Despite the rush of media coverage after the terrible tsunami in Sri Lanka in 2004, the nation faded from the public's view as the months and years passed. It is one one of the salient flaws in our news media: it's fickle, of-the-moment narrative often omits the denouement–and the people and organizations who stay around to pick up the pieces can be forgotten about.

When Kushil Gunasekera returned to Sri Lanka after the disaster, the conditions he faced were truly horrific: bodies floated in the water, buildings had collapsed, and the tsunami had killed more than 230,000 people across the region. Though casualties were most severe in Indonesia, Sri Lanka was hit hard, with approximately...

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