Flood-hit Sri Lanka lauds India for timely help

Sri Lanka lauded India as it received the first batch of Indian flood relief supplies.

Last Updated: Jan 15, 2011, 00:37 AM IST

Colombo: Sri Lanka on Friday lauded India for
always being the first to respond to its calls for help, as it
received the first batch of Indian flood relief supplies which
arrived.

"India has always been the first to respond to Sri
Lanka`s calls for assistance," Economic Development Minister
Basil Rajapksa said.

Basil, the younger brother of President Mahinda
Rajapaksa, thanked India for responding to Sri Lanka`s call in
such short notice as he received the relief materials.

The 25 tonnes of Indian relief assistance worth USD
one million include dry rations, ready to eat meals, malted
food, blankets, mattresses, bed sheets, and water purification
kits & tablets, the Indian High Commission said.

Symbolically handing over the donations to Basil,
Indian High Commissioner Ashok A Kantha said that his country
stood ready to provide further help to meet Lanka`s
humanitarian challenge.

The second consignment of relief material from India
is expected to reach Colombo on Monday.

More than a million people have been affected by
flooding in Sri Lanka and at least 27 have died over a week of
devastation that has severely hit the centre and east of the
country, including areas already destroyed by the civil war.

The weather officials have painted a discouraging
picture, saying the scene could prevail.

More than 325,000 persons have been left homeless in
recent flooding in Sri Lanka, Disaster Management Centre (DRC)
said today. The DRC said the displaced people have been
accommodated at 591 temporary relief camps.

PTI