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Family back after ordeal in Lanka

Dec 31 (GDN) A FAMILY who survived the tidal wave disaster in Sri Lanka arrived back in Bahrain yesterday. South Africans Andre and Mari-lette Wium, their son Eduard, aged 12, and daughter Liesl, eight, were evacuated from their hotel after the tidal wave hit on Sunday. more..

North protests against JVP presence

Dec 31 (SAMN) Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse and top Ministers visited Jaffna Thursday for an on-the-spot assessment of the tsunami disaster there but they were confronted in several areas by LTTE backed demonstrators protesting against the presence of Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) leaders in the delegation. more..

No Government relief to NE yet

Dec 31 (SAMN) It's more than four days since the tidal waves hit Sri Lanka, but Government relief has not yet arrived in the North East, which was the worst affected area due to the tidal waves leaving more than 14,000 dead and at least 200,000 displaced, alleged sources said Thursday. more..

Mass burials to avoid health hazards

Dec 31 (SAMN) Several hundreds of unidentified bodies of Sunday's tsunami victims were given mass burials in view of the health hazard posed by decomposing bodies. The decision was taken by the Government in consultation with health authorities in view of the health risk posed by purification. more..

Yahoo Photos

Dec 31 (Reuters) Homeless people queue up to collect food and blankets at a refugee camp near the damaged city of Galle, south of Sri Lanka, December 30, 2004. more..

SRI LANKA: A once exotic nation, now a pile of rubble ...

Dec 31 (IL) The Sri Lankan death toll is nearing 30,000, while another at least 10,000 are still missing. The one time beautiful and lush island is now mostly a pile of rubble. Its more than 72 hours since the deadly tsunamis engulfed Sri Lanka, but the aftermath and shock continues to pile on. more..

Bush to Send Powell, Delegation to Asia

Dec 31 (AP) President Bush announced Thursday that a delegation of experts led by Secretary of State Colin Powell will travel to Asia on Sunday to assess the need for further U.S. assistance. more..

Vultures in human form descend on the dead

Dec 31 (ANN) Organised groups, operating in the disaster affected areas in the south, are removing the valuables such as gold rings and necklaces from the decomposing corpses before burial or handing them over to relatives or family member, informed sources told The Island. more..

World Bank assures Sri Lanka of support

Dec 31 (ANN) The World Bank has witnessed the events in Sri Lanka since Sunday with horror and deep sadness. Such an event was entirely unpredictable and unexpected, and let us being by expressing our deep sympathy for all of those who have lost family members in this terrible tragedy. more..

Can tidal waves resolve man-made crises?

Dec 31 (ANN) Since the worst calamity ever, that struck this country on 26/12, a national consensus is emerging to the effect that to overcome this disaster, national unity encompassing all the people of all communities and religions, all political parties and groups, is called for. more..

No Buddha statues damaged in tsunami

Dec 31 (SAMN) A survey by the Buddha Sasana Ministry in Kalutara, Galle, Matara and Hambantota districts had revealed that not a single Buddha statue in those districts had been damaged in Sunday's tidal waves which caused severe damage to other property. more..

Sri Lankan brewery ditches beer for water

Dec 31 (AP) A Sri Lankan brewery has given up making beer and switched to bottled water to do its part to help survivors of the Indian Ocean tsunami, the relief group Oxfam International said on Thursday. The Lion Brewery plant in Colombo, has so far produced 120,000 bottles of water for shipment to the affected areas, with Oxfam's help. more..

Powell Signs Condolence Book at Sri Lanka Embassy

Dec 31 (AT) “It is important not to lose sight of the need for rehabilitation, reconstruction and the revival of the economy while dealing with initial humanitarian tragedy and help people who are in desperate need now,” stated United States Secretary of State Colin Powell after signing the condolence book at the Sri Lanka embassy more..

No discrimination in disaster relief distribution - PM

Dec 31 (DN) A ministerial delegation led by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse including Colombo district UPFA MP Wimal Weerawansa yesterday visited the disaster affected areas in the Jaffna peninsula and spoke to the affected people despite a protest campaign by certain groups allegedly instigated by the LTTE against the visiting JVP Ministers and MPs. more..

Sri Lanka and Maldives seen bearing economic brunt of tsunami tragedy

Dec 31 (AFP) Sri Lanka and the Maldives are likely to suffer the heaviest economic consequences from the tsunami wave disaster, with bigger economies in the region better placed to withstand the fallout, analysts said. more..

Tsunami toll nears 119,000, half-billion in aid pledged

Dec 31 (AFP) The death toll in Sunday's Indian Ocean tsunami disaster neared 119,000 on Thursday as UN Secretary General Kofi Annan spoke of "an unprecedented global catastrophe" which called for "an unprecedented global response". more..

BBC Photos

Dec 31 (AFP) A homeless Sri Lankan man and his daughter cry on hearing the news of the death of a relative following the giant tsunami waves which devastated two-thirds of the country's shoreline. more..

