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Salt in the wounds A year later, what has become of tsunami survivors?

Dec 25 (OT) A YEAR after the tsunami, there are no monuments or memorials to honor the dead, only sticks in the ground near palm trees and coconuts to mark the mass graves. Along the road next to a magnificent sandy coastline, a few market stalls are selling fresh papayas and mangoes. Men are sitting outside of tea shops and smoking cigarettes. more..

Effects of killer tsunami varied

Dec 25 (NYT) Charity came pouring in from far and wide for this island nation devastated by the tsunami a year ago. But on its fragile northern peninsula, Udayarani Sebastian Pillai today lives on the cliff's edge of uncertainty. The government has barred her from rebuilding on the seafront where she had lived, and there is no promise of a permanent house. more..

Sri Lankan Minister denied entry

Dec 25 (PTI) A Sri Lankan Minister who arrived here from Colombo was denied entry into the country after his visa was found expired, Emigration sources at the airport here said. Sri Lanka's Minister for Rehabilitation and District Administration, M S S Amir Ali, was denied entry yesterday as his SAARC visa was found expired on December 21, more..

Govt, LTTE blame each other for Tamil MP's killing

Dec 25 (HT) The government and the LTTE are blaming each other for the assassination of the veteran Tamil parliamentarian, Joseph Pararajasingham, during the mid night Christmas mass at a church in Batticaloa. The Sri Lankan Army said in a press release that the 71-year-old Pararajasingham was "brutally gunned down by the LTTE's pistol men." more..

Govt accuses Tigers of killing Tamil MP

Dec 25 (AFP) Tamil Tiger rebels assassinated a minority Tamil legislator during a Christmas mass at a Roman Catholic church in eastern Sri Lanka, the defence ministry said. It said members of the rebel LTTE carried out the killing while MP Joseph Pararajasingham attended a midnight service at St. Mary's church in the town of Batticaloa. more..

Monks pray, butchers hang up their knives as Sri Lanka honors tsunami victims

Dec 25 (AP) Butchers hung up their knives, Buddhist monks got ready to chant hymns and survivors prepared to throng temples as Sri Lanka on Sunday began to mark the one-year anniversary of the Indian Ocean tsunami. more..

Yahoo Photos

Dec 25 (AP) Pinsirige Sunimal, a 15-year-old tsunami survivor, carries a basket of blue lotus flowers to sell by a Buddhist temple in Kalutara, 40 kilometers (25 miles) south of Colombo, as life slowly returns to normal in this tsunami-affected area. more..

Archbishop viewing tsunami relief

Dec 26 (BBC) The leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales is due to fly to Sri Lanka to mark the first anniversary of the 26 December tsunami. Archbishop of Westminster Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor will give thanks for the British people's "astonishing generosity" and inspect relief efforts. more..

SLN soldier's body washed ashore in Mannar

Dec 26 (TN) The body of Mr.G.S.Paranavitharene, a Petty Officer attached to the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) who had been reported missing since December 22 following a firefight between the LTTE and SLN in Pallimunai Sea was washed ashore near South bar in Mannar in decomposed state Sunday morning, Mannar Police said. more..

Identity of Jaffna victims raise questions

Dec 26 (TN) One of the five bodies recovered by the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) and transferred to Jaffna Teaching Hospital claiming to be those of LTTE fighters, after the firefight near Jaffna Fort Saturday, was identified as belonging to Krishnar Vimaleswaran (31), a watcher at Jaffna Central College, located 300 meters from where the bodies were found. more..

LTTE: MP killed by military intelligence

Dec 26 (BBC) Tamil Tigers rebels of Sri Lanka have accused Sri Lanka military intelligence unit and paramilitaries of killing Tamil National Alliance parliamentarian, Joseph Pararajasingham. The national list MP was shot dead in his home town Batticaloa on Saturday night while attending Christmas mass. more..

Jayasuriya hopes to hit form on trans-Tasman tour

Dec 26 (AFP) Sri Lanka's former captain and ace all-rounder Sanath Jayasuriya said he was hoping to make a mark during upcoming one-day series in New Zealand and Australia. "New Zealand is a nice country. I made my debut there 15 years ago so obviously I have fond memories," said Jayasuriya, recalled to the national side after missing a Test series in India. more..

