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Cuban Medical Team Continues Offering Assistance in Sri Lanka

Feb 2 (AIN) A Cuban medical team succeeded in preventing the outbreak of an epidemic in a province of Sri Lanka as healthcare workers continue carrying out preventive measures in the wake of the December 26 tsunami that pounded the region. more..

'Turtles' victims of the tsunami

Feb 2 (BBC) Along the coastline between Mannar and Talaimannar, there are large numbers of big live turtles bound with ropes displayed for sale. When a buyer approaches, the turtles are laid on a log by a group of small children. After the price is agreed at 200 rupees a kilogram, an adult vendor cuts the live turtle with a sharp knife. more..

Yahoo Photos

Feb 2 (Yahoo) An elderly woman fills a container from a water purification system set up for tsunami victims by Canada's Disaster Assistance Response Team at Kalmunai, 200 kilometers (125 miles) east of Colombo, more..

World Vision donates US $ 40m for rebuilding houses in Kalutura district

Feb 2 (AT) World Vision a controversial international Christian relief and development organization has come forward to spend US$ 40 million to construct houses in Sri Lanka for the tsunami affected people. World Vision has come forward to build 3,000 houses in the Kalutura District in Sri Lanka. more..

Sri Lankan communities in Australia and Canada are apprehensive of the High Commissioner designates

Feb 2 (AT) After the Asian Tribune exposed the assets of the Balapatabendi family in Australia, Mr. Kusumsiri Balapatabendi, Chairman of Air Lanka and High Commissioner-designate to Australia, seems to be pondering seriously about the repercussions of taking up the appointment. more..

Annan Selects Clinton for Tsunami Effort

Feb 2 (AP) Secretary-General Kofi Annan has selected former President Clinton to be the U.N. point man for tsunami reconstruction and ensure that the world doesn't forget the needs of those devastated by the Dec. 26 disaster, a U.N. diplomat said Tuesday. more..

National security in jeopardy -Weerawanse writes to President

Feb 2 (LT) “International leaders have acclaimed our country for the way we were able to efficiently face the tsunami destruction in such a short time. However, what is regrettable and calls our attention immediately is the situation where equipment have been sent and situation has been created to strengthen separatist communalist movements and jeopardize the National security on the pretext of ‘humanitarian’ aid,” more..

UNP offers support if JVP pulls out

Feb 2 (SAMN) Amidst reports of JVP moves or threats to quit the UPFA government, the main opposition United National Party (UNP) said Tuesday it was ready to support the Chandrika Kumaratunga administration if it agreed on the party's 15-point plan to rebuild Sri Lanka. more..

Jailed MP ill but not treated: UNP

Feb 2 (SAMN) Outraged over Justice Ministry restrictions on MPs' visits to jailed United National Party (UNP) national organizer S. B. Dissanayake, the party charged Tuesday that he was also not receiving proper medical treatment. more..

Tsunami camps get rotten food

Feb 2 (N24) The government began investigating complaints on Tuesday that food aid intended for tsunami victims in eastern Sri Lanka was going astray and that some of the homeless living in camps were being fed rotten supplies. more..

After miracle survival in tsunami, Sri Lankan baby moves closer to end of custody battle

Feb 2 (AP) The custody battle over "Baby 81," the wide-eyed boy found alive among bodies and debris left by the Asian tsunami, goes to a Sri Lankan court on Wednesday. Nine women have claimed the child as their own, though one couple has emerged as the presumed parents of Baby 81, more..

Stricken train an icon of tragedy amid signs of rebuilding and hope

Feb 2 (AP) Chamal Nanayakkara, a 14-year-old schoolboy, lost his swimming coach on the train of death the day the tsunami swamped Sri Lanka's coast. A.D. Sareena, a housewife, attended the funeral of a neighbor and her three daughters who died on the same train when the rushing water toppled it from its tracks. more..

Expats pour in Rs. 625 m for relief

Feb 2 (SAMN) Sri Lankan expatriates and well wishers all over the world have contributed a total of Rs. 625 million for tsunami relief and rehabilitation efforts. These contributions were channelled through the Sri Lanka Missions more..

Murali injury not as bad as first thought

Feb 2 (Reuters) The Australian surgeon who operated on Muttiah Muralitharan's shoulder says the Sri Lankan spinner's injury is not as bad as initially feared and he may still play in the Test series with New Zealand in April. more..

Alternate exam for tsunami hit students

Feb 2 (SAMN) Examination and education officials are expected to meet this week to iron out details pertaining to the conducting of the alternate A/Level examination for an estimated 3,500 students affected by the tsunami, a top official said Tuesday. more..

BBC Photos

Feb 2 (BBC) Elmo Fernando visits the devastated coastline one month after tsunami. more..

Rajitha fears losing foreign aid

Feb 2 (LT) The donor countries promised a large sum of aid to rebuild the Tsunami devastated Sri Lanka on condition that the government cooperates with the LTTE, but no agreement has yet been reached and there is a grave danger of losing the pledged aid to Sri Lanka with the government hesitating to come to an agreement with the LTTE, Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said. more..

