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Sri Lankans take advantage of long weekend for 'disaster tourism'

Jan 15 (AFP) Thousands of Sri Lankans took advantage of a long weekend to tramp through wreckage left by the devastating tsunami as hoteliers reported a surge in "disaster tourism." more..

In Sri Lanka, the rehabilitation of lives has yet to begin

Jan 15 (AP) Children clamber over the ruins of their homes, salvaging anything that looks usable, from plastic cups to roof tiles. Women launder clothes from an outdoor tap where a bathroom once stood. Men gaze out at a shimmering sea where they had earned their living. more..

Tamil rebel leader says Sri Lankan government fumbled chance for peace overtures linked to tsunami relief

Jan 15 (AP) The Sri Lankan government lost a chance to revive the peace process despite hopes that the state and guerrillas would unite in efforts to recover from the tsunami, a leader of the Tamil Tiger rebel movement said Saturday. more..

Senses, Sand Dunes Helped Tsunami Animals Escape

Jan 15 (Reuters) Wildlife in Sri Lanka's biggest national park survived last month's tsunami, but it was probably keen senses and the lay of the land rather than any mysterious instinct for danger that enabled animals to scamper to safety. more..

'You need to get courage'

Jan 15 (SBT) Often frustrated by the red tape of large relief organizations, Jasmine Jacob is having an immediate effect on the lives of the children in Sri Lanka, one grateful life at a time. more..

WFP official's visit to Sri Lankan rebel area cleared: UN

Jan 15 (AFP) A visit by the UN's World Food Program (WFP) director to the northern rebel-held town of Kilinochchi which was earlier blocked by the Sri Lankan government has been cleared, a WFP spokeswoman told AFP. more..

US military seeking quick exit from tsunami relief: Wolfowitz

Jan 15 (AFP) The United States will end its military's Asian tsunami relief operations as soon as possible but not before the job is done, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz revealed. more..

Rights group slams govt

Jan 15 (TP) The Civil Rights Movement, Sri Lanka’s oldest human rights group, said yesterday that it was surprised that the government’s Declaration of a State of Emergency on January 4 was not given due media publicity — though it was imperative that the people should know under what laws they were governed. more..

Change in child adoption law

Jan 15 (TP) The Sri Lankan cabinet has decided to amend the age limit of children to be adopted in order to assist those who wish to adopt children orphaned by the tsunami, newspapers said. The adoption age limit is being raised to 17 from the current 14 years. more..

Sri Lanka lets UN visit rebel area

Jan 15 (BBC) Authorities in Sri Lanka have agreed to allow the head of a UN aid agency to visit victims of last month's tsunami in an area held by Tamil Tiger rebels. The World Food Programme earlier said the government had blocked the trip by WFP head James Morris to the northern town of Kilinochchi. more..

Getty Images

Jan 15 (GI) A Sri Lankan worker arranges roof tiles at a kiln on the outskirts of Matara some 175 kms south of Colombo 14 January 2005. Brick and tile manufacturers are working day and night to cope up with the demand for bricks and roof tiles more..

Two bodies retrieved after 19 days

Jan 16 (TN) The bodies a mother and her daughter were retrieved from debris on Saturday in Manatkadu village, which is located in the government controlled coastal areas of Jaffna district, civil sources said. more..

Tsunami won't impact LTTE, say Indian defence experts

Jan 16 (ET) With conflicting reports continuing to pour in regarding the recent tsunami’s impact on militant organisation LTTE, there has been much speculation on whether the natural calamity can help resolve Sri Lanka’s socio-political problems. more..

Sri Lanka tragedy besets a beautiful people

Jan 16 (AR) The devastation that Sri Lanka is experiencing from December's tsunami is a horrible contrast to my memorable visit to this beautiful place at this time last year. Sri Lanka is a small country that is rich in culture and intensely diverse, a place where elephants and monkeys are common street pedestrians. more..

Chinese relief goods lands in tsunami-hit Sri Lanka

Jan 16 (Xinhua) The third batch of Chinese relief aid to the tsunami-stricken Sri Lanka arrived here late on Saturday. The aid items cover 770 sets of gasoline generators, a huge package of food and medicine, according to "the list of emergency relief goods" being attached to the goods. more..

From Tsunami to Tiger Eelam?

Jan 16 (AT) A phoenix rising from the ashes; a Tiger Eelam rising from the tsunami devastation – that is obviously what the LTTE is working towards. No wonder just a fortnight after an unprecedented tidal wave laid waste to coastal Sri Lanka the Tigers are abducting children from camps for displaced people – as even the normally sympathetic BBC has been forced to admit. more..

