A year on from the devastating Asian Tsunami, Trafalgar Square stood in silence this weekend to remember those that lost their lives as well as the courage of those still working to rebuild their homes. London's Green MEP, Jean Lambert, joined the Tsunami Remembrance and was determined we should not forget those affected who still need our support to continue recovery.
Jean, a member of the European Parliamentary delegation to South Asia, visited the area shortly after the Tsunami struck. On Sunday Jean spoke of her experiences and praised the Sri Lanka community in the UK for their continued support; "There are regions that have been completely devastated by the Tsunami but with the support from others around the word they are able to pull themselves back together. Sadly the North East region of Sri Lanka has not been given its fair share of the resources available due to recurring tensions and problems with security. It is vital that we restore peace in the area - without it sustainable development will be impossible.
"Sadly the tsunami brought with it a new danger. Landmines in the area, that were mapped out and avoidable, have been moved by the force of the water and could be anywhere. This is a disaster waiting to happen in a country that doesn't need any more problems."
Jean continued to speak of the areas, although not directly hit by the tsunami, are facing equally severe problems: "The Maldives has rapidly become the forgotten victim of the Tsunami. Even though there was no wall of water, the huge swell destroyed islands. While relatively few people died, relatively more have been affected. One third of the population has been severely affected and 4% of the population displaced. We must ensure they are given long-term solutions to help them restructure their lives."
The event, organised by White Pigeon, held multi faith prayers and heard from Dr Moorthy - Director of White Pigeon, Jean Lambert MEP, Robert Evans MEP and Carmel Budiardjo - Indonesia Human Rights.
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Notes to editors:
Jean Lambert: In October 2005 Jean was named MEP 2005 for Justice and Human Rights. Jean was first elected Green Party Member of the European Parliament for London in the 1999 European elections. She was re-elected in 2004. She is one of nine MEPs representing London and one of two UK Green representatives in the European Parliament.