A foundation ceremony for the China-Sri Lanka Friendship Village was held Monday in Walahanduwa of Galle district, about 144 km south of Colombo, to house the displaced and the homeless due to last year's tsunami.
Addressing the ceremony, Jiang Yiman, executive vice president of Red Cross Society of China, said "all the Chinese people across the country have shown great care and much concern about the people in the tsunami-hit areas in Sri Lanka after the suddenly occurred tsunami which brought tremendous disasters to the people of Sri Lanka, causing great losses for people's lives and belongings".
She said people from all walks of life one after another have all voluntarily rendered donations in cash and kind with a view to relieving and reducing the suffering caused by the disasters. The fund collected by the China Charity Federation and China Red Cross Society to built the village is also from Chinese civilian people.
"Helping to build China-Sri Lanka Friendship Village is strengthening the century old relationship between China and Sri Lanka," Dinesh Gunawardane, minister of Sri Lanka Urban Development and Water Supply said.
"This village is a symbol of love and kindness of Chinese people to Sri Lankan people," he said.
The village is to be built under a memorandum of understanding signed on May 10 by the China Charity Federation and the Sri Lankan government.
Under the memo, the project will be completed within nine months and will cost 10 million US dollars. The houses in the village will have minimum floor area of 500 square feet (about 46. 5 square meters) with two bed rooms, a living room, kitchen and toilet.
The Sri Lankan government will provide land for the construction of houses in the village, with one house costing about 4,000 US dollars.
The China Charity Federation has provided 10 million yuan ( about 1.21 million US dollars) of emergency aid to Sri Lanka after the tsunami hit the country in December 2004.
More than 30,000 people were killed and up to one million were displaced in the disaster.