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Report: Man loses 100 relatives

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LONDON, England -- A Sri Lankan man living in London has lost 100 relatives and friends as a result of last week's devastating tsunami in the Indian Ocean, according to news reports.

Sinnathamby Ponniah told the Evening Standard newspaper that his wife and two young daughters were among those killed when tidal waves struck the fishing village of Alliyawalai in southern Sri Lanka.

Ponniah, 38, said his son, Thanis, was the only member of his family to survive the disaster.

The 15-year-old managed to cling to a tree as his mother Nagaluxmy, 32, and sisters Yasintha, 13, and Yasotha, 11, were swept away with other family members.

The Evening Standard reported that Thanis had been able to speak to his father on January 30 and was now being cared for by an aid group.

"Everything was taken away from me," said Ponniah. "I have lost 100 aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. My village was directly in the path of the tsunami and was razed to the ground."

On Wednesday, Ponniah is due to meet his local member of Parliament, Simon Hughes, who said he would do all he could to re-unite father and son.

A spokesman for Hughes' office told CNN that it was seeking a visa for Thanis to travel to the UK. Ponniah, an asylum seeker, is awaiting an appeal after having his initial asylum application was rejected by the Home Office.

"Everybody must be hugely sympathetic to Mr. Ponniah's awful plight," Hughes told the UK's Press Association.

"The priority must be for him and his 15-year old son to be re-united," he said.

"I hope that the Home Office and Foreign Office will look sympathetically on all the other families who, like Mr. Ponniah, need to be re-united at this time of awful tragedy."

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