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Sri Lankan President hails UAE

posted on 01/02/2007: 763 views

Colombo - Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa said his country was grateful to the UAE for the support it had rendered in the wake of the tsunami disaster that hit this island country off the southeast tip of India in 2004.

"We are particularly thankful to President H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, H.H Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai and General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, for extending a helping hand to our people," said the Sri Lankan leader as he received here Wednesday a delegation from the UAE Red Crescent Society (RCS).

Rajapaksa said that a hospital needed to be built in Nourialia district, 500 km off the capital city, Colombo. He told the RCS delegation new housing quarters were required in Colombo and other cities to help the displaced from the North return to their homes with the help of the UAE. He expected that the problem of the displaced, particularly the Muslim of them, would be solved soon.

The Sri Lankan President urged UAE businessmen to set up joint ventures in his country, notably in the tourism sector. Around 300,000 Sri Lankans are working in the UAE in various sectors. Earlier in the day, the RCS delegation, headed by Abdullah al Mahmoud, inaugurated phase 1 of the US$1.250-million Emirates city in Gulf district and handed over keys to 150 occupants of the newly built, fully serviced housing units. The city will contain 400 units in the end. (Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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