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Let bygones be bygones!

Feb 4 (ANN) Sri Lanka does not know whether it is at half mast or full mast that the national flag should fly today. The air is laden with a feeling of sorrow and dejection. Sobs are still audible and tears fresh, on this Independence Day. more..

Independence Day: An opportunity for fundamental change in Sri Lanka

Feb 4 (RW) 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..

2000 free, but not UNP MP

Feb 4 (SAMN) Some two thousand prisoners are to be released Friday on a presidential amnesty to mark the 57th Independence Day -- but the star prisoner UNP MP S.B.Dissanayake is not on the list. Prison Department sources said the former Minister and UNP strongman S.B. Dissanayake's name was not on the list of prisoners to be released. more..

UNP complains against state media abuse

Feb 4 (SAMN) The United National Party (UNP) warned President Chandrika Kumaratunga Thursday that meetings of political party leaders would be meaningless if the state media continued to accuse and abuse the opposition parties and a confrontational attitude prevailed. more..

Govt to review 100 metre plan

Feb 4 (SAMN) Amid criticism and controversy, the government is likely to review its decision on the 100-metres buffer zone for the hotel industry, Tourism Ministry Secretary P. Ramanujan said Thursday. He said experts from the World Tourism Organization (WTO) were expected here soon to assess the situation and submit a detailed report to the government. more..

JHU to boycott Independence Day function

Feb 4 (SAMN) The Jatika Hela Urumaya (JHU) Thursday announced that they would be boycotting the government's independence celebration at the Independence Square today as decided at the central committee meeting on Wednesday. more..

Consensus vital for reconstruction - Kadirgamar

Feb 4 (PRIU) Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar addressing a donor briefing jointly with the Finance & Planning Minister Sarath Amunugama at the SLFI on 2nd February stressed the importance of continuing the process of consultations with all partners involved in rebuilding the nation. more..

57th Independence day, a solemn commemoration

Feb 4 (PRIU) Sri Lanka’s 57th anniversary of Independence was commemorated this morning sans the usual pomp and pageantry. As in previous years the venue was the Independence Square in Colombo. The Prime Minister, the Speaker, Members of Parliament and the Diplomatic Corp were in attendance. more..

Canadians quench thirst, ease trauma of tsunami survivors

Feb 4 (AFP) A Canadian soldier climbs a tank and opens the top; another kick-starts a pump that sends in precious freshly desalinated water. They are part of a Canadian army Disaster Response Team (DART) operating a water purification plant that has become a lifeline for 80,000 survivors of December's devastating tsunami disaster. more..

Tsunami survivors take charge

Feb 4 (IOM) Residents in emergency shelter camps run by IOM on the south coast of the island are being trained in how to care for and maintain their camp areas. The IOM camp workshops not only assist the residents in making sure their environments remain safe and healthy, more..

Sri Lanka has edge in dealing with tsunami trauma

Feb 4 (Reuters) A long ethnic conflict has given Sri Lanka an edge over other Asian countries hit by last year's tsunami in dealing with the disaster's psychological impact on people, a top specialist in psychiatry said. more..

Sri Lanka tsunami survivors protest corrupt aid distribution

Feb 4 (AFP) Hundreds of tsunami survivors in Sri Lanka took to the streets in southern Matara district to protest corrupt aid distribution, police said. The demonstration came as the government admitted 70 percent of victims had yet to receive any state help. more..

Sri Lanka frees 1,800 prisoners to mark Freedom Day

Feb 4 (AFP) Sri Lankan authorities Friday freed 1,800 convicts to mark the island’s 57th anniversary of independence from Britain, prisons chief Rumy Marzook said. The inmates were freed on a presidential pardon from several jails to coincide with low-key celebrations in Colombo’s Independence Square public park, more..

Sri Lanka suspends tsunami aid officials

Feb 4 (AAP) The government has suspended three village officials for mishandling aid to tsunami survivors and 10 others were being investigated on similar charges, an official has said. Some survivors complain that they have not received promised food rations. more..

Sri Lanka Tigers free 23 child soldiers

Feb 4 (AFP) Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels said on Friday they were freeing 23 child soldiers after allegations they recruited at least 40 underage combatants since the island was battered by tsunamis. more..

Tsunami-hit areas to grow salt-resistant rice

Feb 4 (IANS) Rice varieties that can grow in salty conditions are being sent to help farmers whose fields were flooded with seawater by Indian Ocean tsunamis. The initiative by the Manila-based International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is targeted especially at Malaysia and Sri Lanka, more..

Indian clinical psychologists treat Lankan tsunami victims

Feb 4 (HT) Three Tamil-speaking Indian clinical psychologists are currently working in the tsunami-ravaged district of Amparai in eastern Sri Lanka. Dr Kamalam Gopalakrishnan, Dr Kumar and Dr Mathew are from the famous private sector Manipal medical college in Karnataka. more..

