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06 Mar 2018 description

As the Sri Lankan government declares a State of Emergency following outbreaks of anti-Muslim attacks, the Catholic aid agency CAFOD echoes the calls of its local Sri Lankan partners for an end to the violence.

Jehan Perera, Executive Director of CAFOD’s partner, the National Peace Council of Sri Lanka, said:

14 Jan 2015 description

As Pope Francis visits Sri Lanka, CAFOD is responding to what the government has described as the worst floods to hit the country since 1957

Severe flooding began in Sri Lanka on 19 December, caused by heavy rains in 22 out of 25 districts across the country. In the weeks since, the United Nations estimates that more than 1.1 million people have been affected.

The floods have washed away rice crops and hit tea and rubber plantations, leaving many families facing food shortages or struggling to make a living.

Emergency supplies

05 Jan 2015 description

On Boxing Day 2004 a devastating tsunami ripped through villages in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand, killing more than 230,000 people. Millions of people from Sumatra to Somalia lost their homes, possessions and means of making a living.

Laura Storr, from our communications team, shares her experience of meeting Vinashathamy, a fisherman from Navaledi in eastern Sri Lanka. In his community over half the population were killed by the devastating wave.

Vinashathamy and Ujini

20 Mar 2011 description

"The training has been of immense value, I can now manage my parent's business. I'm proud to have had the opportunity of discharging my duties as the Manager of the Mini Society to the best of my ability." -Kumari, Sri Lanka

CAFOD partner Savisthri is a women-led organisation in the south of Sri Lanka, which helps poor and marginalised women in rural and coastal areas form small groups. Women like Kumari work together to improve their quality of life through savings and "mini-banks", ecological home gardening and income-generation projects.

23 Feb 2011 description

The floods in Sri Lanka haven't been in the media spotlight in the UK, but they've affected more than a million people and forced at least 300,000 to flee their homes.

Help us respond to emergencies as soon as they happen>>

At least 43 people were killed by the floods that hit in January, and roads, houses and vast swathes of farmland were destroyed. Many of the worst hit areas were previously affected by the 2004 tsunami or by the long-running civil war.

The country comes together

In the midst of the chaos caused by the floods, there have been reasons for hope.

18 Jan 2011 description

We are providing emergency help for people affected by flooding in Sri Lanka. At a time when several countries are being affected by severe weather we ask is this the result of climate change?

Give to our emergency response fund >>

Sri Lanka, Brazil, the Philippines and Australia are experiencing exceptionally heavy rains or flooding.

Torrential rains have led to severe flooding and landslides in Sri Lanka.

11 Sep 2009 description

Bishop John Rawsthorne of Sheffield and Bishop John Arnold of Westminster call for Tamils displaced by civil war to be allowed to return home after visiting camps in Sri Lanka

Two English Catholic bishops have recently returned from Sri Lanka where they gained a rare insight into life in the post-conflict camps.

Alongside CAFOD, they are calling for the end of forced confinement of nearly 300,000 Tamil survivors of the country's long and bloody conflict and allow them to go home.

Bishop John Rawsthorne of Sheffield and Bishop John Arnold of Westminster have just returned from …

03 Sep 2009 description

We are calling on the government of Sri Lanka to end the forced confinement of hundreds of thousands of survivors of the country's long and bloody conflict and allow them to go home

Since the war ended, more than 280,000 Tamil survivors are still living in overcrowded and unhealthy conditions in camps in the north of the island.

Freedom of movement for people forced to leave their homes remains restricted, as is access to the camps by the international community.

Pauline Taylor McKeown, CAFOD's head of international programmes, says: "Like many of these …

19 May 2009 description

Before the fighting came, elderly farmer Ganeshan says his life was "fairly comfortable", happily working his 14-acre plot daily to feed his family.

But, as Sri Lanka's conflict grew ever closer to his farm in Puthukkudiyiruppu, he knew this happiness could not last. When his house was damaged by shellfire, it was time to go - forced to abandon his life's work.

"I am a farmer who never dreamt that I will have to depend on anybody for my food," the 62-year-old says.

23 Apr 2009 description

Our partners working in the Vanni conflict zone in Sri Lanka have been severely wounded during the latest spate of shelling

The director of Caritas Vanni-Hudec, Fr TR Vasanthaseelan, suffered severe injuries to both his legs, one of which has been amputated.

