Saturday, January 22, 2005

22 Jan 2005

Indians' Lack of Response Disappoints Embassy
Javid Hassan, Arab News

RIYADH, 8 January 2005 - An Indian Embassy official has expressed
disappointment with the lukewarm response of the Indian community to the
Prime Ministers' Relief Fund for the victims of the tsunami disaster.

He told Arab News that while the members of the community may have acted on
their own or through some association in channeling funds for the disaster
victims, that aid was not siphoned through the Prime Minister's Relief Fund.

"There is a possibility that aid disbursed through private channels could be
misused. We at the Indian Embassy are issuing proper receipts making the
whole operation transparent."

His reaction came in the wake of the fund-raising drive launched by the Sri
Lankan Ambassador that netted SR300,000 in one night. Members of the Indian
community have pitched in with a paltry fund of SR8,500 dashing the hopes of
the ambassador".


Learning From the Tsunami
Qenan Al-Ghamdi . Al-Watan

Immediately after the humanitarian disaster which followed the earthquake
and tsunami that devastated large areas in Asia, the Saudi government
announced a donation of $10 million. A few days later, the donation was
increased threefold to $30 million as the magnitude of the tragedy became
clearer. This was in turn followed by a telethon on Saudi Television last
week which raised more than $82 million in cash as well as enormous
quantities of much needed assistance in kind.

All of this is of course very good news. In my opinion, however, it should
be even better news; we have not done enough. The assistance so far given
has not put the Kingdom where it deservedly belongs as the leader of the
Muslim world. The scale of the disaster is beyond our comprehension and it
has prompted other countries to promise donations in the hundreds of
millions of dollars. To be sure, it is not all altruistic as there are
surely some hidden objectives but in the end, service to humanity remains
the driving force behind the quick and sustained response.

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