Sri Lanka Express

Los Angeles expats help flood victims

Several Buddhist temples in Los Angeles sprang into action to help victims of the recent floods in Sri Lanka that affected nearly 700,000 people across 15 districts and killed at least 208 people with 78 people reported missing. About 600,000 people have been displaced.

In Sun Valley, with a food fair organized by temple dayakas and cash donations, Mathri Vihara Buddhist Meditation Center raised  $7,200 (approx.. Rs. 10 million).   Ven. Aparekke Punyasiri said the funds are being used to help renovate the damaged school hall at Ayagama Rahula Maha Vidyalaya in Kalawant electorate in the Ratnapura District.
Above: Photo shows Ven. Punyasiri with dayakas who patronized the food festival held June 3.  Below: Volunteer making hoppers at the food festival.
Sarathchandra Buddhist Center, North Hollywood, is shipping donated toiletries, non-perishable food, school supplies and other essential items to help displaced flood victims.  The packages will be distributed to needy families by a temple in Ratnapura, said Ven. Panditha Ambalantota Kolitha who is overseeing the project with the help of Ven. Yatinuwara Siriniwasa. 
Sri Lankan expats at Sarathchandra BC sorting and packing donated goods to be shipped to flood victims.  Below regular attendees at the temple’s weekly meditation program Celinda Calderon (left) and Lilliam Sinkovits lend a helping hand.
Dharma Vijaya Buddhist Vihara, Los Angeles, raised US$ 5,000  which was presented to the Derana TV station on June 19.   In addition, monks of the temple made donations of school supplies worth a quarter million rupees (US$1,667) to students in Ratnapura district.