He was caught up in the fighting when shells hit St Anthony's Church, in Valaignarmadam, on Thursday morning, 23 April, where he was providing food and shelter to many of the tens of thousands of innocent people trapped in a small pocket of land surrounded by fighting.

Fr Vasanthaseelan, a 34-year-old social worker, is …

21 Apr 2009 description

We are gravely concerned about the fate of an estimated 100,000 civilians as Sri Lanka's government announces plans for a "final assault" in the Vanni region, following the expiry of a deadline for Tamil Tigers to surrender.

The ongoing conflict between Sri Lankan government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has left hundreds of thousands homeless, more than 5,000 people dead and thousands wounded as a result of heavy fighting, in a so called "safe zone", a sliver of land where the LTTE are fighting their last stand from among tens of …

20 Apr 2009 description

Our partners in Sri Lanka have offered to step in as negotiators between fighting forces in an attempt to avert an escalating humanitarian tragedy in the north east of the country

Tens of thousands of people are believed to be trapped in the so-called "safe zone", surrounded by intense fighting and are being bombed and shelled every day.

The health of the people is also a concern with very little food and water available.

29 Jan 2009 description

The Bishop of Jaffna and clergy from the Jaffna peninsula, are holding a hunger strike to draw attention to the thousands of men, women and children trapped in the midst of heavy shelling and gunfire in north eastern Sri Lanka

A fierce battle, between the security forces of the Government of Sri Lanka and The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has left an estimated 250,000 people trapped in a pocket of land in the Vanni, a third of the size of London.

Aid agencies report that fierce fighting is making it impossible to deliver vital aid to people caught in the …

27 Oct 2008 description

CAFOD is helping people living in temporary camps in Sri Lanka who were forced to flee their homes because of the ongoing violence in the country

Anthony Lenard had few options when Sri Lanka's long simmering war caught up with him again.

With his village in flames, and his mother killed, he rounded up his family and headed in the only direction he knew was safe.

"On one side was the sea, on the other was fighting, so we had no option but to come here" Lenard said.

I fear for the safety of my children, there are reports of unrest so I don't want to take …

25 Dec 2006 description

Survivors of the Asian tsunami will be marking the second anniversary of the tragedy this coming Christmas, having made huge progress in rebuilding their shattered communities

The 2004 Boxing Day tsunami killed more than 200,000 people in countries as far apart as Indonesia, India, the Maldives, Sri Lanka and Somalia.

CAFOD received =A39 million from its own appeal and nearly =A318 million from the joint British aid agency appeal under the Disasters Emergency Committee banner.

CAFOD has given =A321 million to its local partners to help tsunami survivors build back better as part …

15 Aug 2006 description


CAFOD provides grant of £20,000 to Caritas partner in Sri Lanka as chances of humanitarian crisis increase because of ongoing fighting

CAFOD has sent an emergency grant to its partner in Sri Lanka to assist those who have had to flee their homes because of the recent upsurge of violence there.

28 Apr 2006 description

Both sides involved in Sri Lankan conflict urged to return to peace and allow vital reconstruction to continue, as aid workers forced to evacuate
Sri Lanka's tsunami reconstruction and long-term development is being threatened by the recent increase in violence and current impasse in the ongoing peace process.

Air strikes by the Sri Lankan military in retaliation for a suicide bomb attack earlier this week have forced thousands to flee their homes in the northern and eastern part of the country.

10 Apr 2006 description

Call for violence to end as two aid workers named among seven dead in Sri Lanka following a mine attack
CAFOD has expressed its sadness over the death of two Sri Lankan humanitarian aid workers killed in a Claymore mine explosion.

Mr Shanmugaratham Pathmanathan, 55, and Mr Chelvendra Pradeepkumar, 29, worked for the Human Development Centre (HUDEC)-Caritas Jaffna, CAFOD's local partner in the north of Sri Lanka.

17 Jan 2006 description

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor went to Sri Lanka to meet tsunami survivors and find out what CAFOD and its partners are doing to help

02 Dec 2005 description

CAFOD and its partners are marking the one year anniversary of the tsunami that struck Pacific Asia on December 26, 2004, with memorial ceremonies throughout the region.

The tsunami was the most destructive event of its kind ever recorded, killing more than 280,000 people in minutes and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless across ten countries.

It was also unique in the response it generated from people around the world.