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Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly

Anthony Shadid on Iraq/Sri Lanka Tsunami Relief/Ramadan (#907)

Bob Abernethy talks with Washington Post foreign correspondent Anthony Shadid about Iraq's religious landscape, civil war, political Islam and the prospects for a democratic constitution; The task of rebuilding Sri Lanka, an island nation where more than 31,000 people perished when the tsunami struck last December, is being complicated by bureaucracy, poverty and 20 years of bitter civil war between the country's Buddhist Sinhala majority and the Hindu Tamil minority. Christian aid agencies and other private individuals providing relief aid to Sri Lanka, are not only faced with distinguishing between tsunami victims and the poor of the island who had no homes before the disaster, but are also caught in the middle of the conflict over who supervises emergency aid efforts. The rebel liberation Tamil Tigers insist that it, not the Sinhala-dominated government, be in charge of tsunami aid, raising tensions and threatening Sri Lanka's brokered cease fire agreement between both groups. Fred de Sam Lazaro explores the political, economic and bureaucratic challenges facing relief groups in their efforts to provide food, sanitation, temporary work and housing to tsunami survivors. Jesuit priest, Father Benjamin Miller, observes, "Almost every group sees the things they don't have and they know someone else who has what that would like to have. And they consider that they are being exploited or denied and that runs all the way down the coast, wherever the tsunami hit." Beit T'Shuvah; cameras follow a young Muslim couple from India through their first Ramadan observance in the Washington, D.C., metro area. [26 minutes] Closed Captioning

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Series Description: This series provides in-depth coverage of the top religion and ethics stories of the week as well as religious and ethical perspectives on domestic and foreign events and the arts. Hosted by veteran journalist Bob Abernethy, the series brings viewers breaking news through live and taped reports filed by a team of correspondents in the field and interviews with prominent newsmakers.

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