LTTE confers highest award on slain Tamil MP

Dec 26 (HT) LTTE supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran on Sunday conferred his organisation's highest award of "Great Man" on the late Joseph Pararajasingham, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP who was gunned down during a mid night Christmas mass in the Eastern Sri Lankan town of Batticaloa. more..

Housing for war, tsunami affected Trinco families

Dec 26 (TN) Twenty-six war affected Tamil families among several hundreds displaced from villages in the Kuchchaveli division, north of Trincomalee district and sheltered in a refugee camp, located in Alles Garden, sea coast of Trincomalee, moved to permanent houses built under the tsunami rehabilitation at Kumburupiddy east village Saturday. more..

Chesterfield: Pitches draw flak from officials

Dec 26 (PTI) Pitches for two of the Tests between India and Sri Lanka are expected to be the subject of an International Cricket Council probe after serious criticism of their preparation. A report, prepared it is said, by match officials headed by former West Indies captain, Clive Lloyd, suggests that both were unsuitable for the games at Ferozshah Kotla and Motera in Ahmedabad. more..

Minnesota specialists help Sri Lankan boy walk for the first time

Dec 26 (WCT) Don Wanasinghe couldn't take his eyes off his 13-year-old son. Just a few months ago, Dassith, who was born with multiple handicaps, could neither walk nor swim. But last week, he was doing both, in a special pool at Shriners Hospital in Minneapolis. And his father watched in amazement. "I feel it's almost a miracle," he said. more..

Sri Lanka regains its pre-tsunami buzz

Dec 26 (NYT) At the opening of a boutique hotel and yoga retreat named Talalla Retreat Center, near a long stretch of white beach, an international crowd of stylish guests sips red wine and snacks on canapés. As evening wears into early morning, conversation shifts effortlessly from comparisons of the latest restaurants in London and Sydney more..

Two minutes’ silence today

Dec 26 (TP) Sri Lankans across the country will observe two minutes silence at 9.24am today to mark the first anniversary of the tsunami that killed more than 35,000 people. The commemoration is being organised by the government and backed by civil society. Various advertisements have urged the people to respond to the state request to observe two minutes silence. more..

A family rebuilds after tsunami heartbreak

Dec 26 (AP) There is no happy ending to this story. How could there be with a son dead and a home destroyed? Yet a year after the tsunami tore into this village and through this family, there are signs of lives slowly rebuilding. The dead son's mother still wakes up crying, but less frequently. One daughter is enrolled in nursing school, another teaches sewing to homeless women. more..

Sri Lanka's north longs for autonomy

Dec 26 (Reuters) Watching a fish auction in Sri Lanka's tsunami-battered north, closely watched by troops, ex-London disc jockey Mahendrakumar Visvanathapillai is sick of what he sees as the military occupation of his homeland. The 33-year-old Tamil fled to Britain in 1990 after his sister and cousins were killed during two-decade civil war, and only returned to sell motorbikes after the government signed a ceasefire with the Tamil Tigers in 2002. more..

Getty Images

Dec 26 (GI) A Sri Lankan children light candles on the eve of the first anniversary of the Asian tsunami December 25, 2005 in the tsunami effected village of Seenigama, Sri Lanka. more..

The Next Tidal Wave

Dec 26 (AT) We do not have the right to be surprised. The Tigers did warn repeatedly - that in the coming weeks and months there would be an escalation of the attacks on the Sri Lankan forces in the North and the East. True officially the warnings came not from the LTTE but from various ‘civilian’ organizations which seem to be mushrooming in the North and the East. more..

LTTE has so far killed 23 parliamentarians

Dec 26 (AT) Tamil rebels of Sri Lanka so far have killed with impunity, 26 Sri lanka’s Parliamentarians, which is a highly condemnable act, undoubtedly an act against humanity. Parliamentarians belonging to Tamil, Muslim and Sinhala ethnic groups had been killed. more..

One year on from the tsunami, and the cruel sea is calm

Dec 26 (TI) The 50 Matara Express came to a halt just before 9.30am, outside the village of Peraliya on Sri Lanka's southern coast. The chief engineer had been told to expect a signal change. It never came. A year later, the train's last three rusty carriages have only just been taken away, and Peraliya is once again the focal point for the nation's grief. more..

A Year On…

Dec 26 (LBO) The hidden hand of the December 2004 devastation was touted as the mighty force that could finally settle a 20 year feud simmering between the government and the rebel LTTE in the north and east of the tropical island nation. Both sides, having lost over 60,000 lives in the two decades of civil unrest, more..

