Reply - Real situation in SL

Mahangu Weerasinghe.

I see that my previous mail has stirred up quite a hornets nest so therefore, would like to take this opportunity to explain my last mail in more detail.

Firstly, I would like to stress on the fact that I wrote that mail NOT on my capacity as a journalist but, in my capacity as a concerned citizen of this country. The signature at the foot of my mail, stating my personal details and details of my workplace is an automated attachment and it's non-removal was a complete oversight on my part. I wish to apologise if the presence of my signature made my personal viewpoint seem as though it were an official statement by the paper. I'd like to emphasise that my workplace had no awareness or connection with my last e-mail. It was very much my individual opinion.

Secondly, I would like to erase all misconceptions that I was trying to advocate anti-Government propaganda, as that was most definitely not the case. My foremost concern is, that all aid and funding reach the people in need, regardless of who delivers it. So, it's not a means to promote private organisations giving aid but, just to accelerate the distribution of aid.

I have personally witnessed the tireless efforts being carried out by officers of the three forces and whilst commending their hard work, wish want to add that I in no way meant to imply any disrespect to them.

Returning to the contents of the mail, I'd like to add that I didn't mean the Government was misusing the funds or the aid meant for the relief work but, that it was very slow in getting to the affected areas. All the contents of my previous mail was what I had personally seen and was told about by the people of the area, upto the night of December 27th.

Having returned to the South again now, I can now see that a lot of aid is coming this way, especially by private organisations. Even the work I'm currently involved with, is as a citizen of this country and not as a journalist.

My e-mail was by no means meant to discourage foreign aid from abroad but, rather to encourage concerned parties to send their aid as rapidly as possible via reliable means. Anyone interested in sending aid to the east coast in particular could contact Dejan de Soysa on 0777-759999, (who is currently based in Pothuvil), on how best to channel your aid or funds.

I would like to conclude by thanking all those who responded to my mail and encouraged me in whatever relief work I'm currently involved in.



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