Human Tsunami in Sri Lanka

Alabama, United States
25th April 2009


His Holiness Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar had visited the Internally Displaced People (IDP) welfare centres in Vavuniya, Sri Lanka on April 21st, 2009.

Following his visit, His Holiness Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has appealed to the Government of India and the civil society to give as much relief materials like food, medicines, clothes etc to Sri Lanka. Gurudev also said that the relief materials sent by India to Sri Lanka are completely insufficient. He feels it is unfortunate that during this time of crisis the Indian businessmen have not rushed to support the people there. Spiritual leaders could have provided mental solace to the civilians in these camps.

Gurudev acknowledged that the facilities in the camps are much better compared to those that the Indian Government has provided for the Kashmiri pundits and those provided for Sri Lankan Tamils in Tamil Nadu. Gurudev appreciated the selfless service of Col. Induneel de Silva and his dedicated team of army personnel in the Vavuniya Menik farm welfare centres. They had extended complete co-operation for Gurudev and the Art of Living to distribute clothes and other relief materials in the camps.

Gurudev also met with H.E President Mahinda Rajapakse and appealed to him that the refugees in the camps should not be kept longer and that they should be sent back to their own homes as soon as possible. H.E. President Mahinda Rajapakse said that he is fully responsible for the security of these innocent civilians. After de-mining the entire area, the civilians can be re-settled in their home towns.

Gurudev is of the opinion that Tamil-speaking Indian officials (the Indian Ambassador to Sri Lanka or any other official) could have instilled more faith and hope in the refugees.When the tsunami occurred, everyone came forward to help. I would say that this is nothing less than a human tsunami. “Why hasn’t anyone come to help even at this moment of huge influx of people to the camps?”, Gurudev asked.

“How will the political drama and commotion happening in the state help the refugees in any case? Fasting or street demonstration or self-immolations will not help to bring solace to thousands of people in the camps. Instead of reaching out and helping the people who are in need, these incidents will only create fear and anger in society.” Gurudev said.

For further information:

Swami Sadyojathah, International Director, The Art of Living