THE death and devastation in South East Asia is of near unimaginable proportions and the suffering of those effected is beyond the grasp of most of us: However, several thousand families in Europe have or will during the next few days join in the agony of comprehending the loss of loved ones, neighbours and friends. We are witnessing the world's most horrific disaster in our generation's life-time, brought home to us in graphic media reports and ghastly eye witness accounts.
World leaders have made TV appeals and have launched humanitarian aid programmes. The British public donated in the space of a few hours £15 millions following a television appeal by a television presenter.
The British Government donated one million pounds until embarrassed by other countries.
This is truly a tragedy of Biblical proportions. Five of the countries affected are members of the British Commonwealth. Britain having particular close ties to Sri Lanka and India, both severely affected.
British holiday makers, travellers and businesses have close associations with all affected countries and millions of British tourists have enjoyed the hospitality of the general region, their hospitality being second to none.
There are many thousands of close relatives from these countries around the India Ocean Basin settled in the UK and contributing to the success of Britain.
The British public are asking - where is the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair. The answer is - he is relaxing on holiday in Egypt whilst the world weeps and leaders of European countries address their public, prepare them for the eventual terrible news of their own death toll and to be at the helm of the urgent despatches of desperately required help aid packages.
Surely there is no space in our hearts or tolerance for this arrogant and callous man, who has shown nothing but a thoughtless egoism and interest in self-preservation during the last two years.
Whilst millions suffer, Britain and the world have tears in their eyes, Tony Blair, the British Prime Minister has basked in the sun.
Robert Maunder, before moving to Majorca, spent many years working in South East Asia including nearly six years in Sri Lanka and several years in Thailand.