China, Sri Lanka build Friendship Village for landslide victims

Colombo, Jan 18 (IANS) Sri Lanka and China have started to construct the Aranayake China-Sri Lanka Friendship village in the central part of the island nation to provide shelter for landslide victims, the Chinese embassy said on Wednesday.

China’s Ambassador to Sri Lanka Yi Xianliang, Sri Lankan Minister of Disaster Management Anura Priyadarshana Yapa and Sri Lankan Minister of Power and Renewable Energy Ranith Siyambalapitiya attended the ceremony to jointly launch the friendship village, Xinhua news agency reported quoting the embassy statement.

Speaking at the ceremony, Yapa said the Friendship Village was the largest international aid received by Sri Lanka since the deadly floods and landslides which hit the island country in May last year.

Minister Siyambalapitiya said China was a true friend of Sri Lanka who had continued to help the country’s economic and social development.

He also said China was one of the countries that helped Sri Lanka immediately after the floods and landslides last year.

“Today, the Friendship Village will provide houses to a large number of people affected by the deadly landslides. They are deeply grateful to China,” Siyambalapitiya said.

On the same occasion, Yi said that prior to the Friendship Village, China had also constructed the Fehein Village in south-central Sri Lanka and the Friendship Village in the tsunami-affected area in the south.