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US cardinal impressed by Sri Lankan resilience

.- The archbishop of Washington is impressed with the efficiency of relief efforts in Sri Lanka. Edgar Cardinal McCarrick visited the island Tuesday, along with Bishop John Kirby of Clonfert, Ireland, chairman of Trocaire, an Irish Catholic Aid Agency.

President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga received the delegation of foreign bishops at the President's House. They were accompanied by Archbishop Oswald Gomis of Colombo.

The bishops had visited the tsunami-hit Southern district and spent time in Galle.

The Office of the President reported that Cardinal McCarrick and his team were astonished by the resilience displayed by Sri Lankans. The cardinal had observed that the people had risen above caste and religion to help their fellow Sri Lankans.

Millions of Euros have already been collected in Ireland and they will be offered to help Sri Lanka rebuild over the next five years, Bishop Kirby told the president.

Trocaire has already begun training Buddhist monks and Anglican and Catholic clergy in Galle in post-trauma counseling.

President of Catholic Relief Services, Ken Hackette, was also part of the delegation. He worked to co-ordinate with the Center for National Operations to provide children with school uniforms and other school accessories.

A special Web site has been launched to update the international community on every stage Sri Lanka's reconstruction.

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