The Germans say ….. has been asked to publish a scanned reply, reproduced below.
Some concerned people and many generous donors are beginning to question why no help seems to get through to the poor Eastern Provinces; after 2 full years.
A translation will be posted soon if requested or of interest.
Over years, and with various, polite requests on behalf of the Community, has actually written to all Foreign Missions resident in Colombo, on more than one occasion:
Most did not even acknowledge our letters; or indeed reply to our plight.
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Dear Herr Poos (translator: a fitting recipient, maybe??),

Many thanks for your letter dated 23 October, 2006. The Tsunami-disaster on 26th December, 2006 indeed created a lot of desruction and suffering. A large proportion of Sri Lanka’s costal stretch has been affected.
In recent history there has rarely been any event of a similar magnitude which moved the emotions of all peoples. Many Germans donated towards this natural event. The Federeal Government started an immediate Help program. Many National and International Aid Organizations were concerned with the reconstruction; even now some are still enganged in this very activity. Many destroyed houses were rebuild, many schools reconstructed, many hospitals were repaired or relocated.

The German Embassy, working together with our partners and also in connection with some bilateral Emergency and Development Programs also are in Cooperation with the EU and the UN manged to assisgn funds to various tasks connected with Tsunami relief.

The Sri Lanka Government is responsible and also accountable for the coordination and the overall control of all the tasks concerning the reconstruction efford. This very difficult task has been carried out with various results in differend parts of the Country. The continued civil war/unrest has resulted in the fact that many organizations have long cancelled their programs.

The fate of the (one) mentioned hotel operator is deeply regretted. The Embassy as well as any of our partners are not responsible to respond to, or indeed assist in, any possible way to any isolated enquiry from such a hotel, no matter how severely affected they may have been.
For example, this view was mentioned to the owners of the ‘Siam View Hotel’ in our email dated 9th March, 2005.
On January 12th the Embassy outlined their position again in a letter to the operators. However, a request for assistance has not been received.

with friendly Greetings,
on behalf of
Cornelious Hupperts

PS: (Translator:) “What to do”?????

2 Responses to “The Germans say …..”

  • I my view there are a number of problems why the East has been left out of the recovery process.
    There is little doubt that foreigners came with the will to help, but the implimentation proved difficult or impossible:
    1.) There is little official will in Colombo to help the East; no wonder in a long war situation
    2.) NGO’s go for easy fixes and good publicity stunts which are easier in the South
    3.) NGO’s capitulate when they hit a brick wall and try western approaches to get round the regulations corrupt officials place in their way
    4.) When in fact the accepted Eastern way would bring better and more direct results
    5.) To avoid direct bribe situations, one could engage local specialist Consultant firms who use their proven methods to get the results and permits.
    5.) NGO’s plan without the Community from far away and we residents have no say
    6.) Efficient self-help groups are seen as potent compeditors and are never supported by anyone.

    The new civil war has provided yet anyother excuse to withdraw back to the plush Hotels in the Capital, claiming ‘Security’ reasons. Most NGO’s have long gone home in any event.
    Fact is that NO foreigner, NGO or not has ever been tageted or harmed in any way.
    We are a contribution to the peace and should remain where we are needed.
    It is surprising actually that nobody has ever been injured because the word “NGO” has become a bad phrase in our entire area.

  • Open Question:
    If none of the Embarrasies or so called “Help” ‘NGO’s are actually ‘helping’ the very, very poor people on the obvoiously greatly affected East and North East Coast:
    Who is actually Active in this region these days?
    And why is the money which we, as a fairly large Organization entrusted to others is not distributed fairly and properly?
    What has gone wrong in this area; we are slowly getting uneasy.
    Are all the guys with the new 4×4 Jeeeps and blue lights on top scared or what is wrong with them?
    Maybe next time we will donate to a chicken farm or to some Orgas. with a back bone; if there is such a thing.

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