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The Daily Rhino
Monday, December 26, 2005

Remembering the wave
Children of the tsunami: many Kalmunai kids were orphanedTODAY the world looks back and remembers the 250,000 lives that were lost to the sea a year ago. The Indian Ocean looks serene as millions quietly contemplate the loved ones swept away by the Boxing Day Tsunami.

The World Wide Help Blog is observing Disaster Remembrance Week to mark what has been an horrific year of natural disasters (via DesiPundit). The Daily Rhino will be featuring several articles about different aspects of the tsunami from now until January the 1st.

Politics has pervaded all aspects of life since the tsunami. The affected areas, chiefly Sri Lanka and Aceh, Indonesia, were parts of the world wracked by civil disputes and two of the worst-hit regions. Has the tsunami helped, or have the squabbles hindered the relief efforts? How much money has actually made it through to those who need it? The world's ordinary citizens triumphed over the indifference of the rich and poured out the hearts and wallets, but what has happened to that monumental amount of money?

In March, in Kalmunai on Sri Lanka's east coast, I interviewed the man who was responsible for finding a baby who came to symbolise the story of the tsunami. Baby 81 was the little boy separated from his parents and subsequently claimed by nine families. The tale of tragedy followed by hope, as Baby 81 was reunited with his real parents, became synonymous with the tsunami itself, as people tried to stay positive.

Over the last year, I've written a bunch of articles about the tsunami's effect on the survivors' health. A year on, the disaster's legacy lives on. Whilst many were physically affected, the overwhelming healthcare problem now is the burden the wave placed on the mental health of those who escaped with their lives but often without their loved ones.

Lastly I'll check back on the people and places I saw all over Sri Lanka's east and south coast. How have the small businesses and families fared?

The blog I made for the members of the relief trip I participated in.

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