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Monday, September 19, 2005

Katrina Crisis: India Leads Subcontinent

Devasish Ray
Washington DC
September 8, 2005

Ambassador Ronen Sen today handed over a check of $ 5 million to the President and CEO of the American Red Cross, Marty Evans. The bustling headquarters of the Red Cross has recently witnessed numerous dignitaries, celebrities and ambassadors of different countries handing over checks to this organization.

Speaking to India West Marty Evans said that she was extremely touched by the generous contribution made by Ronen Sen on behalf of the Government of India. Making a direct appeal through India West Evans said, “ Though we are flooded with offers of volunteer services we can always do with more taking into consideration the scale of this disaster.”

Sen informed India West that besides the donation of the $ 5 million which was “a token of the sympathy, support and solidarity of the Government and people of India for the people affected by this terrible calamity”, two planes were standing by in India to deliver other relief materials. “We have trained and professional divers who are standing by. We also have experts in water purification waiting to fly down the moment the United States government gives clearance.”

Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the US Bernard A. B. Goonetilleke on Tuesday, September 6th handed over a check for US $ 25,000/- to the American Red Cross in Washington D.C. This was in fulfillment of the pledge made by Sri Lanka to help meet the expenses involved in the disaster relief activities, following the devastating hurricane Katrina.
Handing over the check, Ambassador Goonetilleke remarked that the Government of Sri Lanka on behalf of its people was making this modest contribution available, to express empathy with the affected victims. He added that it was also in appreciation of the overwhelming generosity of the American people, the corporate sector and the US Government, in the aftermath of the December 26 tsunami.
Ambassador Gooonetilleke also informed the US Red Cross that members of the Sri Lanka Medical Association of North America (SLMANA) stand ready to provide medical personnel to serve the survivors of hurricane Katrina. The Ambassador said he had taken up this matter when he participated in the Annual Sessions of the SLMANA held in Chicago on 2-3 September, attended by several hundred doctors of Sri Lankan origin presently living in various parts of the US. Their services will be rendered on a voluntary basis and they were awaiting information concerning the logistical arrangements to facilitate their deployment.

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