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Vietnamese support Sri Lankans amid crisis

In the midst of difficulties because of the economic crisis in Sri Lanka, the Vietnamese community not only helps each other, but also “shares rice and clothes” with local people.

Government of Sri Lanka April 12 declared defaultin the context of the country’s economy being affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and long-term foreign borrowing policy.

Escalating inflation and severe fuel shortages also affect the Vietnamese community in Sri Lanka. “Business these days is facing many difficulties when the price of raw materials increases and becomes increasingly scarce, the electricity at the restaurant is cut off for at least 8 hours a day,” said Ms. Phung Huyen Nga, owner of Pho Vietnam restaurant in the capital. Colombo, tell VnExpress.

Vietnamese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Ho Thi Thanh Truc said that the Vietnamese community in the island nation is relatively small, including about 80 Buddhist monks and nuns studying Buddhism, 150 workers, and about 30 Vietnamese women who are married in Sri Lanka. this.

Sri Lanka, an island nation in the Indian Ocean, is grappling with its worst recession since independence, as the government runs out of foreign currency to import essential goods. Food and fuel shortages and long-term widespread power outages have sparked anti-government protests.

Sri Lanka has long signed many foreign loan agreements to invest in infrastructure. However, poor financial management policies and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the tourism industry, which brings a large source of revenue to the country, has flooded Sri Lanka “.debt mountain“, insolvency with countries and international organizations.

In a difficult situation, the Vietnamese community not only cares for and helps each other but is also willing to share for the people of your country. “Vietnamese people here always uphold the spirit of mutual love and affection and share rice and clothes,” said Ambassador Truc.

Monk Thanh An, a doctoral student in Buddhism at Kelaniya University, Colombo, said that seeing the poverty situation of Sri Lankans in the localities adjacent to the capital, the Vietnamese community here has developed open many donation and support programs.

“Those who have a lot help a lot, those with a little help a little, mainly with food support,” said monk Thanh An. “Some practitioners in the capital Colombo focus on supporting children, especially notebooks and pens“.

He said that when receiving the support from the Vietnamese community, the local people “thank you profusely” for this timely help.

In the ancient capital area of ​​Kandy, Master Phap Quang, abbot of Truc Lam Zen Monastery, said that the indigenous people are mainly from the Kamin minority. They face difficulties in all aspects, with an average salary of about 70 USD/month including overtime, not enough money for food and transportation.

Monk Phap Quang (wearing a robe) distributes rice and dry food to local people in difficulty in the ancient capital of Kendy, Sri Lanka, on April 13.  Photo: Facebook/Truc Lam Monastery.

Monk Phap Quang (wearing a robe) distributes rice and dry food to local people in difficulty in the ancient capital of Kendy, Sri Lanka, on April 13. Image: Facebook/Truc Lam Monastery.

“They are usually the ones who come to make offerings, rarely ask the temple for help,” said Mr. Phap Quang. “However, after two years of Covid-19 raging, now they come to ask for each can of rice. The temple has mobilized domestic and foreign communities to give them more than 2,000 gifts.”

During the traditional Sri Lankan Aluth Avurudda New Year celebration on April 13-14, Truc Lam Zen Monastery prepared more than 100 gifts, mainly necessities such as rice, oil, and learning tools. for children, to support local people.

According to Ambassador Truc, the life of Vietnamese people in Sri Lanka, despite some influences, is still much better than that of local people. The most difficult problem for the Vietnamese community is mainly related to the lack of electricity and fuel, but the people all find ways to overcome it by using generators, burning wood or solar energy.

Huyen Nga said that to deal with frequent power cuts, her restaurant bought generators as well as fans and electric lights. “Everyone is trying to overcome the immediate difficulties and hope dear Sri Lanka quickly overcome the crisis,” she said.

Duc Trung

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