Wednesday, January 5, 2005

Statement From President Tipson On The Recent Tsunami Tragedy In Southeast Asia

I know I speak for the entire Washington College community in expressing shock at the enormous loss of life and livelihood that has resulted from the disastrous earthquake and tsunamis that struck Southeast Asia on Dech3ber 26. Our hearts go out to the families around the world who have lost loved ones, and our particular compassion extends to Washington College students, alumni, and friends whose lives have been forever affected by this tragedy.

In recent decades, Washington College has had a robust community of international students, many from the Southeast Asian nations of India, Sri Lanka and Thailand. In 1998, alumni Chandev Abhayaratne '94 and Radesh Daluwatte '96 worked with Professor Tahir Shad to establish a Sri Lankan Alumni Chapter to support our many graduates from that nation, and a number of other alumni, colleagues and friends either work or travel in the Southeast Asian region. Our thoughts and prayers are with thh3 during this crisis.

During the past week we have received many calls asking about the safety or whereabouts of mh3bers of the Washington College community who might have been affected by the tsunami. Although we are unable to answer many of these questions, we are eager to share concerns and news with the rest of the College community and to hear from our friends abroad who are dealing with the aftereffects of the disaster. We have established this web page in order to help our friends from abroad communicate with us and to enable our students and alumni at home to reach out to their classmates. We invite alumni, parents and friends of Washington College to participate in this exchange with any news or questions they may have.

We have also received inquiries from those seeking to donate funds to victims of the tsunami. We encourage you to visit the link provided below which has a list of charitable organizations providing disaster relief and assistance.

Those of us who are here in Chestertown are ever mindful that we also live in the world's community. We offer our thoughts and our prayers for all those who are suffering and our sincere hope that all nations will draw closer in the efforts of recovery.


Baird Tipson


All W.C Alums, friends and close family in Sri Lanka are safe.

Kind regards,
Radesh Daluwatte
Colombo, Sri Lanka


We are all ok. Bangladesh was hardly not much casualty there. By the grace of God we are all unharmed.

Fermi Nasir
Dhaka, Bangladesh


I have good news regarding Praveen Abhayaratne. Praveen was in New York when the tsunami hit. He and his family are safe. He will be heading home to Sri Lanka for about a month.

Jim Wright
Washington College


News from the ASI students (42 total) from South Asia is that all of thh3 are safe. (These are the Muslim college students from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh who participated in the State Department-sponsored summer program on dh3ocracy at Washington College.) One student from this summer, Thameh3, lives in Chennai (Madras), India, which was hit by one of the tsunamis, and he is very busy with the relief efforts there. Two students from Bangladesh-Priyo and Muni-work at a hospital in Pattaya, Thailand. They were in the ocean on the day when the tsunamis struck on the west coast, but their area was not affected. Their hospital has received many disaster victims from the southwest of Thailand, including Phuket.

Kees deMooy Washington College


Thankfully, my family and friends were not directly affected by this disaster. My brothers Ruan & Praveen (both WC alumni) are well and currently in Sri Lanka. We are all working directly and from afar, to help with reconstruction in our country.

Chandev Abhayaratne
London, Ontario


Thank you so much for your e-mail and concern. I am truly touched by it. My family and I are doing fine. We were very fortunate. Former alumni Reshani Dangalle and her family are also doing well. She doesn't have an e-mail address so I thought you might be trying to find out if she is alright. Alumnus Marisha Bandaratillaka and his family are also fine. Thanks so much again.

Sanjeevani Wijenaike Silva


Thanking you all for your concern, for our safety. I must say that I did have a firt had experiance and I am very fortunate to have survived the Tsunami Wave while holidaying South of Sri Lanka. My family is all well and My brother Romesh (Nam '00) who is based in Denver Colarado and I are involved in gathering some aid for for distribution in the affected areas.

Sanjeeva (Ravi) Jayatileke
Colombo, Sri Lanka


I thank all at WC for their concerns. I am truly lucky to have escaped unhurt after facing this disaster my self, which has brought so much destruction and grief to our country and our neighboring countries. Even as I send this mail, I am involved through my company in helping and supporting people in the affected areas and I would give my fullest support in doing any long term project as a mh3ber of WC Alumni. Attached below some of the photos of my ordeal with the Tsunami Waves on the 26th Morning of December 2004 in Bentota, Sri Lanka.

Let's help rebuild our nation!

Sanjeeva (Ravi) Jayatileke
Colombo, Sri Lanka


Some good news: Chaminda Molligoda '96 and Ruan Abhayratne '94 are doing fine as well.

Sanjeevani Wijenaike Silva


Thanks to everyone who has expressed concern over everything that has happened! Everyone I know in Madras, India that was hit, is fine. My mum is working directly with an NGO in the field helping to rebuild a fishing village that was destroyed. Please contact me if you would like more information about this effort.

Ambika Vishwanath '05


Thanks for all your continued support and concern. Appreciate every bit of it. All family and friends are doing great and are knee deep involved in relief operations.

Romesh "Nam" Jayatileke

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