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The Tsunami and Its Aftermath -- Understanding and Helping

The Tsunami and Its Aftermath -- Understanding and Helping

First in a series of public programs on the context in which the disaster took place and responses to it.

Thursday, January 13, 2005
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Ackerman Union
2nd floor lounge
Los Angeles, CA 90095

The destruction of the December 26, 2004 quake and tsunami has been shocking and unprecedented. From Southeast Asia to South Asia and East Africa, an estimated 150,000 people have died, tens of thousands more have been injured, and millions have been left homeless.

Massive humanitarian relief efforts are now underway, and media coverage has been intense, but important questions remain unanswered. What was the political, economic and cultural context of the disaster? To what extent was the disaster man made? What challenges are now faced by humanitarian relief organizations and by local communities? Who will be responsible for the longer-term work of reconstruction? What should any of us do in the face of such staggering loss?

On January 13, the UCLA International Institute and its member Centers launch a series of public programs aimed at addressing these and other questions related to the tsunami. Topics to be addressed include:

  • the role of international agencies and local non-governmental organizations;
  • the public health implications of the crisis;
  • the histories, cultures and economies of the affected regions;
  • and the political and human rights ramifications of the disaster.

Speakers include

  • Professor Geoffrey Robinson, Associate Professor of History; Director of the UCLA Center for Southeast Asian Studies
    Prof. Robinson is a specialist on Indonesia and teaches Southeast Asian history. A former researcher with Amnesty International, Prof. Robinson is the author of three volumes on human rights and political violence in Southeast Asia and has written extensively on Aceh, the region hardest hit by the tsunami. In 1999, he served as a United Nations Political Affairs Officer during the UN-supervised elections in Indonesian-occupied East Timor.
  • Professor Vinay Lal, Associate Professor of History, Chair, South Asia Studies Interdepartmental Degree Program
    A specialist on India, Prof. Lal has published on a wide variety of topics, often exploring the interplay between politics and culture. His books include The History of History: Politics and Scholarship in Modern India (2003) and Empire of Knowledge: Culture and Plurality in the Global Economy (2002). Some of his essays, including have been collected in Of Cricket, Guinness, and Gandhi: Essays on Indian History and Culture (2003).
  • Dr. Alina Dorian, Senior Program Manager, UCLA Center for Public Health and Disasters
    Dorian specializes in international disaster management and has extensive field experience as an aid worker, primarily in helping to restore and develop the capacity of health care systems. She's worked in post-conflict areas (helping, for example, to write the health plan for the new Republic of Nagono Karabaugh). Dorian teaches courses on the public health aspects of disaster and conflict relief.
  • Richard Walden, Founder and President, Operation USA 
    Walden is an attorney who has also served as the California State Commissioner for Hospitals (1977-82). His humanitarian efforts were recognized with a Presidential award in 1983. He serves on the board of InterAction, a consortium of more than 100 non-governmental organizations. Operation USA, established in 1979, has carried out projects in 89 countries, delivering $200 million in aid. 

For more information about the tsunami and our programs please visit the UCLA Tsunami Disaster Site.

The seating capacity is 220

Cost : Free and open to the public

(310) 825-0007

Sponsor(s): Center for Southeast Asian Studies, UCLA International Institute, Asia Institute