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Tsunami mission ends.

COLOMBO, SRI LANKA * The Sri Lankan Catholic church has closed its tsunami reconstruction and rehabilitation program four and a half years after killer waves ravaged the island's coastal areas.

The occasion was marked by an emotional ceremony June 23 where Fr. Damian Fernando, the national director of Caritas Sri Lanka, said he would "push his team toward other works."

While the major rebuilding phase may have ended, Caritas will continue to run its programs of income generation and assistance to fisherfolk and farmers, Fernando said.

Caritas has also formed women's groups and children's groups in tsunami-affected villages to continue the work of rehabilitation, he noted. "We'll surely continue helping people."

Since the Dec. 26, 2004, disaster, the social service arm of the Catholic church has built 12,616 temporary shelters, 10,713 permanent houses, 30 community centers and 35 schools, including 12 preschools.

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Title Annotation:WORLD BRIEFS; Sri Lankan Catholic Church
Publication:National Catholic Reporter
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:9SRIL
Date:Jul 10, 2009
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