Berlin promises Sri Lankalong-term rebuilding aid

11th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

11 January 2005, COLOMBO - The German government on Tuesday has assured long-term assistance to Sri Lanka in the reconstruction of the tsunami-destroyed areas. "Sri Lanka can rely on us as a friend," said Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer on Tuesday in Colombo during a tour to the Indian Ocean tsunami hit disaster areas. He concluded his visit at a memorial ceremony for the victims held at the German embassy, saying "It is a very sad reason, why I am here today." Germany is ready to immediately support the

11 January 2005

COLOMBO - The German government on Tuesday has assured long-term assistance to Sri Lanka in the reconstruction of the tsunami-destroyed areas. 

"Sri Lanka can rely on us as a friend," said Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer on Tuesday in Colombo during a tour to the Indian Ocean tsunami hit disaster areas. 

He concluded his visit at a memorial ceremony for the victims held at the German embassy, saying "It is a very sad reason, why I am here today." 

Germany is ready to immediately support the reconstruction, with sewage systems among the items, added Fischer. The minister said Germany will also seek debt relief and an entry for Sri Lanka into the European Union market. 

Sri Lanka's Foreign Minister Lakshmar Kadirgamar thanked Germany for the assistance, saying "We are deeply affected" after meeting with Fischer. 

"The German government and the German people have shown a warmth and generosity that is remarkable," said Kadirgamar at the ceremony. 

Fischer stressed that the purpose of his travels was not just to visit the destroyed regions but to offer assistance. 

He also thanked the Sri Lankan people for helping the many tourists during the disaster, "We will not forget that," said Fischer.

The Foreign Minister also took time to praise relief workers for their efforts, including members of the German Federal Criminal Police Office that are identifying corpses. 

In regards to the ongoing conflict with the Tamil rebels, Fischer told reporters that he hoped the disaster would be used as a chance to move towards a resolution and stressed that assistance "must be distributed to all, and the reconstruction must apply to all." 

Fischer also met with President Chandrika Kumaratunga before his departure. 

Sri Lanka was the last stop on Fischer's tour, which included visits to Thailand and Indonesia, of areas hit by the 26 December disaster.

DPA

Subject: German news 

0 Comments To This Article