Pakistan Navy to assist tsunami-hit Sri Lanka
[TamilNet, Monday, 03 January 2005, 07:09 GMT]
Pakistan has decided to send two ships from its Naval fleet, two helicopters along with 400 military personnel to join the international bandwagon in assisting Sri Lankan government to carry out the tsunami relief and rescue operation, Pakistan Embassy sources said. Pakistan has taken this decision on the request made by the government of Sri Lanka, led by President Chandrika Kumaratunga. A 150-member team of Engineering Task Force (ETF) of the Pakistan army is also scheduled to come to Colombo soon for the urgent reconstruction work. The Frigate is expected in Colombo before Friday evening, sources added.
Two days ago, US decided send not less than 1500 US Marine troops in a helipad vessel with at least five hovercrafts and 20 helicopters to assist the government of Sri Lanka in immediate relief and aid operation.
About 200 US Marines are expected to land in Colombo today to set up the pre-requisite command and control system‚ before the arrival of the US Marine ship.
Three Indian ships are already in Galle while others are in strategically important Trincomalee district engaged in rescue and relief operation.
According to earlier reports, two Pakistani Naval ships, PNS Tariq and PNS Nasr that were in Maldivian coast when the tragedy occurred, helped in evacuation of 367 foreign tourists. Pakistan's Sea king helicopter onboard the ship was also deployed for dropping food supplies to the affected inaccessible areas in Maldives.