The New York-based Asia Society invited Professor Patrick Mendis, who set up The Tsunami Leaders Caring “TLC” Foundation, to participate at the Tsunami Summit on post-tsunami rehabilitation and reconstruction at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC. While teaching at the University of Maryland, Professor Mendis serves on the Sarvodaya-USA Board as a volunteer. A life-long supporter of Sarvodaya for more than thirty years, he visited the Sarvodaya family and traveled to tsunami-affected areas in April.
At the last week Summit, Professor Mendis met with President of the Asia Society Ambassador Richard Holbrook and the former two Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton, who chair the U.S. private sector response to tsunami recovery. Both Presidents addressed the audience of high-level government representatives from Asian countries and other NGO and philanthropic representatives around the world. The Tsunami Summit was co-sponsored by the US-ASEAN, the US Chamber of Commerce, The Asia Foundation, Coca-Cola, Pfizer, and other corporate sponsors. The Asia Society is the primary organizer of this Summit.
In a press release prior to the Summit, the Calvert Foundation in Bethesda, Maryland highlighted the extraordinary work of Sarvodaya and its leader Dr. A. T. Ariyaratne, who inspired Professor Mendis when he was a village child in the ancient kingdom of Polonnaruwa. See the press release by the Calvert Foundation:
Ambassador Richard Holbrook (right), the President of the Asia Society and former US Envoy to United Nations, talked with Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton who co-chair the U.S. Response to the Tsunami Recovery in Asia. Both Presidents visited Sri Lanka.
Professor Patrick Mendis (left) met with Ambassador Richard Holbrook at the Tsunami Summit. Both Professor Mendis and Ambassador Holbrook served at the U.S. State Department during the Clinton Administration.