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Sri Lankans pull together after tsunami hits

Dec 28 (Reuters) Sri Lankans of all castes and creeds pulled together on Tuesday to try to salvage what remains of their lives, following a series of tsunami waves that devastated coastlines across Asia. Budhhist and Hindu, Muslim and Christian worked side by side in towns and villages that line the tourist beaches of the south. more..

Sri Lanka investors count the cost

Dec 28 (TA) INVESTORS in Sri Lanka yesterday began putting a value on the nation's misery. Share prices plunged on opening in Colombo and last night the market's All Share index was trading more than 4 per cent down with leading travel and tourism-related stocks hit hard. more..

North East continues to receive Tsunami relief

Dec 28 (PRIU) The immediate requirements of the victims of Tsunami-hit Northern and Eastern Districts are safe drinking water and medicine. University students and people of the area and Sri Lankan military and police personnel have queued up to donate blood since Sunday. more..

Schools reopening delayed

Dec 28 (PRIU) All schools in the island that were scheduled to reopen for the new academic year on January 03, 2005, will not reopen on this day due to the disaster caused by tsunamis on Sunday, the Ministry of Education announced today. The new date for reopening schools will be notified later.

World leaders condole

Dec 28 (PRIU) Sri Lanka is being inundated with messages of sympathy from the world over, since tsunamis devastated the Southern, Northern and Eastern coastal regions of the island, killing over 13,000. more..

Special bank accounts for relief funds

Dec 28 (PRIU) The President’s Office and the Government request that all monies destined for the victims of Sunday’s disaster be sent directly to the two special bank accounts opened by the President’s Office for this purpose detailed below: more..

National Day of Mourning on Dec.31

Dec 28 (BBC) Friday, December 31 has been declared a National Day of Mourning in Sri Lanka, Govt. announced today. President Chandrika Kumaratunge who rushed back to the country having cut short a private visit to Britain took charge of the situation and has ordered immediate release of Rs.90 million from the treasury for relief work. more..

Sri Lanka's New Zealand tour to continue

Dec 28 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan cricket team's tour of New Zealand will continue despite the tsunami which has killed nearly 19,000 people in their homeland, officials said on Tuesday. The tour was put on hold on Monday for five days as part of a Sri Lankan period of mourning but the players had said earlier on Tuesday they wanted the tour to be delayed indefinitely. more..

NorthEast death toll nears 10,000, Amparai badly hit

Dec 28 (TN) "More than 10,000 people are dead in areas across NorthEast. In Amparai alone there were 5350 dead," said Liberation Tigers, Tuesday afternoon. Cadres of Liberation Tigers and local non-Governmental organizations are working round the clock to provide rescue and relief effort to people in Mullaitivu, more..

Air force evacuates former German chancellor Helmut Kohl from tsunami-hit region

Dec 28 (AP) The Sri Lankan air force evacuated former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl on Tuesday from a hotel where he was stranded in the tsunami-ravaged southern part of the country, an official said. more..

Massive aid effort gets under way

Dec 28 (BBC) One of the world's largest relief efforts is under way to help the millions of victims of the Asia quake. International disaster assessment teams have fanned out to the affected countries and local agencies are distributing emergency aid. more..

'The dead are the lucky ones'

Dec 28 (BBC) We had not been able to get a room for Christmas at a beach hotel in the now destroyed resort of Unawatuna, on Sri Lanka's southern coast. So we checked into a sister hotel 300m back from the coast and on higher ground. more..

Asian disaster: Sri Lanka eyewitnesses

Dec 28 (BBC) Sea surges have devastated a wide stretch of Sri Lanka's eastern coastline, including popular tourist beaches in the south. Thousands are reported dead and more than a million people have been forced from their homes. more..

World helps - but will it forget?

Dec 28 (BBC) When natural disasters strike these days, the international response tends to be the same - immediate interest, immediate help but long term neglect. The scale of this unique calamity requires a unique response. more..

A challenge to the nation

Dec 28 (ANN) The worst-ever national disaster struck the country on Sunday. While tears and mourning will be the order for some days to come, the nation as a whole must rise to meet the great challenge that has beset it. By Monday morning the official statistics of the number dead stood at 4500. more..

Top Stories Photos - Reuters

Dec 28 (Yahoo) A couple collect their belongings from the remains of their home in the severely damaged Mount Lavinia district, south of Colombo, Sri Lanka, December 28, 2004. more..

Prime Minister rescues UNP's Bandula Gunawardena

Dec 28 (DN) Among the victims of Sunday's devastation were former Deputy Finance Minister Bandula Gunawardena holidaying at Arugam Bay with his family. Stranded on the roof top of Arugam Bay Rest House, the entire family was rescued by an Air Force helicopter after Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse en route to the South to witness the devastation, called for help after seeing them. more..

