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Eyewitness Accounts of the Disaster
Rohit Gupta, 28 Dec 04

Sanjay (aka Morquendi) produces TV shows and blogs from Sril Lanka. Last night he started sending SMS(es) to Admin Scribbleamus, and tried to communicate to her what he was experiencing down there in the tides.

It was the worst human experience, and the best spirit of human courage. No one had access to the information that Sanjay/Morquendi had, and he sounded like a human being in pain, unlike the sterile but objective taste of newsprint, which intersperses human tragedy with jolly advertisements.

The places he was sending messages from, traditional media had absolutely no access to. In some places, the Tamil Tigers ( or LTTE) have blocked access to journalists until relief work is completed. His messages had the potential to save lives. Such as this one:

[SPECIAL: The story that there are no survivors from beach hotels in the Yala National Park is UNTRUE. I know one myself. Many foreigners and local touris..]

[..ts who were there are dead. But there ARE survivors.]

This one shows us what people are really doing from an unfelt, unbiased perspective:

[Private media organisations are coordinating much of the relief work. Like LastNode says the government is doing little, despite talking a lot. A lot of...]

[..the really effective work is being done by spontaneous local initiatives. Lots of people are coming together to gather what they can and take it where it..]

[..'s needed."]

Oh, and LastNode is Morquendi's friend. Morquendi's brother will be blogging today for him, if he can get online. They've continued sending SMSes, but I'm told by Morquendi that LastNode is not on radar as of now, which is a very worrisome thought:

Lastnode, who just joined us, is Mahangu, another young journalist in Colombo. He is actually more of a journalist than I am because he's more of a 'on the field person.'

More reports are being sent as SMS and blogposts on ChiensSansFrontier, such as this:

There are over 500 bodies, unidentified, in the morgue at the Karapitiya hospital in Galle. I stepped over a few as I looked for my friend Timmy. They were all bloated from the water they'd absorbed. Looking ready to explode. I didn't have the stomach to walk into the main hall where the bodies were dumped. The stench of rotting flesh and chemical disinfectants made me want to puke.

I did.

I have stepped over dead bodies before.

Hop on over, we're all connected. We can fix a bit of this.

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