Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bad Things Are Happening in Sri Lanka

While much of the international community has been focused on volatile political situations in Libya, Bahrain, Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia, and elsewhere, bad things have been going on in the Indian Ocean island nation of Sri Lanka. January floods affected more than one million people and left more than 400,000 homeless. More flooding this month left another 400,000 people without homes. The media has invested fewer pixels covering the Sri Lankan floods than it did in its coverage of recent floods in Pakistan, Brazil, and Australia (and those stories probably didn't get the coverage they deserved). Yet, "UN officials report hundreds of thousands of [Sri Lankans] are in dire straits and in urgent need of assistance."

Even before the flood waters rushed in, Sri Lanka was recovering from an armed conflict between the government and a rebel group called the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (Tamil Tigers for short). Like the floods, that conflict was responsible for displacing a few hundred thousand people. Now that between 25 and 40 percent of the nation's agricultural harvest could be lost, tough times are ahead for Sri Lanka.

Donate to Sri Lankan relief and development through UMCOR.

Follow @weepwith on Twitter for updates.


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