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Couple sparks melee after court orders DNA test for tsunami baby

Feb 3 (AP) "Give us our baby!" a distraught Sri Lankan mother cried Wednesday after a judge kept her from the four-month-old boy she says was torn from her arms in Asia's tsunami. In the disaster zone's most heart-wrenching custody case, a court ordered Jenita Jeyarajah and her husband to undergo a DNA test to more..

Yahoo Photos

Feb 3 (Yahoo) Parmeshwari, 65, a grandmother claimant of the infant dubbed 'Baby 81', wails outside a court in Kalmunai, about 210 kilometers (131 miles) east of Colombo, more..

Sri Lanka pair hopeful of claiming tsunami baby after court drama, arrest

Feb 3 (AFP) A Sri Lankan couple ordered to undergo DNA tests to prove their claim to a baby survivor of the December tsunamis said they were hopeful of winning custody of the child despite being arrested for trying to snatch him. more..

New law to bring foreigners without visas to book

Feb 3 (LT) Immigration and emigration department is going to introduce a new law to levy taxes from foreigners who remain in Sri Lanka without visas. The existing law permits only deportation from the country of a foreigner if caught staying in Sri Lanka without visa. more..

Purpose of Ranil’s visit to Europe remains secretive

Feb 3 (AT) It is very hard to discern the purpose behind Ranil Wickremasinghe’s sudden European tour. Speculations are rife that he plans to canvas support to link the tsunami aid package with the peace process and the ISGA proposal of the LTTE. more..

Govt regulation violates human rights

Feb 3 (SAMN) The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka has highlighted a number of possible violations of human rights due to the Emergency (Miscellaneous Provisions and Powers) Regulations No. 1 of 2005. more..

Political fight over bus stand contract

Feb 3 (SAMN) Amidst calls from the government leadership to all political parties to be united to rebuild the devastated areas of the country and help reconstruction efforts leaving their differences aside, two main constituents of the ruling party are feuding over the reconstructing the Galle main bus stand. more..

Alleged child trafficking racket bared

Feb 3 (SAMN) Amidst reports of exploitation and child abuse involving tsunami affected children, a special police unit of the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) exposed an alleged child trafficking racket after they raided a hostel in Heiyantuduwa. more..

Two health unions at loggerheads

Feb 3 (SAMN) The two major health sector trade unions, the pro-JVP All Ceylon Health Services Union (ACHSU) and Health Services Trade Union Alliance (HSTUA) which fought their trade union battles together in the past are now at loggerheads with each union claiming the sole credit for winning the demand for the Rs. 2,500 pay hike. more..

Kumaratunga arrives on 7th

Feb 3 (Jang) Pakistan and Sri Lanka are expected to sign a number of memorandums of understanding (MoU) during the three-day visit of President Chandrika Kumaratunga to Pakistan, starting from February 7. It will be the first visit of a Sri Lankan president after nearly six years. more..

"Disaster Relief" used to bolster Colombo's air-transport capability

Feb 3 (TN) Sri Lanka has asked the USA to speed shipment of parts required to return one C-130K to flight and to review a 2004 request to obtain at least one additional aircraft from excess US stocks, Flight International, a UK based magazine covering aerospace industry news quoted Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) commander Donald Perera as saying. more..

"Hung upside down, beaten in genitals"- torture victim

Feb 3 (TN) Sivakumaran Sahinthan (27) from Suthumalai, Manipay in Jaffna, giving evidence in trial before the Jaffna High court Tuesday, stated that in October 2001 officers attached to Jaffna Police suspended him from a high beam with toes fastened and repeatedly assaulted him, local media reported. more..

A floating hospital from Greece

Feb 3 (PRIU) A vessel from the Land of the Acropolis equipped with medical facilities and a team of medical personnel is due in the Trincomalee Port over the weekend. The Government of Greece has also dispatched a consignment of relief assistance for people affected by the December 26th tidal waves. more..