Trincomalee residents need more help

Dec 28 (Xinhua) After the tsunamis on Sunday killed more than 600 in Sri Lanka's eastern port of Trincomalle, local residents said Tuesday that they are desperately wanting food, drinking water, cloths, tents and other assistance. more..

Friends, family anxious for news half a globe away

Dec 28 (AR) The earthquake that shook the Indian Ocean and sent apocalyptic waves onto the shores of 10 nations this weekend left many Arizona families desperately trying to contact loved ones in those countries. more..

Sri Lanka confirms 13,054 death

Dec 28 (HT) By Tuesday evening, Sri Lankan government agencies had counted 13,054 bodies of persons who had perished in last Sunday's tsunami disaster in the coastal areas of the island, according to the Military Spokesman, Brig Daya Ratnayake. more..

Sri Lankan priests in area pray for homeland

Dec 28 (FW) The Rev. Daniel Pinto’s long-planned visit to his native Sri Lanka next month has taken on new urgency and meaning because of the tsunami that killed at least 12,000 people there but appears to have spared his family. more..

Sri Lanka appeals for unity as tsunami toll nears 18,000

Dec 28 (AFP) Thousands of tsunami victims were buried in mass graves as the death toll neared 18,000 and Sri Lanka's president called for ethnic unity to tackle the crisis. Even as the President Chandrika Kumaratunga's office said the toll was at 17,800 dead, more..

Tsunami tragedy: Your e-mails

Dec 28 (CNN) Here are a selection of eyewitness accounts from people who have written in with their experiences of the devastation. We are also publishing your appeals for information about missing relatives and friends here. more..

Sri Lanka President takes grip of post-Tsunami hit country

Dec 29 (AT) President Chandrika Kumaratunga who rushed back to the island on Monday 27 December, having cut short a private visit to Britain to take control in the aftermath of the tidal wave disaster that hit Sri Lanka Sunday morning. more..

Relief without differences says PM

Dec 29 (BBC) The Sri Lankan president’s office say that the number dead in the tidal wave disaster that hit the country on Sunday has gone up to nearly 18,000 and is feared to rise when more bodies are recovered. more..

Sri Lankan High Comm gets overwhelming response to call for aid

Dec 29 (CNA) The Sri Lankan High Commission in Singapore has received an overwhelming response to its call for help for tsunami victims. Many have come forward to do their bit, as the death toll in Sri Lanka rises to more than 10,000. more..

Search web site for relatives, friends and visitors

Dec 29 (LN) Together with LK Domain Registry, Department of Computer Science & Engineering - University of Moratuwa, LAcNet has established a new website where people can register to request information about loved ones missing during the Tsunami disater in Sri Lanka. more..

Asia disaster yields its dead

Dec 29 (Reuters) The sea and wreckage of coastal towns around the Indian Ocean are yielding up tens of thousands of bodies, pushing the toll from Sunday's tsunami close to 60,000. The apocalyptic destruction caused by the ocean surge dwarfed the efforts of governments and relief agencies as they recovered countless corpses more..

Relief efforts under way in Sri Lanka

Dec 29 (NBC) Sri Lanka, the nation hardest hit by the tidal waves that wrecked damage across Asia, reported a death toll up to 18,706 on Tuesday. As the relief efforts begin to get underway, NBC News' Ned Colt reports from Colombo, Sri Lanka's capital, on the devastation in the country. more..

Mullaithivu situation grim amid rising toll

Dec 29 (TN) Three thousand three hundred and seventy three people were killed by the Tsunami in Mullaithivu according to local rescue workers and the Liberation Tigers. Kallapaadu, a coastal village near Mullaithivu town, was completely wiped out by the Tsunami. more..

Austrian doctors assist Trinco relief effort

Dec 29 (TN) A medical team from Austrian Disaster and Assistance Team arrived in Trincomalee Tuesday at the request of Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRC) National Secretariat, SLRC sources in Trincomalee said. more..

More bodies recovered in Manatkadu village

Dec 29 (TN) One hundred more bodies of Tsunami victims were recovered at government controlled Manatkadu village in the Vadamaradchchi east division in Jaffna district till Tuesday evening. Search operation for missing persons feared to be dead is continuing. more..

Religious services for the thousands of departed souls – our beloved ones, to Rest in Peace

Dec 29 (AT) Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga, in her addressed to the nation has appealed to the countrymen to arrange for religious services in Temples, Kovils, Mosques and Vihares at 6.30 PM on 31st December to pray for those who were forced to end their lives suddenly by the terrible tsunami. more..

District Disaster Management Authorities to coordinate relief

Dec 29 (AT) President Chandrika Kumaratunga has appointed a District Disaster Management Authority [DDMA] for each district affected by Sunday's Tsunami tidal waves. Meanwhile Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse has been named the chairman of the National Committee. more..

