January 4, 2005

Clarke urges support of Sri Lankan aid agency . . .


One of the best-known Western authors in Sri Lanka at the time of the tsunami, 87-year-old Sir Arthur C. Clarke, has survived the tragedy along with his family at their home in Colombo, but the underwater research facility he sponsors did not fare so well. The author of 2001: a Space Odyssey tells Roger Ebert for his Chicago Sun-Times column that “Most of our diving equipment and boats at Hikkaduwa were washed away. We still don’t know the full extent of the damage.” However, he says, “Our staff members are all safe, even though some are badly shaken and relate harrowing accounts of what happened.” Meanwhile, he is encouraging people to support the Sri Lankan charity Sarvodaya, “which has a 45-year track record in helping the poorest of the poor” and has mounted a “well-organized, countryside relief effort, well above ethnic and other divisions.”

Dennis Johnson is the founder of MobyLives, and the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House. Follow him on Twitter at @mobylives