Pak Navy establishes field hospital in Sri Lanka

Jan 16 (AT) A field hospital was established by Pakistan Navy Task Force in Hangama coastal town in Sri Lanka which was severely hit by Tsunami to treat people affected by the natural calamity. more..

Uncertainty surrounds Tsunami victims

Jan 16 (BBC) Lack of information is aggravating the sufferings of Tsunami victims, said Father Damien Fernando of the Catholic Church based relief organization, SEDEC. People in relief camps visit their lands adjoining the seashore day after day silently look at it t and return empty handed to their camp. more..

New towns spring up in South, East

Jan 16 (SO) Sixty small and big towns by the Southern and the Eastern coast would be relocated closer to the new Colombo-Matara expressway and the proposed Ampara-Trincomalee highway under the tsunami reconstruction plan. more..

Food ration for tsunami victims

Jan 16 (TP) Starting this week, Sri Lankan authorities will provide a relief package including food and other essential items on a ration card to each person displaced by the tsunamis. more..

Bread shortage continues

Jan 16 (TP) Despite 2,000 tonnes of flour imports being distributed to Sri Lankan bakery owners after reports of a shortage, the severe shortage of bread continues, official sources were quoted in newspapers as saying. more..

Temple to adopt 100 children

Jan 16 (TP) Sri Dalada Maligawa, Sri Lanka’s famed Temple of the Tooth in the central region, has offered to adopt 100 children orphaned by the killer waves, the temple authorities said. more..

Jailbreakers shot down

Jan 16 (TP) Three notorious gangsters who escaped from the southern Matara prison along with dozens others when the prison was swamped by the tsunamis were tracked down and killed in a gunbattle with police in Colombo on Friday. more..

Getty Images

Jan 16 (GI) Two Sri Lankan sisters clear debris from their destroyed house after it was swept away in last month's tsunami on the outskirts of Galle, 13 January 2005. more..

Kofi Annan's Special Envoy visits Mullaithivu

Jan 16 (TN) Margareta Wahlstrom, UN Secretary General's Special Envoy on Relief Operations, met with the Head of the LTTE's Political Wing, Mr. S. P. Thamilchelvan Saturday and expressed condolences and solidarity to the Tamil people affected by the tsunami on behalf of the UN Secretary General, sources said. more..

Acute shortage of medical facilities in Muttur-TNA MP

Jan 16 (TN) Tsunami victims staying in welfare centres located in Muttur and other Trincomalee district villages, and others staying with their relatives and friends are undergoing immense hardship in obtaining proper medical attention due to acute shortage of drugs, ambulances and staff in rural hospitals, more..

Orphaned Dogs Swarm Sri Lanka

Jan 16 (LAT) They are perhaps the most overlooked victims of last month's devastating tsunami, increasingly desperate creatures existing without shelter and little food or even clean water. And under a new government program, their days are numbered. more..

Survivor relives tsunami horror

Jan 16 (GD) A BAHRAIN-based worker who survived the tsunami in Sri Lanka went back into the carnage to help rescue survivors. Mohammed Rizwan then spent two weeks helping relief efforts in one of the worst-hit areas. more..

WB: First take grants, loans later

Jan 16 (ANN) The World Bank has encouraged Sri Lanka to first accept the grant aid available in the wake of the recent disaster and later take loans, the bank’s Country Director, Peter Harrold said Saturday. more..

Centralization, control by armed forces, and equitable aid are incompatible, TNA tells ADB president

Jan 16 (TN) Tamil National Alliance (TNA) delegation that met the president of Asia Development Bank (ADB), Mr. Tadao Chino, on Sunday and highlighted the context and the developments in the country that are detrimental to the equitable distribution of tsunami relief. more..

WFP Executive Director meets with Thamilchelvan

Jan 16 (TN) Executive Director of World Food Programme (WFP), Mr.James T. Morris, met with the LTTE's Political Head Mr. S.P.Thamilchelvan and expressed encouragement by the timely engagement of LTTE and the TRO in feeding displaced people, according to a news release issued by the LTTE Peace Secretariat. more..

Sri Lanka to sign USD 150 million arms deal with Iran

Jan 16 (TN) Sri Lanka is to buy over USD 150 million of arms from Iran, the Sunday Times reported this week. A high-powered Sri Lankan military delegation led by Army Commander Lt. Gen. Shantha Kottegoda has left for Tehran this week to conclude the deal which was outlined when President Chandrika Kumaratunga went to Iran in November last year, the paper said. more..

New laws to check tsunami crimes

Jan 16 (SAMN) The Government is to introduce a special law short-titled the "Tsunami Law" and invoke emergency regulations to arm itself with powers to imprison, confiscate property and impose heavy fines and jail terms on those responsible for kidnapping, theft of property and looting more..