Standing reality on its head

Dec 26 (Hindu) The denial by the LTTE of involvement in the claymore mine attack that killed 13 Sri Lanka Navy sailors last week, and its assertion that it is "not involved in any activity that breaches the ceasefire agreement," is breathtaking for the total suspension of disbelief it demands. more..

One year on, promises to keep in Sri Lanka

Dec 26 (Hindu) THE SCARS of the devastation have started to heal, but there is still a long way to go. Several political, economic, and social issues surfaced during the year as the island-nation battled to recover from its worst recorded natural disaster. more..

Tsunami, one year on

Dec 26 (ANN) Exactly one year ago this day, we, as a nation, went through hell. A seaquake off Indonesia moved the seabed releasing energy 30,000 times higher than that of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The entire planet vibrated and the blast disturbed its rotation, more..

The road to Galle

Dec 26 (ANN) Once more a peaceful, fresh early morning drive, a calm blue sea, its waves gently lapping the shorelines, fishing boats in the distance and on land, awakening sounds of another new day being born. more..

Joseph Pararajasingham respected and accepted LTTE goals - V. Prabhakaran

Dec 26 (ISL) In a press release from the Head Quarters of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, LTTE leader said that the slain Joseph Pararajasigham had been a boon for Tamil National struggle and his name will live with Tamil People forever. more..

Did LTTE use ‘thermobaric’ weapons?

Dec 26 (PIS) Suspicions have arisen in police and military circles whether the LTTE had used the banned ‘thermobaric’ weapons to kill the 13 sailors on Friday at Mannar. Mannar Police HQI Sudath Asmadala told the Daily Mirror that considering the initial investigation, the attack had been carried out using ‘thermobaric’ weapon, which can burn everything instantly in the targeted range. more..

Boycott call cripples administrative services in Jaffna

Dec 26 (TN) Civil administration in Jaffna district came to a halt Monday following call by the NorthEast Government Services Workers Consortium for Government workers to shun work to protest against Sri Lanka Army (SLA) attacks against civilians and workers. more..

SLMM summoned to show LTTE violations

Dec 26 (SLA) Representatives from the SLMM were summoned by the Navy to investigate into a LTTE Ceasefire violation when four Tamil Tigers carrying weapons forcefully checked several fishing boats in the general area of KODDIYAR Bay in TRINCOMALEE on 23 December 2005 around 10.45 a.m. more..

Three-wheeler driver shot and injured

Dec 26 (SLA) One person was shot and injured by an unidentified gunman, suspected to be from the LTTE, on 25 December 2005 around 11.30 a.m., while he was traveling in his three-wheeler (EPJA 1837) in the general area of LINGANAGAR, TRINCOMALEE. The injured person, MANIKYAWADUGE MAYURA KUMARA (27), was admitted to the TRINCOMALEE general hospital for treatment. more..

Three more LTTErs surrender

Dec 26 (SLA) Three Tamil Tigers who escaped from the LTTE have surrendered to the Naval troops on duty at the OLD JETTY, MUTTUR TRINCOMALEE on 25 December 2005 around 3.30 p.m. According to information, these three surrendees had been taken into SAMPOOR area before 02 weeks by LTTE for training. more..

A civilian shot dead and another injured by suspected LTTE cadre

Dec 26 (SLA) An unidentified gunman who came on a motorcycle has fired upon two civilians killing one of them and injuring the other on 24 December 2005 around 8.40 p.m. The deceased, THAMBILEBBE ABDUL MANAP (35), and the injured, S.G.T DUDAR ATHIF (38), an ex-Policeman, were traveling on their push bicycle when the gunman opened fire at them using a T-56 weapon. more..

Army troops and Police under LTTE attacks

Dec 26 (SLA) Troops in the general areas of KINNIADY and VAVUNATHIVU in BATTICALOA came under LTTE fire on 25 and 26 December 2005. Troops also retaliated. However, no casualties are reported in those incidents. Meanwhile, the Police Constable, KARUNARATHNE (RPC 12651) received injuries after Tamil Tigers fired at the THAMILATHIVU Police Post on 26 December 2005 during wee hours. more..

Was 2 minute silence to commemorate one year silence of government ?

