Ms Lowe is sending back diary reports from the country.
MONDAY, 14 FEBRUARY
Left for the Finance Ministry to get the final clearance. Arrived at about 1100hrs. Met by one of my niece's friends who took us to the trade and industry section. Handed in the applications and were told to come back at 1500hrs. I explained that I was flying the same night and had very little time to get the rest of the clearance done and the time was brought forward an hour. I had to ring my niece again and eventually we got the deed done by 1300hrs. On then to the Document Centre in Fort, which was quite tricky to find as it was in an alley way and did not have a board . We were then told that we needed to get Customs clearance prior to getting the demurrage waiver. As it turned out, we did not need it at all for tsunami relief!! On to the shipping agents. We needed a clearance agent. The manageress telephoned around, but most did not want to clear tsunami relief. Eventually, the subsidiary of Hayleys agreed to see us. After inspecting the documents and telling me we needed more documents he sent us on our way. There was one agent who had no hesitation taking this on. Moreover told us we had done all the necessary clearance and once we had rubber stamps for both the Moratuwa Lions and the NCC. for customs requirements, he would have it cleared without a problem. Smiles all round! I left feeling a lot happier. It was going to cost a bit, but the aid was at last beginning to appear on the horizon. Feedback from Colombo is that the containers will be de-stuffed within the port and taken to the agents yard, loaded and sent on it¿s merry way to the victims of the disaster at last. The other two containers sent to the Red Cross will be cleared in due course and handed over to the N.C.C. for distribution. The TRO will handle their own."