Indian HC visits tsunami affected Ampara

As part of India’s ongoing efforts to provide relief assistance to tsunami affected people in Sri Lanka, on Sunday, January 16, the High Commissioner of India visited Ampara. Prior to arriving at Ampara, the High Commissioner undertook an aerial survey of the affected areas. She held discussions with the civil and military coordinating authorities of the area. The Government Agent of Ampara briefed the High Commissioner on various aspects of the relief operations.

The High Commissioner had a meeting with Mrs. Farial Ashraff, Minister of Housing and Construction Industry at which a Consultant Architect, Mr. P. R. Mehta, from the Indian NGO, "Architecture for All", which specializes in post-disaster reconstruction architecture was also present. The High commissioner visited the Welfare Centre at the Ramakrishna Boys School in Karaithivu and a coastal fishing village at Kurakada Palliaya, Kalmunai. She interacted with the locals and discussed relief efforts. The High Commissioner also handed over relief supplies comprising 24 portable generator sets; and about 30 tons of relief supplies that included 1,200 packets of ready-to-eat meal packages: dry provisions comprising rice, sugar, dhal and spices; 10,000 packets of cup noodles; 1.5 tons of biscuits, clothing and about 3,500 blankets for distribution to affected people in Ampara District.

The High Commissioner of India has also visited Galle, Tangalle, Trincomalee and Batticaloa over the last few days in order to interact with Indian relief personnel on the ground in these areas and also to assess further needs that could be met with Indian assistance. A consignment of relief supplies donated by India has also been handed over personally by the High Commissioner of India to the Ramakrishna Mission in Point Pedro, Jaffna.

Since December 26, 2004, the day the Tsunami struck the coast of Sri Lanka, relief from India has reached affected areas in various parts of Sri Lanka. Indian Air force planes and Indian Naval ships have formed an absolutely continuous "bridge" of relief assistance for Sri Lanka in a spontaneous and heartfelt expression of solidarity, sympathy and friendship. To date, almost 500 MT of relief supplies have been provided by India to Tsunami victims in Sri Lanka. Indian Air Force aircraft have flown 340 sorties to deliver relief material and rescuing the affected people. Fourteen (14) Indian Naval ships have brought relief supplies and disaster management personnel including medical specialists, doctors, para-medical staff, engineers and technicians to Sri Lanka. Indian Naval survey ship, INS Sutlej has completed surveys of Galle and Colombo harbours at the request of the Sri Lankan authorities. An Indian Army Field Hospital with 145 personnel has been operational in Embilipitiya since January 01, 2005. Medical teams from this hospital have been working in affected areas of Southern Sri Lanka. Coastal disaster management teams have been operating in Hikkaduwa and Trincomalee areas to help restore communications and connected rehabilitation work. Indian medical doctors have also brought medical relief to tsunami victims in Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Ampara. A 45-bed Indian Naval Hospital Ship, INS Jamuna is also anchored off Trincomalee to provide specialized medical assistance for the affected people. — (Indian High Commission release)


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