donations idle in banks, says UK Lawyers’ Association
A Sri Lankan lawyers’ association assisting the rehabilitation
of tsunami-affected children charged last week that a huge amount
of funds donated by a generous British public was still lying unused
in UK banks.
allegation was made by barrister Lalith de Kauwe, chairman of the
Association of Sri Lankan Lawyers in the UK (ASLLUK) Tsunami Appeal
during a fund raising ceremony at the Garden Court Chambers in the
prestigious Lincoln’s Inn in London, to mark the first anniversary
of the tragic event.
thanking the British public for its generosity in donating over
£400 million for the tsunami-affected countries, de Kauwe
said it was not only surprising but also unacceptable that something
like two-thirds was still lying in UK banks.
said it is a scandal that this money is lying idle one year after
the tsunami, while people who suffered from the devastation, especially
children, were still in need of shelter, education and counselling
after the trauma of an unprecedented tragedy.
de Kauwe was particularly harsh on bureaucrats of British charities
who preferred to spend their time travelling around in high-powered
vehicles and living in the comfort of star-class hotels in Sri Lanka
wasting “enormous amounts of money raised by the British public
while the victims of the tsunami were in great need one year after
the horrifying experience”.
last week at a well-attended gathering that included many UK well-wishers
and donors, Lalith de Kauwe said, “What an appalling state
of affairs that the 13 big charities that were given 1/3 of that
£400 million claimed to be unable to help anyone else as they
had already allocated their funds for this year. What pathetic excuses.”
ASLLUK has been particularly concerned about the children left parentless
or homeless after the December tsunami and has donated funds to
at least three charitable institutions in Sri Lanka.
association has donated £3,600 for the upkeep of 10 children
at St Mary’s Convent, Matara and is hoping to support 10 more
kids for the next 10 years if funds are raised. This convent cares
for children without considerations of race, religion or creed,
de Kauwe said.
has provided £1000 to the Prithipura Infant Home in Wattala
and another £1000 to the Senthalir Project in Udayarkuddu
in the North-East. The ASLLUK has thus disbursed its funds to affected
areas and institutions irrespective of ethnic or religious differences
because it believes that all those who were affected needed assistance
and deserve to be helped.
this respect the association welcomed President Mahinda Rajapakse’s
recent speech in which he pledged to accelerate reconstruction in
the north and east as well as the other coastal belt areas that