Sharjah opens housing complex for poor in Sri Lanka

April 8th, 2008 - 10:41 pm ICT by admin  

Colombo, April 8 (IANS) The first phase of a housing complex built under the United Arab Emirates (UAE)’s humanitarian project for people displaced in Sri Lanka’s ethnic war has been opened in the island’s western district of Puttalam, WAM news agency reported Tuesday. Jamal Al Turaifi, director general of Sharjah Secretariat General for Auqaf - a religious body carrying out developmental projects for the poor around the world - inaugurated the housing complex Monday.

Donated by Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council member and ruler of Sharjah, the 500 residential unit city came as a big relief for the poor who had been living in the open air and in tents for the last 17 years because of the ethnic war.

UAE’s Ambassador to Sri Lanka Mahmoud Al Mahmoud, Sri Lankan Minister for Labour Athauda Seneviratne, Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services Minister Rishad Bathiudeen and several other dignitaries and top officials attended the inauguration ceremony.

Al Mahmoud said the city was one of the major projects ever built in Sri Lanka. “It was the first project built mainly for the war-affected population,” he said.

Sri Lankan minister Bathiudeen on behalf his government thanked the Sharjah ruler for his humanitarian efforts to alleviate the suffering of poor and displaced people.

Later, Al Turaifi and Bathiudeen laid the foundation stone for the second phase of the city, which will also contain 500 houses for another group of displaced.

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