UNP to rescue the government

Feb 2 (LT) The UNP playing the role of the ‘great saviour’ of the government, said they would not allow deterioration of the government even the JVP withdraw its support as they have warned earlier. However, this will takes place only if the Government is ready to accept the UNP’s 15-year master plan. more..

Tax recovery for 2004 successful -income tax commissioner

Feb 2 (LT) The secretary of the finance ministry, P.B.Jayasundara said that the anticipated tax income for 2004 could be achieved and the anticipated tax income for 2005 was Rs. 03 billion. He made this remark at a media briefing held at the finance ministry auditorium today. more..

EPDP's relief effort draws protest in Vadamaradchy

Feb 2 (TN) Large number of people Tuesday morning held a demonstration in front of Vadamaradchchi office of the Eelam Peoples Democratic Party (EPDP) located in Manthikai against distributing relief materials to Tsunami victims for political gain. more..

Muttur displaced to get transit camp with modern facilities

Feb 2 (TN) International Organization for Migrants (IOM) is proceeding with the construction of 45-unit transit camp for Tsunami affected families in Muttur division, sources in the East said. Each unit in the building will provide shelter to four families and the camp will contain a common recreational center and a Children play area. more..

TNA slams NE Governor’s visit to Vavuniya

Feb 2 (TN) Tamil National Alliance Wednesday boycotted a meeting with Governor of the Northeast Province, Mr. Tyronne Fernando, at the Vavuniya district secretariat in protest against what the TNA described as “gross discrimination by the Sri Lankan state in delivering Tsunami aid to Tamil and Muslim areas affected by the disaster”. more..

Lack of tents, military meddling trouble Mankerni refugees

Feb 2 (TN) “There are thousand seven hundred persons belonging to four hundred and eighty one families in this refugee camp. But we have only hundred and ninety eight tents to house them. Hundred and forty five tents were given by UNHCR and ICRC. The government gave us only forty eight tents. more..

LTTE impose fine on civilian

Feb 2 (SLA) A civilian resident in the general area of SERUNUWARA said to have been arrested and fined by LTTE has been released on 31 January 2005 after extorting money for his meals and imposing a fine of Rs. 1000/- (about US $ 10). more..

Men with their baggage arrested

Feb 2 (SLA) Naval troops on 01 February 2005 around 3.15 p.m. arrested four males with their personal baggage after they were found dropped by a fishing trawler close to the 5th SAND BANK in TALAIMANNAR. more..

National Disaster Response Team praised for tsunami relief operations

Feb 2 (PRIU) The National Youth Corps has put together a National Disaster Response Team [NDRT] of young men and women. The Ministry of Medium and Small Scale Plantations & Rural Human Resource Development was behind the move. The first 1,250 successful trainees were at the President’s House for their initiation ceremony on Monday 31st January. more..

Sydney Murugan Temple Management succumbed to pro-LTTE activists

Feb 2 (AT) The Sydney Murugan Temple Management had succumbed to pressures from pro-LTTE activists and had agreed to make a thirty thousand dollar tsunami donation through the Sydney Branch of the Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation. more..

Lanka donors put tsunami damage at 4.4 pct of GDP

Feb 2 (Reuters) Economic damage to Sri Lanka from the tsunami equalled 4.4 percent of gross domestic product, with $1.5 billion needed for recovery and reconstruction efforts, the World Bank said on Wednesday, citing a survey by aid donors. more..

Yahoo Photos

Feb 2 (Yahoo) Murugupillai Jeyarajah and his wife Junitha cry. The couple denied custody of a baby who survived December's tsunami disaster without a DNA test were arrested after trying to snatch the child from hospital more..

Bluechips boost Sri Lanka stocks to new high

Feb 2 (Reuters) Sri Lanka stocks rose to a record closing high on Wednesday on heavy buying in select bluechip shares on hopes of upbeat quarterly earnings and bonus expectations, brokers said. The key Colombo all-share index rose a provisional 0.75 percent, or 125.39 points, to 1,660.50 points. more..

Foes will need to be friends in rebuilding of Sri Lanka

Feb 2 (NYT) To this island racked by ethnic strife, civil war and then the wrecking ball of a tsunami, now comes a terrible boon: heaps of foreign reconstruction aid to quarrel over. The government estimates it needs some $3.5 billion to rebuild, including here in the north and east. more..

Govt going ahead with plans for a ‘no-building’ zone along the island’s coast

Feb 2 (LBO) The government is going ahead with plans for a ‘no-building’ zone along the island’s coast. "We have already started putting temporary markers on the 100m zone. The Coast Conservation Department will fix the permanent markers. Then we will demarcate it on the national grid," more..

Sri Lanka admits lapses in Tsunami relief operations

Feb 2 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka's top relief services official admitted Wednesday that Tsunami relief operation had been unsatisfactory even after one month of the disaster. Tilak Ranaviraja, Commissioner General of Essential Services, told reporters here that only 30 percent of the victims had received relief supplies. more..

Post-Tsunami rabies outbreak alarm in India, Sri Lanka

Feb 2 (ANI) The threat of a rabies outbreak after the December 26 Tsunami disaster has raised an alarm in the affected South Asian countries including India, following which a dog vaccination programme has already been initiated in Sri Lanka. more..

