More on Morquendi in the tsunami zone
December 31st, 2004

Yesterday I posted SMS from the tsunami zone, about Sri Lankan Morquendi (Sanjay Senanayake), who was blogging accounts of the aftermath of the tsunami. Security Pipeline features an article about Morquendi, who is also a cofounder of Waves of Hope.

In the field in the disaster areas, Senanayake found that landlines were down, mobile phone voice networks were jammed, but SMS was working without problems. A group of about a half-dozen young journalists would file stories with their media organizations, knowing those stories would be censored, and then use SMS to get the real information out.

The journalists focused on letting it be known that aid was getting through—in some locations. The Sri Lankan government media, intent on making itself look good, said that aid was getting through universally, which it was not. Likewise, anti-government media, equally intent on discrediting the government, said that aid was completely blocked, which was also untrue.

“As word got out, people started putting pressure on the government to stop lying and get things done,” Senanayake said.

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