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A quiet day in Sri Lanka: a year later, a photographer returns

Dec 26 (AP) It was hard, in many ways, to see where I'd been a year ago. It looks so different. Concrete walls have been built, houses repaired. The bodies, of course, have long been buried. But today was exactly the same sort of morning: bright, sunny, hot and breezy - a beautiful tropical day on the west coast of Sri Lanka. Just as it had been last Dec. 26. more..

India must cautiously watch Sri Lankan situation: CPI

Dec 26 (PTI) India should keep a close watch on the recent political developments in neighbouring Sri Lanka where the continuation of ceasefire and peace talks has become "quite necessary", CPI National Secretary, D Raja, said today. more..

Peace bid: SL aware of India's constraints

Dec 26 (HT) While being keen on getting India to take a more active part in the Sri Lankan peace process, Colombo is acutely aware of India's constraints and reservations in this regard, and will be making allowance for these. A senior Sri Lankan official said last week that Colombo would certainly like India to join the co-chairs of the Tokyo Conference, more..

Sri Lanka after the tsunami

Dec 26 (BBC) When the deadly Indian Ocean tsunami hit Sri Lanka on 26 December 2004, the national cricket team was playing a one-day international in Auckland. The following few days, with the team having transferred to the quiet New Zealand town of Napier, proved to be an extremely difficult time for the players. more..

Sri Lanka admits failing tsunami victims

Dec 26 (AFP) Sri Lanka admitted it had failed to deliver aid effectively to a million tsunami survivors as it paid emotional tribute to the victims of last year's catastrophe. President Mahinda Rajapakse on Monday brushed aside security fears to lead the national remembrance effort with a two-minute silence in memory more..

Sri Lanka vows to speed up tsunami aid on emotional anniversary

Dec 26 (AFP) President has led the nation in paying emotional tribute to the estimated 31,000 people who perished in the Asian tsunami a year ago and vowed to speed up much needed aid. President Mahinda Rajapakse stood with his head bowed after a multi-religious service and observed a two-minute silence more..

Rajapaksa to leave for Delhi amid SL bloodshed

Dec 26 (IANS) Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa arrives here Tuesday on a state visit amid a dramatic upsurge in violence in his country that threatens to shatter the Norway-brokered ceasefire agreement. more..

Sri Lanka braces for high-profile funeral, toll hits six

Dec 26 (AFP) Fresh violence claimed six more lives in Sri Lanka as Tamil Tiger rebels prepared for the funeral of a Tamil legislator gunned down during Christmas Mass. A police constable was killed when suspected rebels launched a pre-dawn rocket-propelled grenade attack on Puttur police station in the eastern district of Batticaloa, more..

Sri Lanka war fears overshadow tsunami anniversary

Dec 26 (Reuters) A year after the tsunami swept away his house, building materials for fisherman R. Alagodurai's new home have finally arrived. But he fears escalating violence could reignite Sri Lanka's two-decade civil war and he might never live there. Many coastal communities have been moved a few miles inland in case of another tsunami. more..

Yahoo Photos

Dec 26 (AP) President Mahinda Rajapakse, left, and Minister for Public Affairs Sarath Amunugama, right, walk past a monument for victims during a memorial ceremony on the first anniversary of the tsunami in the Southern village of Peraliya, Monday, Dec. 26, 2005. more..

Lanka’s post-tsunami reconstruction shows mixed results

Dec 26 (HT) At the end of the first year of post tsunami reconstruction in Sri Lanka, the results are mixed. In some areas, like the building of temporary dwellings and boat repairs, the achievement is remarkable. But in others, like the building of permanent houses, the results have been poor. more..

Village torn apart by outside sympathy

Dec 26 (IBA) One year ago, a series of giant tidal waves swept through this southern coastal village, hitting a passenger train and killing 1,500 people. Afterward, aid workers rushed to the train wreck to help remove the hundreds of bloated bodies. The media soon followed, capturing the dislodged carriages and broadcasting the images on cable news networks. more..

U.S. terrorism policy limits Red Cross' tsunami aid

Dec 26 (IBA) Off the main road between the resort towns of Matara and Galle, Dishanthi Suranjika Thewarahennadi, a petite 30-year-old single mother in a red blouse, weaves a thin white strip of lace. Like many other women here, she has spent much of the past year at home with little to do but daily chores and take care of her family. more..

