In today's Telegraph letters, Tarquin Desoutter of Battle, E. Sussex, writes under the heading, "Feeding off disaster and at public expense":
Sir - Having survived the tsunami in Sri Lanka, I have one abiding memory of the aftermath.That just about says it all, except that Mr Desoutter is possibly wrong about the hotels being full of aid officials. Not a few of the rooms would have been taken up with journalists and camera crews. However, the point is well made, amplified by this syndicated cartoon published in the US print media.
On New Year's Eve, I was returning to my evacuee relief centre, when I passed one of Colombo's finest restaurants. It was with surprise and dismay that I saw it was filled with freshly suited UN officials, their finely polished official cars and dutiful drivers parked ostentatiously outside.
I went to bed early, on the floor of a sports hall along with 500 other displaced tourists. I couldn't get into a hotel; they were full of aid officials.