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11th Tsunami Reception – ASLLUK

11th Tsunami Reception

ASLLUK 11th Tsunami Reception at Garden Court Chambers

By Fritz Kodagoda

THE TSUNAMI SURVIVORS; CAN WE EVER FORGET THEM?

Disasters seem to assail us so often that most of us have conditioned ourselves to forget the dismal consequences and comfort ourselves with the passive feeling that we are powerless to prevent or to redress the damage done.

The public perception of lawyers is also that they are a hard hated tribe whose paramount pursuit is the betterment of themselves.
However, the commencement and continuation by the ASSOCIATION OF SRI LANKN LAWYERS IN UK [ASLLUK] TSUNAMI CHARITY, is a stark contradiction of this general misconception.

For the 11th. consecutive year the ASLLUK TSUNAMI APPEAL spearheaded by Criminal Defence Barrister Lalith de Kauwe , has been successfully conducted at Garden Court Chambers , Lincoln’s Inn Fields, and raised funds to assist those in need in Sri Lanka.

Whilst continuing to care for the welfare of the victims of the 2004 Tsunami, the Charity has widened its scope to help other vulnerable groups. The Reception this year held on 20 November 2015 raised £1200 from the auction , by that persuasive Solicitor SumalFernando of a pinting entitled “ Anabiosis “ by Sri Lankan Artist Emalka Hapuarachchi donated by James Yorke , an active young member of ASLLUK.

The affable President of ASLLUK Harendra de Silva QC in his message said:
“This is a particularly important occasion as it focuses on an extremely important and worthwhile cause, the victims of chronic kidney failure deserve all the support that we can provide – financial and otherwise.”

The Chairman of the Tsunami Charity, Lalith de Kauwe, in his usual passionate style, stated: “There is still today grave injustice done to thousands of women and men who toil in the fields as agricultural workers. They are paid a pittance. They endure long hours of back breaking work under the hot sun and in torrential monsoon rains. They work to grow rice and vegetables for the benefit of the community and the profit of their lords. In return they develop kidney failure. They are forgotten. Chronic kidney failure is preventable… They were not warned of the dangers of the use of toxic fertilisers in agriculture or the risks in consuming that food…… Support these poor people in their struggle for justice. Give them a chance to have the fundamental right to live. Donate what you can to provide dialysis machines to save their lives in memory of Tanoo Mylvaganam, a comrade who fought for social justice.”

Two minutes silence was observed to respect the memory of Tanoo Mylvanagam ’s untimely death.

This was followed by the Key note speech by Dr. Kamal Gammampila on Chronic Kidney Failure in North Central Dry Zone of Sri Lanka.

The event was graced by the Acting High Commissioner Sugeeshwara Gunaratne and Manoj Warnapala Counsellor, Cultural and Education Division of Sri Lankan High Commission, Richard McKee Retired Judge, Michel and Ann Aslangul representing the Commonwealth in England Barristers Association CEBA, and numerous Solicitors and Barristers and their families who were treated to a delightful Sri Lankan Dinner, reminding us of the wise words of the Buddha in Verse 177 Dhammapada:

“Misers certainly do not go to the heaven of the gods, and fools not praise liberality, but noble men find joy in generosity, and this gives them joy in higher worlds.”

Fritz Kodagoda
Barrister Mediator
12 Old Square
Lincoln’s Inn.