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First batch of China-donated tents arrives in Sri Lanka
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08:16, May 18, 2009

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The first batch of China-donated tents in humanitarian aid to civilians displaced by the conflict in northern Sri Lanka arrived at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo on Sunday.

Sri Lanka's Senior Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa, Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe, and China's Ambassador to Sri Lanka Yang Xiuping attended the tents handover ceremony.

Rajapaksa expressed sincere gratitude to the Chinese governmentand people, saying China's timely assistance will greatly help improve the living conditions for the displaced people in Sri Lanka.

China and Sri Lanka have always helped each other in times of need, Yang said.

China sincerely hoped that Sri Lankan people could maintain social stability and economic growth and realize national reconciliation, Yang added.

Some 20 million yuan (2.93 million U.S. dollars) worth of tentsdonated by China will be sent to Sri Lanka in four batches.

Sri Lanka is in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, such as food, shelters and sanitation for around 200,000 Tamil civilians displaced by the conflict between the government and Tamil fighters.

The displaced are currently being housed in welfare camps and transit centers in the northern districts of Vavuniya, Mannar and Jaffna.

China has earlier donated 1 million dollars in emergency humanitarian assistance to the Sri Lankan government.


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