Ven. Dhammasiri Kekanadura, a Theravadan monk and native of Sri Lanka who has lived in the Northwest for many years, traveled to Sri Lanka May 27 to undertake relief efforts on behalf of refugees from the most recent eruption of conflict between Sri Lankan government forces and Tamil Tigers in the north of that country.
Ven. Dhammasiri, known to many as “Siri”, serves as resident monk and teacher for the Vietnamese Buddhist Community (Tinh Xa Minh Dang Quang) in Spokane, Washington. The temple is supporting him in his mission.
Ven. Dhammasiri plans to concentrate his efforts on helping school-age children whose education has been interrupted by the civil war’s fighting, displacement and destruction of villages. As he did in the aftermath of the tsunami of 2004, he will use donations to establish scholarship funds for up to 100 students between the ages of five and seventeen. In addition, he plans to supply them with necessary school items, including pens, pencils, work books, bags, a small umbrella, and cloth for school uniforms. While aware that the immediate needs for food and shelter for refugees are colossal, Ven. Dhammasiri’s concern is for nourishing the minds of young people who have suffered greatly.
Before leaving for Sri Lanka, Ven. Dhammasiri was able to collect over $3,000 in donations. More is needed. It is still possible to contribute by wiring money to the scholarship account at “Peoples Bank” in Sri Lanka. For more information, contact Ven. Dhammasiri by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contributors: Ven. Dhammasiri Kekanadura, Julie Welch.