Hollywood stars provide shelter to tsunami victims

Mar 30 (IL) The Dharma Wijaya Foundation and the Association of Hollywood Cinema Stars of Los Angeles have volunteered to build 36 houses for the tsunami victims in the Thelwatta, Akurala and Peraliya areas in Hikkaduwa.

The foundation stone for the houses was laid with the blessings of the chief incumbent of the Dharma Vijaya Foundation Buddhist Temple of Los Angeles, Ven. Walpola Piyananda Thera and the chief incumbent at the Attanagalla Raja Maha Viharaya, Ven. Panvila Ananda Thera at Galabodawatta recently. A sum of US$ 1,880,000 has been received for this project.

Skills Development, Vocational & Technical Education Minister Piyasena Gamage said the intention was to build around a thousand houses for the tsunami-affected people. He said it had been possible to obtain foreign assistance due to the efforts of Sri Lankan bhikkus preaching the Dhamma abroad.

Ven. Walpola Piyananda Thera said the financial assistance was not from the affluent but by the less affluent Association of Cinema Stars and contributions from prisoners' pays.

Ven. Panvila Ananda Thera said Galle District was chosen for the project on a special request of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse.

Ven. Panvila Ananda Thera added that compared to the foreign assistance received, local assistance was not satisfactory and emphasized that attitudes should change for the better.

A large number of Lankans residing in Los Angeles, Hollywood cinemas stars and local residents participated.

The stars performed acts to cheer the assembled residents.