Japan will pump Rs. 146 mn to clean up Colombo’s century old sewer system

Feb 3 (LBO) Japan will pump Rs. 146 mn to clean up Colombo’s century old sewer system that takes on the brunt of over 700,000 residents daily. The project will take till 2010 to clean up the 300 kilometres of sewage pipes designed to for a 400,000 people city. more..

Gem industry trying to bypass the 15% VAT by setting up a tax-free trading centre

Feb 3 (LBO) The gem industry is trying to bypass the 15% VAT that hit the gem trade from January 1, by setting up a tax-free trading centre. "We are trying to set up a gem exchange where the transactions will be exempt from VAT," said an official from the National Gem and Jewellery Authority. more..


Feb 3 (TS) A Consultant at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire is continuing working into his retirement - by spending a year modernising a hospital in tsunami-ravaged Sri Lanka. Doctor Preman Jeyaratnam, a consultant anaesthetist who was due to retire next month, flies to his native Sri Lanka on Monday more..

Meeting differing psychosocial needs in Sri Lanka

Feb 3 (RW) A wide variety of psychological needs amongst affected people has been left in the wake of the tsunami which struck Sri Lanka and the Danish Red Cross is seeking to address these. The Danish Red Cross has been running a psychosocial programme in Ampara and Jaffna in Sri Lanka, assisting people caught up in the conflict. more..

Tzu Chi to build new town in Sri Lanka for Tsunami victims

Feb 3 (CNA) The Singapore and Malaysia branches of the Taiwan-based Buddhist Compassionate Relief Tzu Chi Foundation will build a new town in Sri Lanka's Kajuwatta area to accommodate displaced survivors of the Dec. 26 tsunami catastrophe, a spokesman for Tzu Chi's Singapore branch said Wednesday. more..

World Bank to launch tsunami rebuild with 660 million dollars

Feb 3 (AFP) The World Bank said it expected to provide 660 million dollars to Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the Maldives under the first phase of its support for the reconstruction of tsunami-hit areas. more..

Old pains return as Sri Lanka recovers

Feb 3 (SLT) To the casual observer, franticly paced Colombo hasn't slowed a step. Single-minded drivers race along every centimeter of pavement, including sidewalks, ignoring traffic signs and lanes. Emaciated women with children in arms beg from doorways. Prostitutes and three-wheeled taxi drivers solicit customers as well-heeled businessmen commute to work. more..

Sri Lanka tourism seen recovering fast after tsunami

Feb 3 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's tourism industry will recover faster than that of other tsunami-hit countries in Asia because the island nation has taken quick steps to revive the sector, the World Tourism Organisation said on Thursday. more..

Evangelists set aside recruiting to spread a message of love

Feb 3 (KRT) Saman Latha, 20, sat in her father's arms last Saturday at the Caritas school for the handicapped. She is mentally disabled and cannot walk. She lost her mother and her wheelchair in the Dec. 26 tsunami. Her hands are scarred from injuries she suffered that day, and her father must carry her wherever they go. more..

Police guard Sri Lanka's tsunami baby

Feb 3 (AFP) A Sri Lankan baby who survived the December tsunamis has been given police protection after the couple who claim to be his parents tried to snatch him from hospital. Police were deployed to guard "Baby 81" while the United Nations childrens' agency UNICEF stepped in to help with a DNA test more..

Vatican envoy to visit Sri Lanka's tsunami affected south

Feb 3 (AP) A top envoy of Pope John Paul II is expected to travel to southern Sri Lanka on Friday to assess the damage wreaked by the Indian Ocean tsunami, the Vatican's embassy said. Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes _ the president of Vatican's charity organization Cor Unum _ arrived in Sri Lanka Wednesday from Indonesia, more..

End of the road for Tillakaratne?

Feb 3 (CI) Hashan Tillakaratne, the former Sri Lankan captain, appears to have acknowledged the end of his international career after accepting a major post within the board's Cricket-Aid program. Tillakaratne, 37, resigned from the captaincy last March after Sri Lanka were whitewashed for the first time on home soil by Australia. more..

