Israel donates medical supplies to Northern IDPs
Deputy Director General for Asia and the Pacific Region of the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel, Ruth Kahanoff hands over
documentation relating to medical supplies to the Foreign
Secretary Dr. Palitha Kohona in Colombo .
The Deputy Director General for the Asia and the Pacific region of
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Israel Ruth Kahanoff, was in Sri
Lanka last week. She was in Sri Lanka to oversee the handing over of 230
boxes of medical supplies to the government of Sri Lanka to be
distributed among those in the IDP camps in the Northern Province.
"It is a modest contribution from our country to help people in the
North in the time of need," she said. Ruth Kahanoff was accompanied by
the Eli Belotsercovsky, the Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of
Israel in New Delhi. She said she was happy that terrorism has been
eliminated and peace would soon dawn in Sri Lanka. "When you deal with
terrorists you cannot compromise with your basic security needs," she
Ms Kahanoff said her visit will enable her to learn more about the
developments in Sri Lanka and ways and means of promoting bilateral
trade and co-operation between the two countries in different fields.
"Israel was one of the first countries to come shortly after the tsunami
struck Sri Lanka with a team of doctors and medical supplies at the
request of the Ministry of Health." The Israeli medical teams worked in
the coastal areas struck by the tsunami and had conducted several
training courses and seminars. Six or more ambulances with medical
supplies were also gifted to the Sri Lanka government, she said. "This
was one field that we want to continue. We also work with the Sarvodaya
organisation to develop rural projects.
Referring to agriculture she said growing vegetables, flowers and
developing the dairy industry were some of the key projects undertaken
by them. "Where dairy was concerned our cows give the highest yield of
milk in the world." She said during the past 2-3 years around 70 Sri
Lankan professionals were trained in Israel in various courses.
"Israel has lot to offer in telecommunication and homeland security
which is becoming a major issue all over the world. Other areas include
water management, water treatment and water re-cycling and water
Referring to tourism she said Israelis were keen to visit Sri Lanka
to enjoy the beauty, wildlife and its rich cultural heritage. "We have
had a meeting with the Tourism Secretary to increase tourist arrivals in
Sri Lanka. We are organising joint visits of tour operators to
facilitate this move. During the Sri Lankan Prime Minister's visit to
Israel two years ago several agreements relating to cultural exchanges
were signed," she said.
The Sunday Observer met Ruth Kahanoff in Colombo last week. In an
exclusive interview she said she has nostalgic memories of her
grandfather who was born in Vienna and who later worked as a violinist
for an orchestra at the Galle Face Hotel in
Colombo in the late thirties. "It happened during the period when the
Nazis invaded Austria. He left Austria with his family and was looking
out for a job. He had nowhere to go but found a job as a violinist in
Colombo. He found Ceylon, a peaceful and a pleasant place for him and
his family. Whilst in Austria he worked as a violinist for an orchestra.
To comeback to the very hotel brings me nostalgic memories of my
paternal grandfather," she said.