Sri Lanka and China have started to construct the Aranayake China-Sri Lanka Friendship village in Central Sri Lanka to provide shelter for the landslide victims, the Chinese Embassy said in a statement 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, the statement said.
Speaking at the ceremony, Minister Yapa said that 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 that China was a true friend of Sri Lanka who had continued to help the country's economic and social development, and that 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 occassion, Chinese Ambassador Yi Xianliang 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.
Yi said the Chinese government and its people sympathized with the Sri Lankan people for the loss of lives and for the people affected by the floods and landslides.
He said a batch of relief supplies valued at 15 million yuan (2.28 million U.S. dollars), including 1,000 tents and 3,000 folding beds, was shipped immediately to Sri Lanka after the disaster.