Outpouring of support for tsunami victims

VANCOUVER – Many people spent the first few days of 2005 focused on the victims of the tsunamis in south Asia.

  • CLIP: The Early Edition’s Stephen Quinn gets an update from George Chandler of the Canadian Red Cross (runs 4:57) 

More than 150 people gathered at the Vancouver Art Gallery for a candlelight vigil Sunday.While the majority of the crowd was from the Sri Lankan community, members of the Buddhist, Christian, Hindu and Muslim communities were also there. They came to pray and sing in memory of those who died in the tsunami disaster.

CLIP: Behind the scenes at the Radio India studios (runs 1:59) Priyantha Rathnayake is the head of the Sri Lankan group that organized the ceremony. He was there to grieve, but delivered another message as well.”There have been so [many] expressions of sympathy, concern and offers of help from people in Canada and all over the world. We want to say thank you to all of those people. We need your help and thank you for the help we got.”The disaster assistance has come from many different communities.In Surrey, Radio India ran an all-day marathon to help raise funds for the relief effort. Surrey MLA Dave Hayer helped to organize the event. He says the response has been unbelievable.”I feel so proud, not just the Indo-Canadian community but the whole community people from different walks of life, different religions.”

Radio India had expected to raise about $200,000. But by Monday morning, the donations added up to well over $410,000.