Monday, January 10, 2005

TSUNAMI...Tragedy is the mother of Change

Tragedies, such as the one caused by the Tsunami [Japanese tsu, (port) and nami, (wave)], bring out the best and worse in people: from heroic salvation stories and generous donations by poor people, to donation scams, politics, to organised trade in orphaned minors. Still, one could say that civilisation itself has been molded through disasters and tragedy, natural or man-inflicted; paraphrasing Heraclitus, tragedy is the father of all.

The world community, as represented by the UN, should focus on implementing positive permanent changes through this disaster: not just the much talked-about missing Indian Ocean tsunami warning system - a tsunami may indeed not happen for another three generations in the area - but in terms of meeting the more pressing everyday needs of education, sanitation, health for the impoverished masses of Asia (and Africa, that should not be forgotten). The devastation may have not made any separation between rich and poor, young and old, local or foreign - and in that it is similar to a hundred Titanics - but it is the surviving poorer residents who will find it harder to cope with the aftermath. And like the Titanic, it was an accident that could have been prevented, with proper information, training, communication, and above all education.

Our thoughts are with the victims of the tsunami disaster.

The best that each of us can do in the memory of all victims,
in the years to come is to put pressure where we can,
so that every person in the affected areas,
and beyond, from now on gets access to a decent job
and a decent life, and so that a better type of tourism,
that can provide such means to all,
emerges from the ruins of the tsunami.


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