Colombo's bona fides on peace, suspect- TNA

Dec 27 (TN) The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) in a press release released Monday said the assassination of Mr. Joseph Pararajasingham raises serious doubts in regard to the genuineness of the Government's commitment to the honest and purposeful pursuit of the peace process. more..

"How will International Community respond?"

Dec 27 (TN) "A critical question looming large in Tamil Peoples' mind is how the International Community is going to express its reaction to the Government of Sri Lanka on the slaying of the senior Tamil democratic leader, Mr. Joseph Pararajasingham," Jaffna daily Uthayan said in its editorial Monday. more..

Senior PLOTE operative shot dead in Vavuniya

Dec 27 (TN) A senior paramilitary PLOTE cadre, Mr. Veerappan Thripupathy, 52, alias Thiruppathy Master, who was shot and seriously wounded by an unidentified gunman, succumbed to his injuries at Vavuniya hospital. Another PLOTE cadre, wounded in his hands, is to be transferred from Vavuniya Hospital to Anuradhapura hospital for security reasons, more..

President: "Jayalanka" to provide tsunami relief

Dec 27 (BBC) President Mahinda Rajapaksa has launched ‘Jayalanka’ project that has envisaged in his Mahinda Chintana programme to rebuild the lives of tsunami affected. In a ceremony to commemorate one year since Asian tsuanami that killed more than 200,000 lives in Asia, President Rajapaksa urged his countrymen to be united as Sri Lankans. more..

Why not an Eelam in Norway

Dec 27 (WS) On 26th October 2005, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared that Israel should be wiped off the world map. The statement resulted in international outcry & world leaders were unanimous in condemning the Iranian President. Undeterred the Iranian President once again declared that if Germany & Austria feel responsible for the holocaust then Israel should be relocated in Europe. more..

Half the politicians fly off for X'mas

Dec 27 (WS) As the final days of 2005 ticks away there is not much happening in the country politically with almost half the politicians being abroad, but what may take place in the North and East in the coming few days could be historic. The dramas that were being played out in major political parties in the past few weeks, however dragged on to this week as well, the chief among them being the leadership struggle in the UNP. more..

Lankan doctors oblivious to a drug's danger

Dec 27 (WS) Sri Lankan doctors and pharmacies are continuing to prescribe and sell 'Seroxat' (also known as Paroxetine), the anti-depressant, despite its severe implications against one's health, including birth defects in the event pregnant mothers take this tablet. more..

War & Peace: Two islands, one calamity

Dec 27 (IE) Charity came pouring in from far and wide for Sri Lanka, devastated by the tsunami a year ago. In its fragile northern peninsula, the tsunami seemed at first to dangle the hope of reconciliation. It struck both government-held land and territory controlled by Tamil rebels, and it brought the two sides together to heal and divide aid. more..

Govt and LTTE Trying To Fool World - Wickramabahu

Dec 27 (ISL) Dr Vickramabahu Karunarathne, the General Secretary of NSSP said that government and LTTE are trying to mislead the world and the country with the peace process. He mocked the LTTE and government for giving importance for peace talk venue than contents of the talks. more..

World Bank drops five loan commitments to Lanka

Dec 27 (ANN) The World Bank has recently dropped five loan commitments to Sri Lanka amounting to a massive Rs. 21 billion (US$213.7 million) raising many an eyebrow, sources said. They were on port efficiency improvement (US$64 million), urban settlement improvement (US$60 million), power sector restructuring (US$40 million), more..

Tsunami fundraiser reviews 2005

Dec 27 (BBC) Daisy Lowe, the president of the Sri Lankan Association of South Wales, travelled to Sri Lanka to help in the aftermath of the tsunami. She has been there three times since the tsunami and helped lead fundraising in south Wales throughout the year, then distributing aid. more..

Tsunami and national unity

Dec 27 (ANN) One year ago, tsunamis struck Sri Lanka, like thunder without lightning. Within a couple of hours of the strike, the disaster took the entire nation by surprise, causing shock, grief, despair, and bewilderment. more..