Sri Lanka Is Bouncing Back Speedily

Feb 4 (AN) Sri Lanka is bouncing back speedily from the tsunami strike that devastated its coastal belt. Within three weeks from the ravaging tidal attack, the island’s President Chandrika Kumaratunga launched an “action plan” to rebuild Sri Lanka’s tsunami-battered shorelines. more..

Lanka Emerges as Major Global Logistics Hub in South Asian Region

Feb 4 (AN) Sri Lanka’s Ambassador Ibrahim Sahib Ansar feels that there is an enormous scope for growth in the bilateral relations with Saudi Arabia, since Sri Lanka has emerged as a major Global Logistics Hub in the South Asian region for trade, investment, communications, and financial services. more..

Remember All Those Who Lost Their Lives

Feb 4 (AN) The National Day this year is a solemn occasion for all Sri Lankans to remember with humility the unprecedented devastation caused by the tsunami, which struck Sri Lanka on Dec. 26, 2004. more..

Allocation of land in Sri Lanka first step in long-term reconstruction programme

Feb 4 (SA) In the wake of the South Asian tsunamis, The Salvation Army throughout the region is moving from immediate relief to long-term reconstruction and rehabilitation programmes. A major first step will be the building of 1,000 new houses on 244 acres of land allocated by the Sri Lankan Government. more..

Sri Lanka to become a 'modern, progressive' state: president

Feb 5 (AFP) Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has called for ethnic unity to rebuild the tsunami-hit nation as a modern, progressive state in an address to the nation during scaled-down freedom day celebrations. more..

Ranil slams relief distribution ‘failure’

Feb 5 (BBC) Sri Lanka’s opposition leader Ranil Wickramasinghe slammed the government’s inefficiency in delivering relief aid to tsunami victims. In an interview with the BBC in London on Friday, the former prime minister said there were many issues raised regarding the distribution of relief aid. more..

Gunmen kill Tamil Tiger rebel in eastern Sri Lanka

Feb 5 (AP) Unidentified gunmen on Friday killed a Tamil Tiger rebel in the stronghold of a renegade guerrilla leader in eastern Sri Lanka, the military said. The rebel was gunned down while riding a motorcycle in the eastern town of Kiran in Batticaloa, military spokesman Brig. Daya Ratnayake said. more..

Rural electrification given boost with SEDB's credit scheme

Feb 5 (TN) The Socio Economic Development Bank (SEDB)headquartered in Killinochchi Friday inaugurated a rural electrification project in NorthEast villages by providing Solar Home systems (SHSs) on credit basis to consumers. SEDB's Visuvamadu branch at the inaugural event distributed 15 SHSs to fifteen residents of Udaiyarkattu village. more..

Norway in a fresh bid to push for Govt-LTTE joint mechanism

Feb 5 (UNI) Norwegian Ambassador to Sri Lanka is scheduled to meet the rebel leaders to discuss on the proposed Government-LTTE joint mechanism for an early and equitable disbursement of relief aid to tsunami survivors. more..

We will succeed - President

Feb 5 (DN) In the wake of the South Asian tsunamis, The Salvation Army throughout the region is moving from immediate relief to long-term reconstruction and rehabilitation programmes. A major first step will be the building of 1,000 new houses on 244 acres of land allocated by the Sri Lankan Government. more..

Yahoo Photos

Feb 5 (Yahoo) Sri Lankan fishermen repair their boats at Sri Lanka's 'tsunami yard' near Beruwala February 3, 2005. Business at Beruwala fishing harbour is nearly back to normal more..

JVP thanks foreign forces

Feb 5 (LT) The JVP expresses its gratitude to the foreign forces that have arrived in Sri Lanka unarmed, helped in reconstruction activities and are going back to their countries. This is stated in a communiqué issued by the Leader of the JVP Mr. Somawansha Amarasinghe. more..

Australia donates 10,000 radio sets

Feb 5 (TP) The Australian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, Dr Greg French handed over 10,000 radio sets to Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) Chairman Hudson Samarasinghe on Thursday to be distributed among tsunami victims. more..

Contaminated water kills animals

Feb 5 (TP) Animal health authorities have received reports from the east that close to a 1000 animals have died recently after drinking water contaminated by tidal waves which hit the coast more than a month ago, newspapers said. more..

Teachers’ strike continues

Feb 5 (TP) Volunteer teachers continued their protest for the fourth day yesterday vowing to commit mass suicide if President Chandrika Kumaratunga fails to assure them permanent appointments, the Daily Mirror reported. more..

Dyson to prepare team for New Zealand tour

Feb 5 (CI) John Dyson will be back on March 1 to continue his role as the coach of the Sri Lankan team before their Test tour to New Zealand in April. Mohan de Silva, the president of SLC, said that Dyson had agreed to return to Sri Lanka and complete his contract which ends on March 31 and prepare the team for the two Tests against New Zealand. more..

