Saudi Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives Abdul Aziz Al-Jammaz symbolically hands over the keys of 500 houses to Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa at a ceremony held at the Temple Trees in Colombo on Thursday. (AN photo)
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia handed over the keys of 500 houses of King Abdullah City for Sri Lanka’s tsunami victims, Saudi Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives Abdul Aziz Al-Jammaz told Arab News from Colombo on Saturday.
“We handed over the keys of the houses to Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa at a simple ceremony held at the Temple Trees, the official residence of the president in Colombo on Thursday,” Al-Jammaz said, adding that the project was valued at SR42 million.
The Kingdom and Sri Lanka signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2006 to build 1,000 housing units for the people affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami in Ampara, some 275 km from Colombo.
Following the tsunami in Sri Lanka, the Kingdom sent eight flights of relief materials and pledged to construct the houses for the survivors of the disaster. The Saudi Red Crescent, which opened an office following the disaster, donated 15 ambulances and sent consignment of medicines and medical equipment to the hospitals in the tsunami-affected areas.
It distributed 300,000 sets of school uniforms for tsunami children. Sri Lankan expatriates in the Kingdom also remitted SR587,000 and shipped 10 containers to Colombo for distribution among the victims.
Recalling the Saudi help offered to the island, Al-Jammaz said recently a bridge costing SR440 million funded by the Saudi government was opened by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Kinniya.