Two years after the Tsunami, tales of goodwill
and generosity have given way to headlines about alleged
mismanagement and malfeasance. Despite the challenges that
remain, however, communities all over Sri Lanka have overcome
odds stacked against them and set examples for reconstruction
that can be replicated and should not pass unnoticed.
With support from the U.S. Agency for
International Development (USAID), Young Asia Television (YATV)
has assembled district-based teams of journalists and civil
society activists in the East and South to highlight Tsunami
recovery from the community perspective, drawing attention to
how citizens, local government, relief agencies and the donor
community have risen to the challenge of rebuilding livelihoods
and infrastructure along the devastated coast.
U.S. Ambassador Robert O’ Blake at a launch
ceremony for the series today said that USAID is proud to
support YATV in showing the " ‘other side’ of the story –
stories of hope, courage, and success."
Through weekly TV and radio broadcasts as well
as print media coverage, YATV will present a 13-part series
focusing on instances where communities have successfully
rebuilt their ways of life or are in the process of doing so,
identifying best practices of democracy and good governance and
highlighting the positive contributions of donor- and
government-funded Tsunami rehabilitation projects.
Titled "Coastal Rising," the series gives voice
to district-based institutions and civil society clusters to
share their stories with a national audience. Reportage
emphasizes "people’s voices" to illustrate how the relationships
have been built across socio-political borders and demonstrate
how people can work together in rebuilding the communities in
which they live.
"In the end, survivors of the Tsunami can be
either victims or agents of change," said USAID Mission Director
Rebecca Cohn. "The "can do" spirit of the stories in "Coastal
Rising" promises to inspire people to uplift their lives and
The series began on March 25, the half-hour
broadcasts in Sinhalese, Tamil, and English can be seen on four
television networks in the evenings, and in Sinhalese and Tamil
on SLBC radio Monday mornings and Tuesday and Wednesday