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KFAED trip to Sri Lanka takes the students to Kandy

By Usama Al-Saeed

(with photos) KANDY, SRI LANKA, Feb 5 (KUNA) -- The fourth day of a Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED)-sponsored trip to Sri Lanka for distinguished Kuwaiti students has taken them to Kandy, a major city located in the Central Province of the country. Kandy is the second largest city after Colombo, and was the last capital of the ancient kings' era of Sri Lanka.
The students visited a KFAED-funded project, which is a bridge built over Mahaweli river, the largest river in Sri Lanka.
The government built a monument on the bridge, with an engraving reading that this bridge was funded by KFAED, and was opened by the President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa, in July 26, 2009.
The agreement of rebuilding and rehabilitating Mahaweli River Bridge was singed between both countries in 1995, at the cost of KD 3,300,000, besides funding many other agricultural and electric power generation projects.
KFAED commenced its activities in Sri Lanka in 1975, by funding a urea fertilizer project, with a loan valued at USD 23,2 million, while the latest agreement was signed in 2011, to fund the development of South Eastern University of Sri Lanka.
The students also enjoyed witnessing schools' musical bands, playing national music and touring the streets, as the country celebrates its 44th independence anniversary, which took place on February 4.
They also visited the Royal Botanical Garden, Peradeniya, which is situated about 5.5 km to the west from the city of Kandy in the Central Province of Sri Lanka.
The park, which attracts two million vistors annually, is renowned for its collection of a variety of orchids. It includes more than 4,000 species of plants, including orchids, spices, medicinal plants and palm trees.
This garden is also considered as a nature reserve, where a number of animals, including birds, bats, and monkeys are inhibiting the place.
The Kuwaiti students later visited a gemstone factory in which gemstones are being mined and processed, locally, and are later to be sold in markets inside the country and abroad.
Gemstones are sold in Kandy with prices less than other countries as all the needed stages they goes through are done locally.
The students have also attended a theatrical show, performed by one of local bands depicting the folklore of Sri Lanka by playing music and dancing, wearing customs presenting the heritage of the country.
The show witnessed a very high turnout by locals and tourists, besides the KFAED trip group. (end) aas.lb KUNA 051052 Feb 14NNNN