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Sunday, 2 January 2005    
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CCC relief efforts

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) held an emergency meeting on Thursday, 30th December and a follow up meeting with some of the committee members on Friday, 31st December. These meetings were preceded by a meeting the Chamber leadership team and a large number of business leaders had with Her Excellency the President on Tuesday, 28th December to map out the Disaster Relief Program.

There has been a surge of public support and sympathy for the disaster victims. The international community has also pledged much support. Many foreign business organizations and individuals have asked their companies in Sri Lanka and Sri Lankan friends as to how they should channel their donations in kind and in cash to a credible and accountable fund.

The CCC felt that much of the relief effort is dissipated due to the lack of co-ordination and the shortage of human resources with managerial skills to clear the goods arriving in the country, collect the contributions in kind made by Sri Lankan residents, store them and distribute them speedily to relief centers on a basis of priority.

The Chamber therefore decided to set up a co-ordinating mechanism to strengthen and support the efforts of the Government by bringing together the relief initiatives of business organizations, social organizations such as the Rotary and Lions movements and individuals.

The already established web sites, and are being modified to enter the 90 Divisional Secretariats that have been adversely affected by the disaster. Chamber members such as Unilever, Hayleys, Ceylon Tobacco Company and the Lion Brewery, which have an islandwide network of distributors have volunteered to collect data on the needs of the relief centers.

This information will be entered into the website database and updated regularly. It will then be possible for donors to select the contributions in kind, they wish to make and if necessary to specify the relief centers or the Divisional Secretariats to which they should be channeled. Please visit or

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