TSUNAMI IMPACT: Still Coping With Trauma

Dec 27 (IPS) When Indian psychosocial support specialist Mitesh Govender arrived in Sri Lanka six months after the tsunami struck, he was taken aback by the reception he received in this village, 160 km south of Colombo. more..

Sri Lanka sets up seperate ministry for tsunami resettlement

Dec 27 (UNI) In order to set right the infrastructure damaged by the tsunami last year, Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse has created a separate ministry for resettlement. more..

‘We’re still recovering, but the house is repaired’

Dec 27 (TH) "Everything that was in the house is now in the paddy field. Our house is badly damaged, we can't live in it." It is January 2005 and Amarasena Gamage is talking to me in front of what was his home in Beliwatta on the south coast of Sri Lanka. more..

LTTE ceasefire violations had risen to 3423 -SLMM

Dec 27 (ISL) The LTTE had violated the ceasefire on 3423 occasions and the Sri Lankan armed forces had violated the ceasefire on 153 occasions, according to statistics released by the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission. The SLMM statistics claim that the LTTE had abducted 1788 children during the ceasefire till Novermber this year. more..

Getty Images

Dec 27 (GI) Sri Lankan school children play in the ocean after a balloon release to promote a positive thinking about the water, sponsored by the Foundation of Goodness, December 26, 2005 in Seenigama, Sri Lanka. more..

NorthEast remembers victims on Tsunami Anniversary

Dec 27 (TN) Rev. Fr. James Pathinathar declared St. Peters Church in Mullaitivu a Tsunami Memorial as thousands gathered in Mullaitivu and Maruthankerni coast in Liberation Tigers held areas to mark the first anniversary of the devastating tsunami Monday. more..

Rajapakse to oversee tsunami reconstruction

Dec 27 (Hindu) President Mahinda Rajapakse on Monday launched a new programme aimed at carrying forward the unfinished task of post-tsunami reconstruction. Mr. Rajapakse led the nation from Peraliya in southern Sri Lanka where a passenger train was washed away a year ago and had symbolised the tragedy. more..

Silent contribution by Sri Lanka Don Bosco Salasians for the Tsunami victims

Dec 27 (AT) The Sri Lanka Don Bosco (SLDB) a Catholic Institution involved in large scale training of youth and school leavers in vocational training and also involved in various social and community service, now has come forward to build a large number of houses for the Tsunami victims. more..

President Rajapakse offers additional security for TNA MPs

Dec 27 (AT) President Mahinda Rajapakse has offered to provide additional security to TNA Parliamentarians, following the assassination of Batticaloa District MP Joseph Pararajasingham. Mr. Pararajasingham was killed in the early hours of Sunday morning (December 25) while attending Christmas midnight mass more..

Don't raise the interest rates on SME loans - EU Parliamentarian

Dec 27 (AT) Niranjan Deva Adithya Member of the European Parliament who is the spokesman of the Overseas Development for the European Parliament said thatTtsunami affected businessmen and other SMEs can obtain loans from the DFCC bank to re-launch their operations. more..

Senan Padai claims responsibility for the killing of Joseph Pararajasingham

Dec 27 (AT) Completely a new organization, Sennan Padai, (Sennan Force), hitherto unknown, now claimed responsibility for the killing of Joseph Pararajasingham, a Tamil National Alliance Member of Parliament, killed on 25 December in Batticalao. more..

Joint op to nab Joseph's killers

Dec 27 (PIS) The Police and security forces have launched an all out search for the killers of senior TULF and TNA National List MP Joseph Pararajasingham, military sources said yesterday. Defence sources in the Eastern province said all clues, though not definite pointed to the LTTE. Gunmen who carried out the attack were not yet identified. more..

Slain TNA MP's body to be brought to Killinochchi

Dec 27 (PIS) The remains of slain Tamil National Alliance Parliamentarian Joseph Pararajasingam will be brought to Killinochchi tomorrow. Pararajasingam''s body was taken in procession to Kokatticholai yesterday and will be placed in Vavuniya for public viewing today. more..

