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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2739

Italy promises humanitarian aid to Sri Lanka

Munza Mushtaq – Reporting from Colombo

Colombo, 13 January, ( Italy's Deputy Foreign Minister has pledged 'maximum possible' humanitarian assistance for civilians in the war torn North and East provinces.

During a meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Italy's deputy foreign Minister Senator Gianni Vernetti had also emphasized the need for the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tiger rebels to immediately cease hostilities and commence peace negotiations.

Senator Vernatti had promised humanitarian assistance in the form of food and other basic necessities to the thousands of displaced civilians in the North and East.

President Rajapaksa is reported to have accepted the Italian minister's offer and thanked the minister for Italy's continued support to Sri Lanka. The president had also reiterated his government's commitment to a negotiated settlement to the more than two-decade-long ethnic conflict.

Contrary to public perception, the visiting minister wrapping up his two day visit on Friday reportedly lauded Sri Lanka's tsunami recovery programme, claiming Sri Lanka was a success story in tsunami recovery. He made these comments on grounds that the reconstruction activities undertaken by the Italian government in the country were either very much on schedule or had been completed as planned.

However the general perception especially among the tsunami victims was that the recovery progress was far too lethargic in Sri Lanka, and two years on, thousands of victims continue to languish in temporary huts even sans basic amenities.

- Asian Tribune -

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