(August 09, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) As soon as news was received last week of the serious floods in Pakistan , President Mahinda Rajapaksa telephoned Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani and assured Sri Lanka’s strong solidarity with the efforts of the Government and People of Pakistan to cope with the challenge of the serious natural disaster.
The President thereafter directed that a consignment of relief assistance be sent to Pakistan immediately. Accordingly, the Ministries of Defence, of Cooperatives and Internal Trade and of External Affairs worked in liaison to send a consignment of dry rations by Sri Lanka Air Force aircraft C-130. This consignment of approximately 18 tons consisting of red lentils, chick peas, chili powder, curry power, white sugar, samba rice and tea reached Islamabad on 8th August 2010.
The items were immediately handed over that same day by the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka Air Chief Marshal Jayalath Weerakkody, to the Prime Minister’s Office. On receiving the items, Mr. Naimat-Ullah, the Coordinator for Flood Relief Operations, appreciated the gesture extended by a close friend – Sri Lanka, at this hour of need. Mr. Naimat-Ullah also commented that Sri Lanka has been a very special country for Pakistan and that both countries have come forward to each other’s help in times of need.