The National Psyche in a state of Shock

Dec 29 (AT) The Sunday Tsunami is now the worst ever tragedy to hit Sri Lanka. At the time of writing the death toll is recorded here at 17,000 and as projected yesterday it is feared the death toll will easily top 20,000 which is incidentally a third of the people killed in over twenty years of separatist violence in Sri Lanka. more..

Britain to make a need assessment survey to assess further assistance to Sri Lanka

Dec 29 (AT) The British Minister for International Development Hilary Benn telephoned Sri Lankan High Commissioner early yesterday to tell him that a UK assessment team was already on the ground in Sri Lanka and is expected to send its response soon. more..

Tsunami was a quake of 3600 `Hiroshima bombs'

Dec 29 (AT) Commander Y.S. Jayaratne, Sri Lanka Navy's coordinator with the Hawaii Tsunami Center, USA, told the media that the SLN is now in a position to inform the public within an hour about any seismic activity that shows signs of danger life and property. more..

Over 2,000 foreign tourists evacuated to Sri Lankan capital

Dec 29 (Xinhua) Some 2,000 tourists, who had been trapped in the disaster-hit areas in Sri Lanka, have been evacuated to the capital city of Colombo so far, local media reported Wednesday. The Daily News newspaper quoted sources from the Sri Lanka Tourist Board (SLTB) as saying that the authority has been trying to send the foreign tourists home. more..

At Sri Lanka's U.N. Mission, Working Through the Despair

Dec 29 (NYT) THE telephone rang again on the ambassador's desk, and for a minute the conversation sounded as though it could be about almost anything. Good afternoon to you, he said into the receiver. Thank you very much indeed. Yes, it is necessary for us to work together. more..

Survivors stunned in the devastation of Sri Lanka's Kinniya island

Dec 29 (AFP) Survivors on the Sri Lankan island of Kinniya of monster waves that wreaked terrible destruction at the weekend are still stunned: they have buried their dead but hold back their tears. more..

Stench of death chases patients away from Sri Lankan hospital

Dec 29 (AFP) The stubborn stench hanging in the air at the small Sri Lankan district hospital where more than 150 corpses have been brought is so bad that a policeman is retching in the front garden. more..

Wicked waves have not toppled Lankan economy, experts say

Dec 29 (HT) The wicked waves of the tsunami may have rocked the Sri Lankan economic boat severely, but they have by no means toppled it, says the research wing of the Hatton National Bank Stock Brokers (HNBSB), a leading player in the Sri Lankan financial sector. more..

Hotels cancel New Year party

Dec 29 (TP) Sri Lanka’s biggest 5-star hotels – all based in Colombo – said yesterday they were canceling the traditional New Year's Eve dances due to the calamity that has befallen the country. more..

World Vision assists hospitals in south Sri Lanka

Dec 29 (WVI) World Vision Sri Lanka has begun assisting in tsunami relief efforts in the southern-most coastal areas of Sri Lanka, including Galle, Matara and Hambantota. As well as clean-up efforts, and taking care of the living, there is the gruesome task of dealing with the bodies of the thousands of people killed by the catastrophe. more..

Death toll likely to reach 25,000

Dec 29 (SAMN) As Sri Lanka lay shocked and stunned in a sea of death, destruction and despair, the government announced Tuesday afternoon that the confirmed death toll had soared to 18, 706 while Social Services officials said that with hundreds more bodies being washed ashore the toll might top 25,000. more..

Families of missing Japanese heading for Sri Lanka

Dec 29 (Kyodo) About 20 family members of 10 Japanese tourists missing since the massive tsunami struck Sri Lanka on Sunday left Japan on Wednesday for the island. Twelve Japanese who took part in a 20-member tour to Sri Lanka organized by travel agency Tairiku Ryoyu have been missing more..

Sri Lanka welcomes help from Malaysians

Dec 29 (TS) Sri Lanka welcomed the quick help offered by Mercy Malaysia and the Malaysian Red Crescent Society, which are dispatching doctors and medicine to the island devastated by tsunami. Colombo also appealed for medicine, tents, blankets, linen and pre-cooked food items for the more than 350,000 affected families. more..

Lanka will accept a smaller rescue team from Israel

Dec 29 (PTI) Sri Lanka today said it will accept the arrival of a smaller rescue team from Israel, after reports said that the island nation was facing problems in providing facilities for many such teams that had arrived from across the world in its tsunami-hit coasts. more..

Sci-fi author Arthur C. Clarke loses Sri Lanka diving school

Dec 29 (AFP) British-born science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke, who has made Sri Lanka his adopted home, lost his diving school with the deadly tsunami eerily echoing a plotline from his first book on the island. more..

Sri Lanka lashed for staying in NZ

Dec 29 (AAP) Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) has been labelled "callous and cruel" for continuing its tour of New Zealand in the aftermath of the devastating tsunami in Asia. Respected Sri Lankan-based English journalist Charlie Austin wrote a scathing column on the Cricinfo website urging SLC to reconsider its decision. more..