Background: Sri Lanka

After the attacks in Sri Lanka: help and reconciliation

After the attacks in Sri Lanka: help and reconciliation

by Heike Knauff-Oliver, 2019/04/26

Immediately after the attacks of the 21st April (Easter Sunday) Dr. Prithiviraj had contacted the responsible authorities to offer his support. humedica Lanka and the Red Cross Sri Lanka were the only relief organizations, which were allowed to assist in the hospital wards. A five-person humedica team was on site in the National Hospital and the Negombo Provincial Hospital to help the victims of the attacks. They distributed beverages, snacks as well as other daily necessities and provided disposable aprons for patients with various burn injuries. Till date they provided the affected people with 300 litres of water, 200 beverage packages, cookies, toilet paper and soap. In the Negombo Hospital they continued the distribution of these relief goods also on Tuesday.

Dr. Prithiviraj Thamotharampillai, country director of humedica Lanka, explains in Colombo: „Together with our partners we plan to provide spiritual and psychological counsel and to support especially those families, who have lost their income due to the death of their fathers or mothers. We are in direct contact with the leaders of attacked communities like the Zion Church in Batticaloa, where many Christs and Hindus have lost family members.“ he tells us and stresses: „It is most important that now all Sri Lankans stand together in this situation. These incidents must not be allowed to drive a wedge into society, all Sri Lankans should be united in their fight against terror.“

humedica-Mitarbeiter im Krankenhaus in Sri Lanka nach Anschlägen.

humedica Lanka country director Dr. Prithiviraj and his team coordinate the relief measures in the hospitals Negombo Provincial Hospital and National Hospital Colombo. Photo: humedica Lanka

humedica Lanka plans the following midterm project activities:
• Projects providing professional qualification and income promotion for families, who have lost their sole provider in the attacks. These activities will address in particular families with children, who are already in training.
• Family counseling and trauma therapy for affected families. The team has already contacted qualified experts, who will assist the families of the victims.

Interreligious reconciliation meetings
Disasters do not differentiate between ethnicity, skin colour, religion or gender. This is also the basic of our work. By the humanitarian help they provide the humedica Lanka team members want to contribute to the unification and peace in the country. At the moment the humedica Lanka staff comprises 27 employees, both Tamil and Sinhalese. These two ethnic groups have fought a relentless civic war for nearly 30 years. „We must leave our past behind us.“ This is the mayor wish of Dr. Prithiviraj, who explains his strategy: „We want our mixed team to grow together and we need people, who are willing to overcome separation. Cooperation must succeed – we as humedica Lanka want to support this process and thus contribute to the construction of a unified nation.“ That is also the reason why, after the attacks, humedica Lanka plans to initiate an interreligious reconciliation meeting for Christs, Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims.

Help from Germany

Since the attacks humedica general manager Wolfgang Groß is constantly in close contact with in the country director of humedica Lanka Dr. Prithiviraj. Together they have already coordinated the next relief measures: „We have arranged with Prithi, our Sri-Lankan director, to buy ten wheelchairs and to hand them over to the victims of the attacks. We will also provide metal implants for two patients, who suffer from complicated bone fractures. These patients have been injured during the attack on the Zions Church and are now being treated in the Batticaloa Hospital.“

The people in Sri Lanka are still in dire need of our support. Please continue to support our help. Thank you very much!

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