Dozens of fugitive prisoners return

Jan 16 (SAMN) A police officer said that dozens of prisoners who fled the tsunami-hit Matara prison had surrendered over the past few days raising the total to 183 by Friday. ASP Gamini Jayasinghe said that of the 348 who fled the prison on December 26 when the tsunami hit, 160 gave themselves up at the Matara prison. more..

Foreign investors eye rebuilding

Jan 16 (SAMN) Sri Lanka is much poorer in the wake of the tsunami with some 40,000 lives lost and severe damage to infrastructure, but the disaster has provided an opportunity to build anew the damaged areas with foreign investors already making inquiries about contracts in the massive reconstruction effort. more..

Coastal no-building zone review

Jan 16 (SAMN) Tourism authorities are asking the government to be flexible in implementing the proposed ban on new construction within a specified area from the coast in response to concern among investors that it could diminish the attractiveness of beach resorts. more..

Mob kills tsunami aid 'thief'

Jan 16 (AFP) VILLAGERS today stabbed to death a man suspected of stealing from tsunami victims in southern Sri Lanka and handed over six more suspects to police, a senior policeman said. Residents of the village of Thalapitiya in the district of Galle had turned against a group of men they believed had been stealing from the December 26 tsunami victims, more..

Canada PM to probe reports of recruiting of child soldiers in Sri Lanka

Jan 16 (AFP) Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin said that during his visit to Sri Lanka, he would check on reports of a stepped-up child recruitment drive by rebel Tamil Tigers in the wake of the tsunami. more..

Problems over relief for Sri Lanka's Tamils eased: official

Jan 16 (AFP) Problems over the distribution of aid to Tamil survivors of the tsunami in Sri Lanka's devastated Ampara district have eased after a meeting between the government and local Tamil leaders, an official said. more..

Norway to use tsunami silver lining to end Sri Lanka talks deadlock

Jan 16 (AFP) Sri Lanka's peace broker Norway will make a fresh attempt to end a 21-month deadlock in talks by using the tsunami tragedy that indiscriminately battered both sides, diplomats and analysts said Sunday. more..

Sri Lanka has received aid worth over US$100m

Jan 16 (Xinhua) Sri Lanka has received over 100 million US dollars worth aid as of Jan. 12, official Sunday Observer said on Sunday. According to United Nation's source, around 91,452,979 US dollars worth aid in cash and kind has been granted to Sri Lanka, the paper said. more..

Sri Lankan Cabinet minister wants to adopt tsunami orphan

Jan 16 (AP) A Cabinet minister from Sri Lanka's minority Tamil community said Sunday he plans to adopt a child orphaned by last month's tsunami and doesn't care about the ethnic background. more..

Helping the youngest victims

Jan 16 (NYD) The most heartbreaking devastation Carol Bellamy has seen as head of the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund was the small group of Sri Lankan parents who stood at the ocean's edge - waiting for their kids to return. more..

Getting down to business of rebuilding

Jan 16 (BG) Nayana Mawilmada hadn't planned to go home when he graduates from Harvard Business School this spring. He's reconsidering, though; now that the fishing industry has nearly been decimated, tens of thousands of people have died, and nearly 1 million are homeless in his native Sri Lanka. more..

Some spared, but still in need

Jan 16 (BG) With aid flowing in unprecedented amounts to tsunami survivors, murmurs of discontent are surfacing among impoverished Sri Lankans who were spared losses and do not expect to benefit from the international outpouring. more..

Sri Lanka's property market to withstand tsunami onslaught

Jan 16 (AFP) The tsunamis that ravaged Sri Lanka are unlikely to dampen the island nation's booming property market in the months ahead as foreigners hopefully sniff out bargains and aid floods in, analysts said. more..

Toronto's first 2005 slaying

Jan 16 (TS) Thanushan Jeyakumaran was just preparing to enter the next phase of his young life. Twenty-four hours later he was dead, Toronto's first homicide victim of 2005. The 18-year-old Sri Lankan Tamil said goodbye to his friends at a London, Ont., bus stop on Thursday night, as he headed back to Toronto to prepare for work on Friday morning. more..

Yahoo Photos

Jan 16 (Yahoo) A Sri Lankan girl, who survived the tsunami, looks at a doctor preparing a medical report at a shelter for the displaced students in the tsunami-ravaged village of Ondachimadam more..

India helps Sri Lanka rebuild Trincomalee harbour

Jan 16 (PTI) India is helping Sri Lanka rebuild some 42 km of fortifications along Sri Lanka's Trincomalee naval base which were destroyed in the tsunami devastation, a media report said on Sunday. more..


Jan 16 (SFC) If small blessings count for anything, at least the tsunami left Sri Lanka's west coast basically unscathed. The miles of palm-shaded beaches along this coast are also mercifully close to the country's only international airport. more..