Terremoto: una testimonianza da Madras, uno dei luoghi più colpiti
I can't say greetings from Madras (Chennai).... so many have died, still they are recovering more of what remains of their loved ones, a lot of fishermen are missing and stories of misery are still unfolding....
Our family of 22 were on the beach for several hours on the day before yesterday (25th evening) till 9pm.. least did we realise that in twelve hours the same shore would be devastated. In fact we wanted to go there on 26th morning but changed our mind.
Madras is the second longest beach in the world with the beach on the coast line running for 180 kilo meters.The distance from the main road to the waters are only 400meters in Madras and in Sri Lanka the railway track in some places are only 15 feet away. We just heard from our friends in Colombo that a family who were visiting from Chicago, the mother and daughter were travelling from Negombo to Colombo by train and only the daugther survived when a 15 feet sheet of water threw the whole train away.. Mrs Tamara Mendis is yet to be traced. In Madras about 150 who went for walking and about 12 boys who were practicing karate on the main road were washed away by the killer wave.
I live and work in Mannar, North West of Sri Lanka. I am unable to establish contact with many of my collegues as the mobile phones are not working and land phones are unreachable. It is an island connected to the main land by a bridge. If it rains for three daysit will be cut off from the rest off Sri Lanka. I do hope and pray that they are safe. I do hope some of them contact me after seeing this mail. I am planning to rush to Mannar.
I believe God has a purpose in keeping us alive. In the coming New Year 2005 we need to reestablish our priorites in life and bring meaningful change in the life of the people around us.
May I wish you all a meaningful New Year in promoting peace with justice by influencing global governance structures and most importantly peace in our hearts and in the community around us.
With kind regards
James Arputharaj, World Federalist Movement
Team Leader, Resources for Peace and Reconciliation/CORDAID
Nella foto un intervento di James Arputharaj al Forum sociale mondiale di Mumbai durante un laboratorio sul Parlamento mondiale (gennaio 2004)