives of 253 people and injured more than 500. The island nation, its people and indeed the world has been left in shock by these senseless acts. Sri Lanka has had more than its share of horrors and sorrows in the past three decades. The country endured a 26-year civil war that had a heavy death toll; the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami claimed more than 35,000 lives, and this latest atrocity has shattered its spirit.
A relative of a Sri Lankan victim of an explosion at a church weeps outside a hospital in Batticaloa [Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/AFP]
How much more can one country bear?
As the world rallies to help, we in the lucky country, Australia, are called on to do our bit to support the families of victims. As in the past, the Federation of Sri Lankan Organisations of Queensland (FSOQ) is initiating an appeal for help. In consultation with the Honorary Consul for Sri Lanka in Queensland, Anton Swan, and the founder of the Foundation of Goodness, Kushil Gunasekera, the FSOQ will support affected families in Batticaloa, in eastern Sri Lanka – one of the terrorist targets. Immediate past president of the FSOQ Bill Deutrom will oversee the project in Sri Lanka.
The FSOQ has been in the forefront of community work for more than eight years. Below is a snapshot of its involvement with the Brisbane community and projects in Sri Lanka.
- The Sri Lankan community contributed $20,000 to the Queensland Premier’s Disaster Appeal for 2010/2011 – the major flood relief community call. The floods forced the evacuation of thousands of people from towns and cities.
- Recently we handed over $3000 for the Premier’s state drought appeal.
- FSOQ has sent 1200 hospital beds along with other medical equipment to Sri Lankan Government hospitals through the Ministry of Health in Sri Lanka. This is ongoing.
- With the generous support of Queensland businessman Scott Walker, more than 100 water-purification plants were installed in the North Central Province in Sri Lanka, each unit costing more than $3500.
- Computers were sent to rural schools through the Foundation of Goodness.
- Continuing work with the Foundation of Goodness in assisting in rehabilitation after major floods in Sri Lanka.
- FSOQ assisted in working with all associations in establishing a Sri Lankan-friendly residential aged-care centre – ARCARE Springwood.
- We also continue with the collection of new and used cricket equipment for distribution to rural schools. This project has been in place for many years and is a joint effort of the FSOQ, its member organisation, Sri Lanka Sports Association of Qld, and FOG.
For information on federation activities, please go to www.fsoq.com.au
The Foundation of Goodness in Sri Lanka has a proven history of supporting communities in Sri Lanka. Its considerable work is listed in detail at http://unconditionalcompassion.org/
We thank you for giving consideration to this appeal. The attached flyer provides all relevant details for fundraising support.
May you be blessed for your kindness.
Jayantha Pathikirikorale, President, Federation of Sri Lankan Organisations of Queensland Inc.
An Email Circular from Bill Deutrom entitled EASTER SUNDAY APPEAL, 3 May 2019
Dear Friends and Family,
Please see the appeal letter and Flyer that is being distributed by the Federation of Sri Lanka Organisations of Queensland, of which I was the founding President. The tragedy in Sri Lanka has affected so many people and families and is just another calamity which has hit this beautiful island. However the people are resilient and will recover and hopefully all our friends will be able to once again visit and enjoy the beauty of this country.
We are seeking small donations which will assist us in looking after those who were affected in Batticaloa, a part of the island which is a fair way from the capital, Colombo. There are many people there who will need a hand up to get on with their lives. We will partner with the Foundation of Goodness who we work with on a regular basis to assist people affected by floods and other natural disasters. I will be involved personally as I spend a fair amount of time in Sri Lanka.
On a personal note, I was devastated when I heard the news. As I flew out of Sri Lanka on the 18th April, I was really so pleased that Sri Lanka was making remarkable progress, with tourists in great numbers, new hotels and apartments being constructed and generally a feeling of freedom and optimism, despite the shortcomings of the authorities. I am confident the country will recover and continue to develop and provide a safe haven for its people.
If you are able to help please let me know that you have made a contribution so that we can officially acknowledge your generosity. If it is possible I would appreciate you sharing this with your friends and family.
With my thanks,
- “Scott Walker’s Charitable Outreach in Sri Lanka,” 14 Deceeber 2018, https://thuppahis.com/2018/12/14/scott-walkers-charitable-outreach-in-sri-lanka/
- Juliet Coombe: “Stay Resolute. Visit Sri Lanka,” 24 April 2019, https://thuppahis.com/2019/04/24/stay-resolute-visit-lanka-says-juliet-from-galle/
- Michael Roberts: “Hatreds. Chasms. Bill Deutrom’s Insights on the Political Impasse in Sri Lanka ” 18 December 2018, https://thuppahis.com/2018/12/16/hatreds-chasms-bill-deutroms-insights-on-the-political-impasse-in-sri-lanka/