Buddhists in Hong Kong have donated essential items to vulnerable families in Sri Lanka, which is experiencing its worst economic crisis since its independence in 1948.
The Buddha-Dharma Centre of Hong Kong (BDCHK) has raised funds to help families secure daily essentials, such as food, medicines, and other necessities. A portion of the funds raised will also be donated to educational institutions in Sri Lanka that are experiencing financial difficulties after the Sri Lankan government abruptly terminated or reduced pledged grants.
According to the BDCHK Facebook page, rice, lentils, cooking oil, and other items worth 7,000 rupees (US$20) have been distributed to 900 needy families in three distribution batches, under the direction of the BDCHK, a charitable institution.
In an open letter published on Friday, BDCHK director Ven. Prof. K. L. Dhammajoti stated:
Firstly, on behalf of the Buddha-Dharma Centre of Hong Kong (BDCHK), I’d like to express my deepest appreciation for your kind support of our “Sri Lanka Relief Fund”, launched on 27 April 2022. I have been deeply touched with the positive and compassionate response from so many of you! Within the short span of about just one and a half month, we have collected around one and a half million HK dollars to date.
Please rest assured that everything in the project is being handled transparently. By now, we have sent around HKD400,000/- to Sri Lanka for distribution of food items in eight villages.
The BDCHK also expressed sincere thanks to Ven. Balapitiye Seevali; Ven. Prof. M. Dhammajothi, director of the Postgraduate Institute of Pali and Buddhist Studies, University of Kelaniya; and Ven. Prof. N. Gnanaratana, former head of the Department of Pali and Buddhist Studies, University of Kelaniya, for coordinating the distribution of essential items. He also expressed thanks to other monastic members and local officials who have supported the distribution program.
Ven. Prof. M. Dhammajothi, who helped to distribute the second batch of items in Sri Lanka, said via video that although there were more than 2,000 needy people in their distribution regions, they had decided to prioritize essential items for women with children under the age of six. All of these people came to a temple to receive the items. Ven. Prof. M. Dhammajothi expressed appreciation to the BDCHK, and the center’s members and supporters, for their contributions to help vulnerable people in Sri Lanka.
The BDCHK also stated that as part of the campaign to help needy Sri Lankans, the distribution of essentials items would take place in different parts of the country. The center added that after the successful distribution of necessities in other parts of Sri Lanka, they would continue to offer progress updates.
Sri Lankans are experiencing widespread food and electricity shortages as a result of the severe economic crisis, which has pushed the country to seek assistance from its neighbors. The government has blamed foreign exchange problems caused by a tourism ban during the COVID-19 pandemic for the slump. The crisis has left the country unable to import enough fuel, resulting in severe shortages of food and other necessities.
𝐃𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐇𝐞𝐥𝐩 𝐒𝐫𝐢 𝐋𝐚𝐧𝐤𝐚 (The Buddha-Dharma Centre of Hong Kong Facebook)
Related news reports from BDG
Engaged Buddhism: Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation Distributes 45,000 Aid Vouchers to Ukrainian RefugeesAjahn Brahm Calls for Restraint as Sri Lankans Protest Economic UpheavalIndia Pledges US$15 million Grant to Boost Buddhist Ties with Sri Lanka
Sri Lankan Government Ties Religious Freedom to Protection of Buddhism