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Saturday, January 08, 2005

WORLD BANK PRESIDENT VISITS SRI LANKA DISASTER-AFFECTED AREAS AND PROMISES FULL

Colombo, 8 January, 2005 - The President of the World Bank Group, James D. Wolfensohn, today visited tsunami-hit areas in the Hambantota district of Sri Lanka, where he met with affected communities and saw first-hand the extent of damage to their lives, livelihoods and public infrastructure. He also flew over devastated areas of Galle, Ampara and Batticaloa. The United Nations Secretary General, Mr Kofi Annan, and Mr Wolfensohn combined their visits to these sites in order to minimize pressure on local governments coping with relief and rehabilitation work. During his day-long visit, Mr Wolfensohn also met with Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakase and Minister of Finance Sarath Amunugama as well as representatives of other political parties. He assured them that the World Bank, in collaboration with other donors, would provide Sri Lanka the financial and technical support it needed to recover from the tragedy.

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