Tsunami Counseling Started in Sri Lanka

Feb 2 (AP) When psychologist Michael Finegan arrived in Sri Lanka the week after the tsunami struck, he wondered how just one man could help amid so much misery. The answer provided itself when leaders from Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu and Christian communities told him that psychological services were needed as well as medical care, food and shelter. more..

UPFA unity essential - Prelate

Feb 2 (DN) Most Ven. Udugama Sri Buddharakkhitha Ratanapala Mahanayake Thera of Asgiriya Mahavihara Chapter observed that all political parties within the Freedom Alliance should get their unity strengthened instead of getting petty differences more widened so that they could be able to fulfil the expectations of the people. more..

Tigers express inability to handle rehabilitation

Feb 2 (Gulf) Tamil rebels have said they were not capable of handling the post-tsunami rehabilitation and reconstruction work. They said they needed government support in the badly-affected northern and eastern parts of the country. more..

Couple claiming tsunami baby arrested after trying to snatch child

Feb 2 (AFP) A couple denied custody of a baby who survived December’s tsunami disaster without a DNA test were arrested Wednesday after trying to snatch the child from hospital in Sri Lanka, police said. more..

Govt says at least 70 percent of tsunami victims yet to receive aid, relief

Feb 2 (AP) Aid for tsunami victims in Sri Lanka has reached only 30 percent of the almost 1 million people affected by the disaster because of bureaucratic bungling, a top government official said Wednesday, as survivors stepped up protests. more..

PM Provides communication facilities for Andaragasyaya school

Feb 2 (PML) The Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA), which comes under the Prime Minister’s office, is taking steps to provide high-tech communication equipments to the Andaragasyaya rural school in Kirinda. more..

President thanks Israel for aid

Feb 2 (JP) President Chandrika Kumaratunga has written to President Moshe Katsav to express appreciation for Israel's concern and humanitarian relief. The letter states: "I am deeply touched by your message expressing your heartfelt sympathies on behalf of the people of Israel at the unprecedented death and destruction caused by the recent tidal waves in Sri Lanka. more..

SLA-LTTE delegations meet in Jaffna

Feb 2 (TN) Delegations of the LTTE and Sri Lanka Army (SLA) Wednesday morning met at the Jaffna office of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) and discussed several issues including restoring normalcy in the lives of tsunami affected people and the fishing industry, sources said. more..

Pupils get ready to visit Sri Lanka

Feb 3 (BT) A teacher and three pupils from Loreto Grammar School in Omagh were today making last minute preparations for a trip to visit a school in Sri Lanka. The Co Tyrone school was already involved in an exchange programme as part of the Dream and Teams Project before the Indian Ocean earthquake struck on Boxing Day. more..

Tsunami claim forms on sale

Feb 3 (BBC) Government officials in tsunami affected areas are cashing on selling tsunami compensation forms to fraudsters, villagers at Panama said. A worker at the Pothuvil Divisional Secretariat is selling claim forms for Rs. 200-250 to those interested in getting tsunami money, more..

An engineer reports from the disaster zone: Letter from Sri Lanka

Feb 3 (ENR) I have never been to Sri Lanka before, never ventured in the region between Oman and Bangkok. My travel guide refers to Sri Lanka as the "teardrop of India," a tear of joy that fell from the cheek of India. This seems a fitting metaphor for Peter’s and my somber mission. more..

Locals help in tsunami ravaged Sri Lanka

Feb 3 (NN) Having spent two weeks working in the equatorial heat and humidity, both came back exhausted but satisfied with the work accomplished. With the assistance of the three Napa Rotary clubs and Rescue and many private donors, Upton and Dacanay were able to raise more than $10,000 in direct aid for tsunami victims. more..

Will Clinton help or harm in Sri Lanka?

Feb 3 (AT) Will Sri Lanka be a comeback nation with comeback-kid Bill Clinton mediating the Sri Lankan conflict? But, if he takes the job, how can he talk to the LTTE which bumped-off his best pal and best brain in tailoring new American made constitutions for the world’s hot spots -- Dr Neelan Thiruchelvam, a Harvard Educated lawyer like he? more..

Independence Day: An opportunity for fundamental change in Sri Lanka

Feb 3 (AT) This year's Independence Day is celebrated amidst a complex background. The disastrous consequences of the 26 December 2004 tsunami have merely added to the burdens faced by Sri Lanka’s political and legal systems due to the authoritarian model of governance introduced through the 1978 constitution, which gave rise to conflicts in the south, north and east. more..

LTTE leader meets Annan, appeals for aid

Feb 3 (HT) The LTTE may have failed to get UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to visit the areas controlled by it, but the head of its rehabilitation wing managed to meet him in Colombo on Sunday and appeal for more aid. KP Regi, Executive Director of the TRO, an NGO attached to the LTTE, met Annan along with a group of NGOs. more..

Sri Lanka seeks help to track down tsunami orphans

Feb 3 (AFP) Sri Lanka's child protection authorities said Wednesday they needed public help to track down tsunami orphans after an initial survey showed that 995 children had lost both parents in the December disaster. more..