16 February 2005 — Colombo, Sri Lanka
At a press conference today in Colombo, Amma announced that the Mata Amritanandamayi Center will be providing three crores Indian rupees in aid to the tsunami-wrecked country of Sri Lanka [69 million Sri Lankan Rs.]. The Ashram will also construct 300 houses in the island country.
The relief work and financial assistance is being handled through Healthcare Charities Inc., a devotee-run group in connection with the Mata Amritanandamayi Center in U.S.A.
The press conference, which was aired on Sri Lankan National Television, was held at the house of Sri. K.N. Douglas Devananda, the Honourable Minister of Agricultural Marketing Development, Co-operative Development, Hindu Affairs and Minister Assisting Education and Vocational Training. The honourable minister welcomed Amma and her tsunami-relief aid on behalf of the Sri Lankan government, saying that Sri Lanka is so grateful for Amma’s helping hand.
During her three-day visit to the island country (Feb. 16-19), Amma will visit relief camps in the Tamil area of Ampara on 17 February and the Sinhalese area of Hambantota on the 18th. Each relief camp is currently sheltering more than 1,000 families rendered homeless by the tsunami. Amma will give darshan there, as well as distribute 15,000 saris and dhotis.
Amma was invited to the island country last month by the Sri Lankan government “to bless Sri Lankans of all faiths and races and to bring peace and prosperity in their lives.”