US/ICOMOS Tsunami Heritage Recovery Fund

Overwhelmed by the images, sounds and stories of the ongoing tragedy in Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and other Indian Ocean countries, and inspired by the solidarity that has always marked ICOMOS, US/ICOMOS accepted donations to the US/ICOMOS Tsunami Heritage Recovery Fund. Every dollar received in this Fund was destined for the recovery purpose; no administrative, overhead or staff time charges has been levied by US/ICOMOS on any of the donations received. US/ICOMOS is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organizations. As such, donations to the organization and to the Tsunami Heritage Recovery Fund are tax-exempt to the full extent allowable by US Law.

Informed of these available funds, ICOMOS Sri Lanka submitted a request that the donations be used to support the publication of the “Survey of Damaged Cultural Heritage Properties of the Maritime Provinces in Sri Lanka due to Tsunami 26/12.” At the quarterly meeting of the US/ICOMOS Board of Trustees (July 16, 2005 in Newport, Rhode Island), the funds were approved for the purpose requested by ICOMOS Sri Lanka. Below is a message from the President of ICOMOS Sri Lanka.

Message from Pat Wijeratne, President ICOMOS Sri Lanka

On behalf of ICOMOS Sri Lanka, I wish to convey our gratitude to US/ICOMOS for their kind gesture in offering their total amount of the Tsunami Relief Fund to ICOMOS Sri Lanka for the publication of the Survey of Damaged Cultural heritage Properties of the Maritime Provinces in Sri Lanka due to Tsunami 26/12.

This will go a long way towards our expenses in this aspect and more so as a source of encouragement for our members and the universities that took part in the survey. We will forward to you the requested information within the next week.

In the meantime I am happy to inform you that last week, ICOMOS Sri Lanka was granted this year’s US Ambassador’s Grant for Cultural Preservation for a survey of the Tsunami Damaged Cultural property in Matara Conservation area that includes the 17th Century Fortifications and the city within. These funds will be used to not only carry out this detailed survey but also to estimate the cost of damage and to advise the owners on how to conserve their property. Another feature is that we intend using this exercise to educate the architectural students on the conservation of their cultural property.

US has proved to be a true friend of Sri Lanka in more ways than one. Thank you.

Warm regards
Sincerely yours

Pali Wijeratne
President, ICOMOS, Sri Lanka

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