Dec 26 (LeN) The failure to offer the maximum assistance to tsunami survivors is a matter we all should regret as a nation, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said at a ceremony held this morning (26) Peraliya to commemorate the first anniversary of the tsunami catastrophe. more..

Muslims Fleeing Thoppur

Dec 26 (ISL) Hundreds of Muslims are fleeing Thoppur area in Trincomalee in fear of LTTE attacks, according to sources from East. The families who fled Thoppur are presently housed at the Kiliveddy Al Falah Vidyalaya and the Al Thaj Maha Vidyalaya. They refuse to return to their original villages in fear of LTTE retaliation. more..

Tsunami-dead remembered; Jayalanka Reconstruction Programme launched

Dec 26 (LM) The entire nation came to a standstill at 9.24 am today as the country observed two minutes silence in memory of nearly 40,000 people who lost their lives to the tsunami catastrophe one year ago. The first anniversary commemorations were held under patronage of President Mahinda Rajapakse at Peraliya, Galle more..

Assassination of Joe Pararajasingam - Anandasangaree Condemns

Dec 26 (AT) V.Anandasangaree the leader of the TULF in a strongly worded statement condemned the brutal slaughter of Joseph Pararajasingham, a Tamil National Alliance Member of Parliament, inside a holy sanctum of a church on 25 December in Batticaloa. more..

Pararajasingham’s murder - a challenge for democracy! - JVP

Dec 26 (LT) Killing of Batticaloa Parliamentarian Joseph Pararajasingham is a challenge for the existence of democracy states the JVP issuing a press release on the killing of Mr. Pararajasingham by an unidentified gunman while he was attending mass in a church in Batticaloa. more..

President says tsunami has proven that any challenge could be overcome by a nation awakens as one

Dec 26 (SLBC) President Mahinda Rajapakse says there is no challenge that cannot be overcome by a nation that has awakened as one. This was proven in the weeks immediately after the December 26th tsunami disaster a year ago. The President said the joint effort made by the citizens of the country to recover from the disaster amazed the rest of the world. more..

Student-teacher ratio upset in schools

Dec 26 (SAMN) Fewer students have been enrolling in government schools, while correspondingly the number of teachers has increased, which could lead to an excess in teachers in the future, the education Ministry has warned. Due to this fact, the current student-teacher ratio has dropped to 21 students per teacher, compared to 23 students per teacher in 2000, more..

Tigers betray own dead?

Dec 26 (SAMN) The LTTE is likely to disown its cadres, who were killed in the ongoing cordon and search operations in the Jaffna peninsula. The Island learns that the LTTE would not accept the bodies as it had denied involvement in the ongoing wave of incidents in government-controlled areas in the northern and eastern provinces. more..

CBK pledges support for tsunami work

Dec 26 (SAMN) Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga has pledged her support to President Mahinda tsunami reconstruction programme. "I extend my best wishes to President Mahinda Rajapakse in carrying forward the tunami reconstruction programme. President Rajapakse will need the full support of all Sri Lankans in this endeavor, and he has my full blessings too," more..

Government condemns killing

Dec 26 (LNP) While condemning the killing of TNA MP Joseph Pararajasingham, the Government is to appoint a special investigation team to conduct a full probe into this assassination and bring to justice the perpetrators. 'The Government condemns this cowardly act in the strongest possible terms. more..

Boy sex workers increase, due to misconceptions regarding abuse

Dec 26 (LNP) A misconception that boys do not suffer sexual abuse as much as girls has resulted in a large number of boys working as sex workers. A 19 year old activist against commercial sexual exploitation of children, Rusiru Tharindra Abeyasinghe, said that one of the main reasons for a large proportion of boys working as sex workers was the mistaken notion that only girls can be sexually abused. more..

ASU prof finds lessons in Sri Lanka

Dec 26 (AR) In the year since Arizona State University Professor Harindra Fernando led a team of scientists to his tsunami-ravaged homeland of Sri Lanka, the island nation has begun to rebuild, but the researchers' findings and recommendations about measures that could help avert another disaster are only partially being heeded. more..

Pakistan to play two tests and three ODIs in Sri Lanka

Dec 26 (Reuters) Pakistan will play two tests and three one-day internationals next March and April in Sri Lanka, a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official said on Monday. "We have received the itinerary from the Sri Lankans. The tests have been proposed in Colombo and Kandy and the one-dayers in Dambulla and Colombo," more..