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* Sri Lanka offers aid to devastated Japan, dispatches rescue teams
Sun, Mar 13, 2011, 09:15 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 13, Colombo: Sri Lanka government announced Sunday that it will donate one million US dollars to tsunami hit Japan and send a tri-forces rescue team to assist the devastated country in its recovery efforts.

Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa today instructed the Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundara to take steps to release the money at the earliest through the Sri Lankan mission in Japan, the government media unit said.

A group of specially trained tri- forces rescue team will also be dispatched immediately along with a special medical team of doctors and nurses to Japan to provide medical assistance to the tsunami affected people.

Sri Lanka, having dealt with its own devastation in 2004 by the Boxing Day Indian Ocean tsunami that killed 35,000 people in the island, has the necessary experience in such rescue and relief measures.

The President has directed the Sri Lankan Envoy in Japan to coordinate all possible assistance as a friendly country to Japan.

According to Japanese officials, more than 1,400 people were killed by the Friday's magnitude 8.9 ocean earthquake that hit the eastern coast of Japan and the tsunami that followed.

The 23-foot tsunami triggered by the earthquake in the sea 80 miles off Sendai killed hundreds of people and swept away ships, planes, homes, boats and cars.

The officials however, estimate the death toll to rise over 10,000 as rescue efforts are continuing.

Japan is the single largest donor to Sri Lanka providing about two-thirds of the total donor contribution.

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