US official to give tools to tsunami-hit Sri Lanka tradesmen

Sri Lankan Police forming a human chain in parliament to protect the Speaker and enable a vote.

A senior US official is due in Sri Lanka next week to assess tsunami clean up operations and give tools to local tradespeople affected by the unprecedented natural disaster, the US embassy said Friday. A senior US official is due in Sri Lanka next week to assess tsunami clean up operations and give tools to local tradespeople affected by the unprecedented natural disaster, the US embassy said Friday. Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Christina Rocca will arrive Tuesday on a two-day to inspect US-funded tsunami reconstruction efforts and meet with Sri Lankan government officials, the embassy said in a statement.

“She will also visit cash-for-work reconstruction sites where she will present tool kits to tsunami-affected carpenters, masons and welders repairing schools,” it said.

Nearly 31,000 people were killed and a million made homeless in the December 26 tsunamis caused by a submarine earthquake near Indonesia.

The US had deployed up to 1,500 marines to help with the immediate clean up operations. The US withdrew its troops by mid February. However, US-funded reconstruction efforts are still under way along coastal areas of the island. – AFP