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Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl dies

Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, considered the architect of Germany’s reunification, died at the age of 87 yesterday.

German media reported Kohl died at his home in Ludwigshafen.

Kohl led Germany from 1982 to 1998. In addition to bringing East and West Germany back together after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the former chancellor also played a significant role in the introduction of the euro.

“Working closely with my very good friend to help achieve a peaceful end to the Cold War and unification of Germany within NATO will remain one of the great jobs of my jobs,” former President George H.W. Bush said in a statement on Kohl’s death. “Throughout our endeavors, Helmut was a rock — both steady and strong. We mourn his loss today, even as we know his remarkable life will inspire future generations of leaders to dare and achieve greatly.”

Kohl had been holidaying in the south when the devastating tsunami struck, killing more than 30,000 Lankans.

The Helmut Kohl Foundation provided funding for the Karapitiya Maternity hospital in Galle after theMahamodara hospital was devastated following the tsunami in 2004.

As a true friend of Sri Lanka, Kohl had visited Sri Lanka frequently for holiday since his retirement from office. He had directly intervened to secure more than Rs.500 milion for the construction of the hospital.