Clinton 'too tired to meet tsunami survivors'

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The Independent Online

The former US president Bill Clinton cancelled a planned tour of tsunami-hit areas of the Maldives yesterday because of exhaustion.

The former US president Bill Clinton cancelled a planned tour of tsunami-hit areas of the Maldives yesterday because of exhaustion.

Cherie Hart, the regional communications officer for the UN Development Programme and the co-ordinator of Mr Clinton's visit, said the former president, who underwent a heart bypass operation in September, was not sick.

"He's plain pooped and he wants to slow the schedule down," she said. He had appeared tired on arriving in the Maldives' capital, Male, from neighbouring Sri Lanka late yesterday.

Mr Clinton, who was recently named Special UN Envoy for Tsunami Recovery, would probably not be able to meet tsunami survivors in the tropical archipelago off India's southern tip but he still plans to hold talks with business leaders and government officials at the resort.

He is in the middle of a four-day trip to India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Indonesia to ensure that aid is being distributed properly.

The earthquake and tsunami on 26 December last year killed more than 176,000 people in 11 countries and left about 50,000 missing and hundreds of thousands homeless.

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