Canadian P.M. to visit tsunami area

Jan. 7, 2005 at 6:47 PM
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OTTAWA, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin has added visits to tsunami-ravaged areas in Thailand and Sri Lanka to an already-scheduled Asian trip.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reports that Martin expects to spend two days in the disaster zone, beginning Jan. 15. His original itinerary included four days in northern India and five in China and Japan.

About 150 Canadians are missing, most of them tourists at beach resorts in Thailand, and five are known to have died. But thousands of immigrants from southeast Asia, India and Sri Lanka are living in Canada and many have lost relatives.

"The change in plan reflects the growing anger Canadians had in the initial stages, when they saw the Government of Canada response was not that strong," Deepak Obhrai, a Martin critic and member of the trade delegation, told the CBC.

Martin was on a Christmas vacation in Morocco when the tsunami struck and remained there for almost a week afterwards.

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