Sangakkara to lead Central Province

Feb 3 (CI) Kumar Sangakkara, who has been long tipped as the future Sri Lankan captain, will take over the captaincy of Central Province after Muttiah Muralitharan was forced to withdraw from the Provincial Tournament because of his troublesome shoulder. more..

Govt. will not disband Special Anti-Crime Unit

Feb 3 (DN) Minister of Public Security, Law and Order and Deputy Minister of Defence, Ratnasiri Wickramanayake, said the Government will not disband the Special Anti-crime Unit (SACU) that is now fighting valiantly against the underworld. more..

Murali's performance, not action for World XI selection: Gavaskar

Feb 3 (ANI) Former Indian cricket captain and opener Sunil Gavaskar, who has been appointed as the chief selector for the World XI team that will probably take on Australia in a Super series in October, has said that there will be no repeat of the embarrassing omission of Lankan off spinner Muttiah Muralitharan due to concerns about his bowling action. more..

Sri Lanka Jan-Nov government revenue up 13.0 pct

Feb 3 (Reuters) The Sri Lankan government's January-November 2004 revenues rose 13.0 percent to 281.2 billion rupees from 248.7 billion rupees during the same period in 2003, the Central Bank said on Thursday. more..

One more teenager escaped from LTTE abduction attempt

Feb 3 (SLA) A fourteen -year old school boy while being abducted by two WANNI LTTE cadres from the general area of KUMBURUMULLAI has been rescued by troops and Policemen on 01 February 2005 around 7.50 p.m. more..

Bribery attempt fails and ends up in custody

Feb 3 (SLA) A driver who offered bribes and tried to illegally transport a lorry load of sand into cleared areas was taken into custody by troops and policemen on duty at the MUHAMALAI Entry/Exit point on 01 February 2005 around 3.00 p.m. more..

Opposition accuses govt. of inefficiency in relief efforts

Feb 3 (Xinhua) Main opposition party accused the government of inefficiency in handling post tsunami relief operations. G. L. Peiris, spokesman for the UNP, told reporters on Thursday that government has failed to provide adequate relief services to the victims more..

Chandrika says tsunami aid can't be tied to peace process

Feb 3 (HT) President, Chandrika Kumaratunga, has said that foreign tsunami aid to her country should not be tied to progress in the peace process. Kumaratunga lambasted an un-named opposition party for telling international donors that tsunami aid to Sri Lanka should be linked to progress in the peace process. more..

Helping in Sri Lanka

Feb 3 (SP) The wall of water that gutted the west coast of Sri Lanka had receded weeks before, but Guilford resident Jim Abrahams, MD, said you could still smell the decay of flesh beneath the rubble the tsunami left behind. In mid-January, Abrahams and his son, Michael, a pre-med college sophomore, formed a sort of free-lance tsunami relief team in Sri Lanka more..

Family, teacher aid Sri Lankan children

Feb 3 (LO) A Copley family that saw firsthand the effects of the Dec. 26 tsunami in South Asia is raising money for schoolchildren in Sri Lanka, with a little help from a local school. Ravi and Kumudu Kulasekere, who are originally from Sri Lanka, were visiting family there along with their daughter Dinushi when the tsunami struck. more..

Press statement: Sri Lanka donor co-chair meeting

Feb 3 (RW) The Sri Lanka donor Co-chairs came together today to express their support to Sri Lanka in the wake of the tsunami disaster and to evaluate how best to build confidence in and strengthen the Peace Process. more..

Radical decentralization of relief work needed, TNA tells Dutch FM

Feb 4 (TN) A delegation of the TNA told the Foreign Minister of the Netherlands, Mr. Bernard Bot, when they met him Thursday that Colombo's attempt to centralize the rehabilitation work has not worked as experience from the last six six weeks clearly show that hardly any progress has been made in the restoration of the lives of the affected people. more..