Panic in Sri Lankan paradise

Dec 31 (AFP) Sri Lanka's famous Taprobane Island, a speck of palm-fringed paradise just off the southern coast, was lashed by the deadly tsunami, leaving its visitors stranded but its world-renowned villa spared. more..

ASU's Sri Lankan students spared loss

Dec 31 (EVT) The tight-knit Sri Lankan student community on the campus of Arizona State University has been spared. None of the group's approximate 30 members lost family members in Sunday's tsunami, said Asa Yapa, vice president of the Sri Lankan Student Association at ASU. more..

Sri Lanka sees silver lining in tsunami tragedy

Dec 31 (AFP) Deadly tsunamis have unexpectedly shored up Sri Lanka's peace process, where the government has been under pressure to open talks with Tiger rebels or risk war. Nearly 25,000 people were killed in Sri Lanka after a wall of water slammed into coastal areas Sunday. more..

Sri Lanka to start reconstruction process on Jan. 15

Dec 31 (Xinhua) Sri Lankan President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga has said that the government has planned to begin the reconstruction process by January 15 with the help ofall political parties and the LTTE. more..

Aid convoys get police escorts to speed relief to stricken Sri Lankans

Dec 31 (AFP) A major international relief organisation has requested police escorts to help speed the delivery of aid to tsunami stricken areas of Sri Lanka, an Australian aid official said Friday. more..

Survival tips save S.Lanka family in train deluge

Dec 31 (Reuters) When the "Sea Queen" ground to an unscheduled stop in this tiny Sri Lankan coastal village, passengers packed inside the train's carriages thought a schoolboy had played a prank and pulled the emergency brake. more..

Biggest donors to help build a new Sri Lanka

Dec 31 (PIS) The Government is striving to use the worst ever human tragedy the country has faced as an opportunity to build a new Sri Lanka and three of the biggest donors have responded positively. more..

CBK invites Thamilselvan to join Task force

Dec 31 (PIS) In a dramatic move to bring about ethnic unity in the face of Sri lanka's gravest crisis, President Chandrika Kumaratunga yesterday invited LTTE political wing Leader S. P. Thamilselvam to participate the all party Special Task Force for Disaster Management. more..

Clarke foresaw tsunami attack on Sri Lanka in 1957

Dec 31 (HT) The renowned science fiction writer and futurologist Sir Arthur Clarke says that he had written about a tsunami wave attack on Sri Lanka way back in 1957 in his first book on Sri Lanka entitled: The Reefs of Taprobane. more..

12 Indians dead in Lankan tsunami

Dec 31 (HT) Twelve Indians have been killed and 60 others are missing in tsunami-hit Sri Lanka so far, according to the Indian High Commission in Colombo. The names of the dead are: Muthuvalli Alagappan and her husband Alagappan, Naresh Somani, Saundararajan, more..

In a Corner of Sri Lanka, Devastation and Divisions

Dec 31 (NYT) Abdul Hamid Ansar woke up before dawn Thursday, whispered prayers, gulped down a cup of steaming tea and resumed his surreal new existence: overseer of Sri Lanka's coast of death. more..

Grieving Sri Lankans scour beaches for tsunami missing

Dec 31 (IANS) Grief-stricken relatives are scouring beaches and hospitals or sending photographs to television stations in search of those who are still missing in Sri Lanka's tsunami tragedy. more..

Priests, volunteers keep hopes alive for tsunami victims

Dec 31 (AFP) Catholic priest Nihal Nanayakkara has not slept since Christmas. Not only is he the priest of a church in this tragedy-struck town, but also caretaker of thousands of tsunami victims taking refuge in the building. more..

Sri Lanka mourns tsunami victims with body count set to cross 29,000

Dec 31 (AFP) Sri Lanka has marked an official day of mourning after cancelling all New Year celebrations with the death toll from a deadly tsunami strike at the weekend set to exceed 29,000, officials said. more..

‘Tamils in northeast are also human beings’- LTTE commander

Dec 31 (TN) “The Sri Lankan government should not look at this as a Sinhala or Tamil issue. It should see it as a human tragedy and help. We should now ensure that the people rescued from the Tsunami devastation are protected from diseases rather than let the enormity of the tragedy make us inactive. more..

Tsunami destroyed 271 schools in North East

Dec 31 (TN) Two hundred and seventy one schools in the northeast coastal areas have been destroyed or damaged in the Sunday's Tsunami, said North East Provincial Education Ministry Secretary Mr.Thiagalinkam in a report to the Provincial Ministry for Rehabilitation and Reconstruction. more..

Palmyrah frond edges said main cause of cut injuries

Dec 31 (TN) Razor-sharp edges of the ubiquitous palmyrah frond found in the NorthEast are said to be the main cause of injuries suffered by the coastal area residents who were severely injured by the rushing tsunami waters inland in areas of NorthEast. more..