In an undiscovered country

Feb 5 (IE) I remember hallucinating about tremors long after I had experienced the earthquake in Ahmedabad. Having personally felt the anxiety of a near-death situation, I wondered why the tsunami tragedy didn’t even make my eyes moist? more..

British Royal Navy, US Marines help Tsunami damaged communities in Sri Lanka

Feb 5 (VOA) British sailors are on the frontlines of a humanitarian disaster. It's the Royal Navy's second visit to the district of Kallady in eastern Sri Lanka, virtually cut off from the nearby city of Batticaloa. more..

Report on Tsunami Affected YMCAs in Sri Lanka

Feb 5 (RW) The YMCA's affected by the Tsunami are now with NCY and public assistance getting back to operations for normalizing the lives of the victims of the disaster and their YMCA's. more..

UNHCR outlines post-tsunami role in Sri Lanka

Feb 5 (UNHCR) The UN refugee agency has outlined its role in post-tsunami Sri Lanka amid continuing efforts to distribute non-food relief items to the displaced and to finalise a transitional shelter strategy in the devastated coastal areas. more..

Ranil, JVP bigwigs not present

Feb 5 (SAMN) In the aftermath of the tsunami catastrophe the national ceremony to mark Independence Day Friday was sombre and solemn though a baby elephant and some political leaders provided some interesting diversions. more..

Rural hospitals to be modernised

Feb 5 (SAMN) The Health Ministry has started a major operation to modernize all village and rural hospitals in the country as it has discovered that the inadequacies in those hospitals were the reason behind the overcrowding in the large city hospitals. more..

Govt plans to buy paddy from farmers

Feb 5 (SAMN) The government will start purchasing paddy from farmers from February 10 for the Maha season to ensure increased profits for paddy farmers. The Finance Ministry has set apart Rs. 750 million for the first phase of purchasing and further funds will be allocated as needed, Finance Ministry sources said. more..

Chandrika calls for unity

Feb 5 (SAMN) President Chandrika Kumaratunga Friday appealed to all Sri Lankans to draw a lesson from the massive geo-physical upheaval, radically change their thinking and attitudes to unite with those they considered their enemies and rebuild the nation into a modern, progressive and truly Sri Lankan state. more..

Dua prayers for Tsunami Muslim victims held in Trinco

Feb 5 (TN) 40th day Dua prayer meeting for Muslim victims of tsunami disaster, organized by leading local Muslim leaders of the east port town was held in Trincomalee Zahira Muslim Maha Vidiyalayam Thursday night immediately after Luhar prayers. Mr.Rasik Fareed, President of the Young Thakkia Sports Club presided. more..

Revisiting Navalady

Feb 5 (TN) Navalady, located between the Batticaloa lagoon and the sea, is one of the villages completely destroyed by the sea on Boxing Day. Navalady village used to be the home of 475 families containing 1890 individuals. Today, Navalady is a land of tombs. more..

Colombo dragging feet on joint mechanism, says Thamilchelvan

Feb 5 (TN) "The Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) is still dragging its feet over the establishment of a joint mechanism to take forward the reconstruction and rehabilitation of tsunami destroyed Tamil coastal areas in the northeast province," said Mr S P Thamilchelvan, more..

Getty Images

Feb 5 (GI) A Sri Lankan college girl sells stickers to collect money as part of a fund-raising and sustained awareness campaign about tsunami, while marching through central Colombo, more..

Civilian’s house under hand grenade attack

Feb 5 (SLA) An unidentified person has thrown a hand grenade at a civilian’s house in the general area of BATTICALOA on 04 February 2005 around 1.00 p.m. The house of SHAMMUGAN THIRUNANETHI WASALAM of No. 21/2, STONE Road, BATTICALOA came under this hand grenade attack of the unidentified person. more..

Two LTTE cadres with a pistol and ammo arrested

Feb 5 (SLA) Two motorbike riding LTTE cadres of Wanni faction who were carrying some warlike items have been arrested by the troops and Police personnel on duty at the URANI roadblock in BATTICALOA on 03 February 2005 around 11.30 p.m. more..

Frustrated LTTE man commits suicide

Feb 5 (SLA) Information received from a civilian has confirmed that an LTTE member who was not allowed to visit his ailing father by the LTTE has committed suicide in side the LTTE camp at BERUIT in the general un-cleared area of PUNANI South on 04 February 2005 around 8.30 a.m. more..

Another LTTE man attempts to commit suicide

Feb 5 (SLA) An LTTE cadre who has shot himself has been admitted to the BATTICALOA hospital with gunshot injuries on 04 February 2005 in the general un-cleared area of VELLAVELI around 2.30 p.m. Preliminary investigations have revealed that the injured LTTE cadre named ANTHONI ARULAPPAN (23) of MAILATHIDITIVU, more..

Transport of essential items to un-cleared areas continues

Feb 5 (SLA) One thousand two hundred and forty two (1242) lorry loads of food and other essential items had been dispatched to un-cleared areas in the northern province during the period between 28 January 2004 and 03 February 2005. more..