SLN stops school building construction in HSZ

Feb 4 (TN) Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) refused permission to transport building material for the construction of a new building in Ponnalai Varathajaperumal Vidiyalayam effectively halting the construction work, civil society sources in Jaffna said. The school is located in the high security zone. more..

Underage youths handed over to NESOHR

Feb 4 (TN) Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) handed over 23 underage youths who had enlisted with the LTTE to the NorthEast Secretariat on Human Rights (NESOHR) Chairperson Rev.Fr.Karunaratnam Thursday, the Peace Secretariat website said. more..

Sri Lankan Fisher Folk Receive First Donation

Feb 4 (PRN) The first of a US$380,000 consignment of boat repair kits to help restore the livelihoods of thousands of Sri Lankan fishermen was handed over to the country's fisheries minister Chandrasena Wijesinghe today. more..

The dawning of a new era: birth of a new hope -PM

Feb 4 (PMS) Today, we commemorate the Fifty Seventh Independence Day at a moment when we are concentrating to write a new chapter of our history giving top priority to the perseverance, courage and self-confidence. more..

SOS Malta volunteers return from Sri Lanka

Feb 4 (DVN) The SOS Malta medical and nursing team returned from Sri Lanka where they successfully assisted the tsunami survivors. The team consisted of the head of mission nurse David Grech, and three medical doctors Rachel Attard, David Paul Galea and Vanessa Saliba were greeted by their families as they walked through the arrival lounge at 1400CET. more..

Warne and Murali to visit Sri Lanka

Feb 4 (DM) Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan may be keen rivals on the field but it is another matter off it - the world's greatest leg-spinners will make a joint pilgrimage next week to the worst-hit area of tsunami-ravaged Sri Lanka. more..

UN takes first step in rebuilding Sri Lanka's fishing fleet, destroyed by tsunami

Feb 4 (UN) In the first small step in a large-scale initiative to help restore the livelihoods of thousands of Sri Lankan fishermen devastated by December's Indian Ocean tsunami, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) today handed over an initial $380,000 consignment of boat repair kits. more..

Trinco tsunami hit hospitals get medical equipments

Feb 4 (TN) Franco-Sri Lanka Business Council in Colombo has donated a consignment of medical equipments to North East Provincial Health Department to strengthen its medical services in tsunami-hit areas such as Sampoor, and Eachchilampathu in Trincomalee district and Vakarai in the Batticaloa district, more..

CNO function to be taken over by new body

Feb 4 (TN) The operation of the Centre for National Operations (CNO) established by Sri Lanka President Ms Chandrika Kumaratunge following December 26 tsunami devastation brought to an end Thursday and its functions have been handed over to Line Ministries and provincial authorities, more..

Black flags flown in Northeast on Sri Lanka's Independence Day

Feb 4 (TN) Black flags were hoisted in many parts of the Sri Lanka's northeast in protest against the country's independence day. Jaffna University students flew black flags and decorated University's main entrance with curry plantain trees which are used by Tamils at funerals. more..

Germans give boats, engines, bicycles

Feb 4 (TN) Humedica, a german NGO helping Tsunami victims in the north, Thursday gave fifteen boats, out board motors (OBMs) and bicycles to fishermen in three villages on Jaffna's Vadamaradchi coast. Officials of Humedica, Liberation Tigers, local fisheries societies took part in ceremonies to handover the boats. more..

Indian trawlers continue to poach

Feb 4 (SLA) Naval troops, on 03 February 2005, have observed approximately 75 – 100 Indian fishing trawlers poaching in Sri Lanka waters south of OLD PIER in THALAIMANNAR. Similarly, naval troops have once again observed about 08 - 10 Indian fishing trawlers poaching in the general sea area east of KACHCHATIVU the same day.

Coral reefs in Trinco badly damaged

Feb 4 (ANN) Vegetation and coral reefs of some areas in the east and west coasts were severely damaged by the tsunami, a survey has revealed. The vegetation can be replanted in about two years, but damaged coral reefs will take longer, Dr. Channa Bambaradeniya, Programme Coordinator of IUCN Sri Lanka said. more..