Sri Lanka eyes tourists from Gulf

Dec 27 (KT) Sri Lanka aims to attract investment from Dubai, specially in the infrastructure sector to woo high spending tourists from the Gulf region to Colombo said Anura Bandaranaike, Sri Lankan Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment Promotion, in a Press conference yesterday. more..

How tsunami has changed Sri Lanka forever

Dec 27 (KT) I WAS with my wife and two children at Colombo’s Galle Face Green, enjoying the cool sea breeze. Like the vassals prostrated before a king, the tame waves, one after another, submitted themselves before hundreds of people frolicking on the beach even at that ungodly hour — not an unusual scene at the Galle Face Green on a holiday. more..

Despicable act: Tamil parties

Dec 27 (Hindu) The TNA and the TULF on Monday condemned the killing of Joseph Pararajasingham, TNA MP, in a church on Christmas Day. In a statement from Chennai, TULF president V. Anandasangaree said the "new culture that is developing is killing people in places of worship, which should be strongly condemned." more..

All five Jaffna vicitims from SLA attack identified as civilians

Dec 27 (TN) The young woman, who was shot and killed by the SLA soldiers and dressed up with denim trousers last Saturday, was identified as a heart patient, Ms Parameswari Somasundaram, 26, who had come to Jaffna Hospital for treatment from Konavil in Kilinochchi. more..

The fourth Tamil Tiger claymore mine attack claims lives of eleven soldiers

Dec 27 (SLA) Continuing cycle of Tamil Tiger (LTTE) terrorism in the north was repeated at PULOLY west, JAFFNA this afternoon (27) at about 12.45 noon when LTTE terrorists ambushed an Army truck carrying soldiers proceeding on leave and killed eleven soldiers in another brutal claymore mine attack. more..

Police Constable on foot patrol, the latest Tamil Tiger prey

Dec 27 (SLA) A motorbike-riding Tamil Tiger (LTTE) gunman in broad daylight this afternoon (27) at about 1.00 p.m. brutally gunned down one more Police Constable (PC) at PANDIRIPPU, KALMUNAI center while he was on foot patrol with others. more..

LTTE grenade & fire attacks continue as usual

Dec 27 (SLA) A pre-dawn Tamil Tiger (LTTE) fire attack on troops around 2.50 a.m. Tuesday (27) early morning injured one soldier on duty in the general area of COLOMBUTHURAI in JAFFNA. Private RUWAN SAMEERA who received injuries in this LTTE criminal act fire was referred to the Main Dressing Station of the 51 Division for treatment. more..

Tamil Tigers strike at Hindu Priest

Dec 27 (SLA) Two unidentified gunmen from the LTTE have shot and injured a Hindu Priest in the general area of AKKARAIPATTU Monday (26) around 5.30 p.m. Injured Priest Rev. KURUKKAL SUBRAMANIYAM SADEESH KUMAR (23) of the KALI KOVIL at KOLAVIL, AKKARAIPATTU was fired upon by those two gunmen on push bicycles near the PISCAL Junction, AKKARAIPATTU. more..

Tamil Tigers attempting to kill soldiers die in SF retaliatory fire

Dec 27 (SLA) Two Tamil Tigers who attempted to hurl a hand grenade at the troops on route clearing operation on the SITTANDY – VANDARAMOOLAI road died when the troops fired at them in self – defence Monday (26) around 10.15 a.m. more..

Husband abducted by LTTE, says wife

Dec 27 (SLA) A woman from the general area of THALAIMANNAR has complained to the Police that three unidentified LTTE cadres abducted her husband during wee hours on Monday (26) after threatening him with death. more..

Protect journalists’ rights: Newspaper Society

Dec 27 (FMM) The Newspaper Society of Sri Lanka, the association of the country's publishers, has called upon President Mahinda Rajapakse to ensure that his government in general and the police in particular take meaningful steps to ensure the respect and dignity they are entitled to. more..

Hela Urumaya too to take wing to India with President

Dec 27 (LeN) President Mahinda Rajapaksa will leave for India tomorrow (27) on a three day official visit on an invitation extended by his Indian counterpart Abdul Kalam. The President has invited representatives of other political parties to join the tour, but it is reliably learnt that only Udaya Gammanpila of the Jathika Hela Urumaya will be the only participant from other parties. more..