Saudi Charity tsunami houses issue will be resolved soon - Minister | Daily News

Saudi Charity tsunami houses issue will be resolved soon - Minister

Foreign Minister G.L.Peiris said that the government will expedite the distribution of 500 houses built by Saudi Arabia for tsunami victims in 2004 in Noriccholai in the Akkarapattu Division in the Eastern Province. The Saudi Charity Fund, through the United Nations built 500 houses for tsunami victims in 2004 at a cost of US$ 10 million.

The whole complex with a playground, community centre, mosque and shopping mall has been abandoned due to some disputes.

The minister said there were some entitlement issues and they will be resolved as soon as possible and given to the people at an early date. The minister said Lanka is focusing on economic diplomacy, as the country’s economy needs to rebound after two years of losses due to the coronavirus pandemic.

While the Sri Lankan economy is slowly picking up, economic diplomacy is going to be a key factor in its foreign policy.

“The country is returning to normalcy after the pandemic, we are reopening schools and foreign tourists have started coming to Sri Lanka. We are asking our foreign missions to focus on economic diplomacy to dwell on investments, trade and tourism,” Foreign Minister G.L.Peiris said in the interview earlier last week.

The minister said Colombo does not have “exclusive relations with any particular country,” but expressed gratitude to Saudi Arabia for investing $1 billion in its infrastructure.

“We are thankful to Saudi Arabia for being a regular contributor to various infrastructure projects in Sri Lanka,” he said. “The projects included construction of the Epilepsy Hospital, National Trauma Center, Kinniya bridge - the longest bridge in the island - and the construction of roads, tanks and highways.”

Saudi Arabia has also been one of the key sources of remittance inflows from Sri Lankan expats. “The Middle East is the home for 1.5 million migrant workers, which includes the largest concentration in the Kingdom,” Peiris said.


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