A Sri Lankan mother and her baby wait for help
A Sri Lankan mother and her baby wait for help


WE have all been shocked at the devastation caused by last week- end's tsunami. Now the time has come to act. The Northern Star, along with its 14 daily and 60 country and community sister newspapers in APN News and Media, today launches its APN Tsunami Relief Appeal to help the people of Sri Lanka, where about 25,000 people were killed and more than a mil- lion left homeless by the tsunami. We call on the people of the Northern Rivers to help raise $1 million dollars by next Saturday so CARE Australia can get aid to desperate Sri Lankan families. To kick the appeal off, The Northern Star and APN News and Media have chipped in $100,000, and local community leaders have also dug deep. Lismore City Council has com-

mitted $5000 to the appeal, Kyogle Council has chipped in $500, Bal- lina MP Don Page has pledged $300 of his own money and Bal- lina Shire mayor Phil Silver has said he will ask his council to contribute thousands. Lismore mayor Merv King said everyone had to help. "This is a very sad occasion and we all have to pitch in and do something," Cr King said. "Hopefully this donation will be an indication of how much local people support this cause." APN Regional Newspapers Divi- sion chief executive officer Martin Simons called for local community groups, businesses and even groups of residents to band to- gether and raise lots of $500 for the appeal.

The funds would be used by CARE Aust- ralia to meet Sri Lan- ka's urgent need for food, water, cooking supplies and medicine. "I know it sounds a lot of money but des- perate families need our help," Mr Simons said. "Together we can give so much more." APN chief operating officer, Mark Jamie-

son, said local people could make a real differ- ence to the shattered nation. "The generosity and compassion of our read- ers is well known," Mr Jamieson said. "I know you will do what you can to help the victims of a tragedy whose extent is some- thing that we can hardly comprehend." APN reporter Mark Furler and photographer Kevin Farmer flew to the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, yesterday. They will report for The Northern Star on the situation in the country, and on how Northern Rivers' donations are being used to help its people.

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