Update Update Update: Apparently, do not donate to the Government. They are accountable to anyone and they are tithing the donations according to Mahangu Weerasinghe of the Sunday Times please don’t beat me up. The government in general is bloody innefficent, go for Sarvodaya, Red Cross, Rotary Colombo. Sarvodaya I work for and we can show you the goods going out. Rotary Colombo’s donate button lets you buy the actual goods – rice, salmon tins – Panadol (Tylenol). Plus they have a blog so they’re accountable. Look for the Mahangu article, should be in related or recent posts below.
Update Update: I think the www.sarvodaya.org site is pretty good now. We’re taking Mastercard thru a local bank and everything else through PayPal (via Sarvodaya USA). Amma (my mom) wants to set up an interactive map that shows trucks going down and requests coming up. IBM has volunteered some programmers and I’m going to go meet with them in a few hours. There’s more on Sarvodaya around this site, recent post or related posts below. They’re an established Sri Lankan organization with I think over 15 stations around the country, even in Jaffna. They are good people. But think before you donate! Where does your money go? Do you see any results? Google around before you click any button. Sri Lanka doesn’t need money. We need relief. Oh, and look around for other countries. Try to distribute your donations. We all got pretty tagged.
I don’t know. I’m sitting in the basement of Sarvodaya. I’m hot, kinda hungry, and I need to shave. The hardest work has been setting up payment gateways into Sri Lankan banks is hell. PayPal doesn’t operate here which sucks. eBay and online shopping is granted in the Etats, but not here. Thankfully Diyath Ariyaratne and Virtusa pulled through and wrote the .jsp files we needed to plug into the Sampath Bank Gateway. PayPal! note: We are now accepting PayPal thru Sarvodaya USA. Money takes a little longer to get here, but the real rebuilding is long-term.
I wish I could tell you the real story is in the East and South where the bodies are piled. But I have Internet in Colombo. I had a meal today and I could sleep. Hence you’re hearing from me. We’re trying to help. I’m trying to do get these relief organizations blogging and getting the word out, and keeping it out, and maybe keeping this reconstruction transparent and effective.
I don’t know what else to say. I’m not even that good a source, but I feel like I need to talk. I’m also multitasking my ass off trying to get this relief organization online. Here’s an email I wrote to my friends. I have to get back to work. Thank you.
I’m in the basement of Sarvodaya (www.sarvodaya.org – great organization, updating site) – which is in my opinion (and Arthur C. Clarke’s) the most competent aid agency in Sri Lanka.
I think over 25,000 people are dead. On the coast the bodies are rotting faster than we can bury them and there will soon be outbreaks of disease among the over 1 million refugees. Downtown Galle is destroyed and one of the main hospitals in the East was completely swept away – patients and all. It is pretty fucked. I’ve dropped everything and I’m pretty much sleeping here now. This is in Colombo by the way, I see the rice bags going on the trucks, not coming off.
I am writing first to thank you. I’m sorry I don’t have time to respond, but it means a lot to me. I do believe in your prayers or thinking or whatever you call it. I am also writing you because I need your help.
First, I would ask you to think before donating. Sarvodaya has a Mastercard payments in place, but I think patience would lead to the money being spent more wisely. A lot of people have the urge to donate now – but I need you to be there when those people are gone.
I will send another email when I can show you where the money is being spent and how it helps. I don’t know what else to say, I wish I could say something better. It’s only hitting me as I write to you but I’m tearing up.
i love and miss all of you