Source Pravda.Ru

Kofi Annan visited tsunami battered coastal areas

UN Secretary General &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/letters/2002/09/13/36598.html ' target=_blank>Kofi Annan is touring devastated coastal areas of Sri Lanka, where more than 30,000 people have died in the Asian tsunami.

Annan visited a school in the tourist town of Hambantota before flying up the east coast to the port of Trincomalee, reports The BBC.

But a visit to areas controlled by Tamil Tigers rebels is off, reportedly vetoed by the government.

Tensions between the rebels and the government are threatening to overshadow the aid effort, informs New Kerala.

During his trip to Sri Lanka, Mr Annan flew over battered coastal areas, including the southern town of Galle, where US Secretary of State &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/politics/2002/04/19/27806.html ' target=_blank>Colin Powell visited a day earlier.

"From the air I saw a beautiful country, but there has been a lot of damage," Mr Annan told reporters.

In Hambantota, he was met by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse and &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/comp/2003/03/05/44036.html ' target=_blank>World Bank head James Wolfensohn, reports BBC.

Giving some much-needed good news, the United Nations said that by this weekend, relief workers would get at least some food and other emergency supplies to "every person in need" in Sri Lanka, a figure officials put at 750,000.

World Health Organization Director-General Lee Jong-wook said there were no signs of the feared epidemic among the 800,000 homeless in Sri Lanka.

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