Monday, 3 January 2005  
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BASL establishes a fund to assist tidal wave victims

by Sarath Malalasekera

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) has established a 'Tidal Wave Victims' Relief Fund' to assist its members who are suffered following the December 26 tsunami.

"The unprecedented disaster fallen upon the citizens of Sri Lanka due to the tidal wave is well known to all of you. We are saddened by the loss and damage suffered by the general public, our relations, friends and colleagues who had to give even their lives and properties due to this disaster," said BASL President, President's Counsel M. Ikram Mohamed and Secretary Ms. Anoma Goonetilleke.

"We are sure that you would be shocked and grieved to know that several dear members of the Bar have lost their lives according to the information so far received," They are President's Counsel J.E.P. Deraniyagala, his wife, son-in-law and two grand children, Tennyson Edirisuriya, Ms. Ajantha Wadugodapitiya, Sujeewa Gnanaratne, his wife Manoj Premachandra and baby daughter, the BASL officials said.

The houses, properties and other belongings of the following members have also been lost - Chandima Muthukumarana of Matara Bar, W.R.C. de Silva of Balapitiya Bar and Ms. D.D.K. Piyasiri of Colombo Bar.

Three members from the Batticaloa Branch and Kalmunai Branch have also suffered the same fate. There are also other dear colleagues who are reported missing, the BASL officials said.

BASL President said "We as professionals, have a great responsibility to assist all our dear citizens at a time of their need and we are confident that all our colleagues of the Bar will assist the Bar Association to execute this great responsibility cast on us as a Body.

We therefore established a 'Relief Fund' to assist all those, inclusive of our own colleagues, who should be assisted without delay. We hope to give financial assistance to re-establish the victims and also to construct houses for the general public, in every affected district."

"We have a membership of more than 8000 and if each of these members could contribute a minimum of Rs. 1,000 towards this cause, we would then have a substantial contribution for this worthy cause.

Therefore we kindly appeal to all our dear colleagues to contribute to this fund generously and without delay," the BASL President added.

Cheques for this fund could be drawn in favour of the 'Bar Association of Sri Lanka' and forward to the BASL Secretariat, No. 153, Mihindu Mawatha, Colombo 12.

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