Sunday, January 23, 2005

more tsunami action

Gaia could not have picked a more appropriate time and place to send us
a message of her hidden powers, and the message that we are Indians and
Indonesians, Sri Lankans and Swedes, Thai's and Maldivians only
secondarily - we are first and foremost citizens and children of the Earth
sharing a common fate of a shared disaster, and a common desire to help
and heal.

The Christmas - New Year holidays bring the entire world to Asia's
beaches. The Earth quake induced Tsumani on 26th December in the Indian
Ocean became a global tragedy because it impacted not just the Asians, but
visitors from across the world, including Swedes, who had come to
holiday on Asia's sunny beaches.

As 2004 gives way to 2005, nature's fury in the Indian Ocean fills
minds and hearts of everyone in every corner of the earth. And while the
immediate tragedy faced by millions must be our first response, there are
long term lessons the Tsunami brings to us. We need to listen to Gaia.

The first lesson is about development in coastal regions. Over the past
few days of market driven globalisation, respect for fragility and
vulnerability of coastal ecosystems has been sacrificed for hotels and
holiday resorts, shrimp farms and refineries. Mangroves and coral reefs
have been relentlessly destroyed, taking away the protective barriers in
the face of storms, cyclones, hurricanes and Tsunamis.

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