South Asian countries are considering holding the postponed SAARC summit in the first week of February, giving time for tsunami rehabilitation plans to begin. “The SAARC countries are considering a date between February 3 to February 7 to hold the summit,” said Macky Hashim, President of the SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industries, at a press conference on Tuesday.
The SAARC summit scheduled, from January 3 – January 11 in Dhaka, Bangladesh, was postponed at the request of Sri Lanka after South Asian countries were battered by a tsunami a week before.
The tsunami has by now killed over 80,000 people in the three SAARC member countries of Sri Lanka, Maldives and India.
“The most damaged among the SAARC countries are Sri Lanka and the Maldives,” said Hashim.
Now SAARC countries are calling on each other to help out.
“The others, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, have already asked us what we need. We are now trying to draw up areas of assistance,” said Hashim.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s President says that she would propose setting up an early warning system, against earthquake impact on the region, at the coming summit.