Colombo, Sri Lanka: 21 June 2005: Sir Arthur C Clarke has presented to Sarvodaya – Sri Lanka’s largest development charity – donations collected from British readers to support post-tsunami recovery efforts in his adopted country.
A total of UK Pounds 2,547 (approximately SL Rs. 460,000) was donated by individual buyers of Asteroid, a new astronomy book co-authored by Sir Arthur and the leading British astronomer Sir Patrick Moore. The book, with its foreword written by the UK’s Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees, was released last month.
The collection was presented to Dr A T Ariyaratne, Founder and President of Sarvodaya, at Sir Arthur’s Colombo residence today. Dr Vinya Ariyaratne, Executive Director of Sarvodaya was also present.
“I am delighted that so many readers responded enthusiastically to our appeal,” Sir Arthur said. “Patrick and I are very glad to have raised funds through our book to support Sarvodaya’s outstanding efforts in Sri Lanka.”
In accepting the donation, Dr A T Ariyaratne said: “We appreciate this great humanitarian gesture by Sir Arthur Clarke. We at Sarvodaya have held Sir Arthur in high esteem for a very long time, and it is not surprising that he immediately appealed to the world to help Sarvodaya’s tsunami relief and rehabilitation efforts.”
Shortly after the devastating Asian Tsunami on December 26, Sir Arthur made a global appeal to help Sri Lanka’s humanitarian and rebuilding needs. He recommended Sarvodaya exclusively for this support.
Asteroid was in production at the time. In consultation with the book’s publisher, Canopus Books, its co-authors decided to donate all the proceeds to Sarvodaya’s tsunami relief fund.
“The friends of Sri Lanka reaches through a wide range of British people,”
said Sir Arthur’s brother, Fred Clarke, who collected the donations in the UK. “They all want to help in whatever way they can to overcome the problems caused by the tsunami.”
Fred Clarke and Sir Patrick Moore persuaded companies in the UK to help with the book’s production. The Daily Express covered the cost of printing the book, and The Independent newspaper paid for the postage. Other publications printed publicity, while volunteers donated time to assist with the production, distribution and promotion of the book.
“Sri Patrick’s initiative has brought together a large number of people who want to show their concern and support for our friends, known and unknown, in Sri Lanka,” Fred Clarke added.
More about the book Asteroid can be found at: http://www.canopusbooks.com/as.htm