Army Seva Vanitha distributes relief in Batticaloa

Dec 31 (SLA) A consignment of relief items collected by the Army Seva Vanitha Unit (ASVU) at Army Headquarters left for Batticaloa on Thursday (30) morning. The ASVU,who took an initiative and spearheaded this relief programme on behalf the Army, is headed by Mrs. Soniya Kottegoda, President ASVU. more..


Dec 31 (SLA) LTTE propaganda machine, in what confirmed to be an orchestrated move to discredit the Government of Sri Lanka as well as the Security Forces, has lashed out a barrage of concocted and malicious stories and grapevine at the expense of suffering caused to Tamil civilians in the north and east following the tsunami disaster. more..


Dec 31 (SLA) Troops in the 52 Division in Jaffna peninsula were compelled to mediate and provide security to a team of media personnel, including a couple of foreign journalists when some LTTE men along with a section of Tsunami-affected refugees began to chase and assault them at the LTTE’s behest. more..


Dec 31 (SLA) As millions of Sri Lankans, irrespective all differences, joined hands together at this hour of nation’s terrible shock and grief, the country observes a Day of National Mourning today (31 December 2004) to pay nation’s respect and condolences to Tsunami victims. more..

Sri Lankan families who lost children taking tsunami orphans

Dec 31 (LBO) Grieving families of children who perished from tsunamis in Sri Lanka are taking away orphans from the disaster without approval, a move denounced Friday by the government and an aid organization. more..

Torrential rains threaten to hamper relief work

Dec 31 (LBO) Torrential rains threaten to hamper relief work and raise the risk of disease in the Eastern coastal belt of Sri Lanka. The Metrological Department told Lanka Business Online on Friday that heavy rains were forecasted for the day and going into the weekend. more..

Government to designate the Southern coast a national development belt

Dec 31 (LBO) The government is urgently drawing up plans to designate the Southern coastal stretch a national development belt, under BOI or land laws. “The government will declare the areas (the Southern coastal stretch) a development belt fairly quickly, under the BOI laws or land laws,” more..

Devastated Tamil Tigers accept aid offer

Dec 31 (GU) The aftermath has raised some hopes of a new era of peace between Tamil Tiger rebels and the government. Just weeks after the Tigers threatened to resume a two-decade war for self-rule, the leader of the political wing SP Thamilselvan accepted a government offer of aid and vowed to work with officials to get supplies to survivors. more..

'No one is thinking about tomorrow'

Dec 31 (GU) We spent the day in the village of Dutchbar, three miles from our base in Batticaloa, on the east coast of Sri Lanka. It was unbelievable. I don't know how many houses there were there originally - maybe 100. more..

Behave like Indian Navy, says LTTE

Dec 31 (IANS) A Tamil guerrilla leader has urged the Sri Lankan Navy to act like the Indian Navy and come to the rescue of the tsunami-hit Tamil population in the island's north and east. The head of the rebels' Sea Tigers unit, known as Colonel Soosai, also called upon the people to beware of post-disaster diseases like the ones he said killed many in Gujarat after the 2001 earthquake. more..

Storms hamper Sri Lanka relief efforts

Dec 31 (AAP) Thunderstorms and torrential rain brought yet more misery to the stricken island of Sri Lanka, hampering efforts to bring aid to those devastated by the tsunami disaster. After days of struggling to restore some sort of order to the ravaged country, survivors and rescuers faced driving rain and almost instant flooding. more..

“Treat all of us alike in this tragedy “– Sri Lankan President

Dec 31 (AT) “What of the little quarrels between a few groups and few parties in this little land of ours when the Tsunami that destroyed Asia generated the energy of 300,000 Hiroshima bombs?" asked President Chandrika Kumaratunge, addressing the “Adhishtana Pooja" more..

`LTTE playing double game on aid’

Dec 31 (AT) Government sources today expressed serious concern over the LTTE’ disinformation campaign abroad while offering to cooperate with Colombo on assisting tsunami victims in the North. The Tigers had made video and audiotapes to project a distorted picture of the aid issue Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle alleged. more..

Tamil Tigers grapple with disaster

Dec 31 (BBC) Little information has emerged from parts of Sri Lanka controlled by the rebel Tamil Tigers following Sunday's tsunami. Jeremy Bowen has gained access to the village of Mullaitivu in the north-east of the island. Tamil Tiger rebels here say that more than 3,000 people died in Mullaitivu - that is out of a population of more than 5,000. more..

Tsunami won't stop Tamil struggle: LTTE

Dec 31 (HT) The Sri Lankan Tamil rebel group, the LTTE, has said that despite the nationwide tsunami tragedy, it will not give up its fight for the rights of the minority Tamils. LTTE's Political Wing leader SP Tamilselvan, said that just as all ethnic groups were equal before the forces of nature as the tsunami proved, all ethnic groups had equal rights. more..

Lanka warns about child snatchers

Dec 31 (HT) The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) of Sri Lanka has appealed to people to inform it about any cases of child snatching they may come to know of, as some cases have come to light. more..