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India hails Sri Lanka's recovery

2014 Dec 27

The Indian Government says cooperation between India and Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the 2004 Tsunami is testimony to the special relationship that the two countries enjoy.

The Indian High Commission in Colombo said that ten years on, it is heartening to see that the affected communities have been able rebuild their lives and start afresh. Lessons learned continue to influence and improve how the world responds to disasters today.

India has taken numerous steps since 2004 to enhance its own early warning systems and improve disaster preparedness, and has also coordinated such efforts both bilaterally and multilaterally. India looks forward to continue to work with the Government of Sri Lanka in these areas, the High Commission added.

The High Commission recalled that the Government of India launched “Operation Rainbow” to provide immediate humanitarian assistance to those affected by the Tsunami, in consultation with the Government of Sri Lanka. Lasting over two and a half months, this remains the largest relief operations undertaken by India outside the country.

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister David Cameron, in a message to mark the 10th anniversary of the tsunami, said “Today we think of all those for whom Boxing Day is no longer a happy festive celebration but the day they lost a loved one in the Indian Ocean tsunami. At this poignant time, my prayers are with all those remembering people who were caught up in the disaster, including the 151 British nationals who lost their lives”.

He recalled that since the tsunami, the UK Government has provided almost £300 million to support the communities affected and to help people get back on their feet, whether by building new homes and schools or enabling them to start a new business.

“In the face of tragedy and adversity, hundreds of thousands of people have demonstrated real resilience to rebuild their lives and millions more have shown extraordinary generosity to help those affected. So, as we remember all those who died, we should take comfort from the communities that are now on the mend – places like Banda Aceh where locals say it is now more prosperous, vibrant and peaceful than before.”

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