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Sri Lankan president calls Italian priest a friend

January 20, 2011

SRI LANKA: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has honored an Italian priest who contributed to building communal and religious harmony and assisting the poor in Sri Lanka.

“Reverend Father Iasso is a true friend of Sri Lanka…He has contributed to the emergence of peace,” said President Mahinda Rajapaksa in front of bishops, priests and parliamentarians on Jan. 18.

Father Guiseppe Iasso from Mercogliano, southern Italy, has been working in Sri Lanka since 1982. He built the model village of unity in Nawalapitiya that housed 60 Muslim, Hindu and Christian families, a vocational youth training center and houses for tsunami victims. He also funds annual scholarships from Italy for deserving students.

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