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China Hands over Red Cross Complex to Sri Lanka

The Red Cross Society of China on Sunday handed over a Red Cross Complex to Sri Lanka as part of its tsunami rehabilitation operations in Sri Lanka.

The complex built, which was undertaken in December 2006, is a fully equipped, four storied administration building and a training center for the Galle branch of the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS).

Jiang Yiman, executive vice president of the Red Cross Society of China, said in the handing over ceremony that the complex was a new landmark for the friendship between the Red Cross of China and its Sri Lankan counterpart.

She hoped that the new complex would enhance the capability of the SLRCS to face disaster in the future.

SLRCS Director General Nevil Nanayakkara said the two countries have enjoyed good relations for more than 1,000 years and he thanked China for its generous help in the tsunami rebuilding process.

Nanayakkara said the handing over of the project marked the successful conclusion of China's tsunami rebuilding operations in Sri Lanka, but the cooperation between the two countries, the two people and the two red crosses would continue.

The project, with a total investment of US$463,217, was carried out by the Sino-Hydro Corporation, a leading construction company in China.

This was in addition to 462 houses funded by the Chinese Red Cross Society, the China Charity Federation, the Macao Red Cross and other non-governmental organizations in China.

These houses, also built by the Sino-Hydro Corporation, had been completed and handed over to tsunami affected families in the south of Sri Lanka.

China was among the first countries to respond to Sri Lanka's call for assistance during the unprecedented tsunami catastrophe in December 2004 that killed around 40,000 people and displaced around 1 million in the Indian Ocean island.

China has recently concluded the reconstruction work of three tsunami affected fishery harbors in the western and southern coasts of Sri Lanka fully funded by the Chinese government.

In order to prevent similar disasters in the future, the China Meteorological Administration has donated to Sri Lanka a Fengyun Cast System, capable of disseminating earth observation data to help the country set up a seismological network.

( April 7, 2008)

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