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Yale team packs bags for tsunami relief effort in Sri Lanka

Jan 16 (NHR) If Ty Thaiyananthan had flown to Sri Lanka a few years ago the government might have killed or captured him the moment he stepped off the plane. Thaiyananthan is a Tamil raised in Oklahoma since age 2, and the Tamils have been fighting the Sinhalese government for years. more..

Police fire tear gas to disperse pro-rebel Tamils

Jan 16 (AP) Police used tear gas Sunday to disperse a group of Tamils who turned violent when security forces took down a Tamil Tiger flag commemorating the death of a rebel commander in northern Sri Lanka, a military spokesman said. more..

Doctors help children overcome fear

Jan 16 (gulf) In a small makeshift medical camp set up in the village of Dodanduwa, 15 km south of Colombo, Janaka, 12, was busy with his crayons. He drew a beautiful flower and coloured it red. Then all of a sudden he coloured the whole drawing sheet in black. more..

Problems of Sri Lanka refugees overwhelm doctor

Jan 16 (SBT) Dr. Ernest J. Fernando is admittedly overwhelmed. For more than a week, the Elkhart physician has traveled back and forth across his native Sri Lanka, from one refugee camp to another, treating men, women and children still suffering from the Dec. 26 tsunami. more..

Relief veteran back from Sri Lanka trip

Jan 16 (SBT) Joe Wilkey stood over four young bodies on the Sri Lankan soil. He wanted to move them. He wanted to bury at least one of them. He couldn't. The Sri Lanka government forbids it until all bodies are identified. more..

Tsunami-hit Lanka North East looks for Indian tents

Jan 16 (HT) The tsunami-hit North Eastern districts of Sri Lanka urgently need 50,000 tents to house refugee families, now put up in large, crowded camps with no privacy of any kind and India is being looked at as a preferred source. more..

Hollywood Stars Stage Tsunami Telethon

Jan 16 (Reuters) Hollywood stars and recording artists from Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis to Madonna and Elton John put their wattage to work on Saturday, raising money for victims of the Asian tsunami disaster in a nationally broadcast telethon. more..

Non-profit organisation to rebuild 20 school in tsunami-hit Sri Lanka

Jan 16 (CNA) A global non-profit organisation is rebuilding schools destroyed by the tsunami disaster last month. Room to Read aims to raise a quarter of a million dollars to rebuild 20 schools in Sri Lanka. At an event it organised recently, it was an auctioneers' dream with hands raised and bids flowing in non-stop. more..

Martin in store for shock of seeing tsunami wreckage first-hand

Jan 16 (CP) Awaiting Paul Martin is no ordinary photo op. The prime minister will see things here that have made seasoned soldiers suck in their breath. He'll land Monday by chopper on Sri Lanka's Ground Zero of tsunami destruction after an airborne tour of the shattered eastern coastline. more..

Getty Images

Jan 16 (GI) A tsunami survivor family (background) waits for their lunch, being cooked on a wood fire at a primary school where a relief camp has been set up for tsunami victims at Kannagipuram some 360 kms east of Colombo 16 January 2005. more..

Tsunami fears not to weigh on Sethusamudram

Jan 16 (HT) The Shipping Ministry would go ahead with the Rs 2,000 crore Sethusamudram project on the country's east coast, connecting the Gulf of Mannar with the Palk Bay, despite fears expressed by geologists and environmentalists in the wake of the tsunami disaster, a senior official said. more..

Police disrupts Kittu death anniversary in Mannar, Pesalai

Jan 17 (TN) At least 15 civilians were injured in Mannar when the Police opened fire in air and assaulted several Tamil people when they attempted to hoist Thamileelam flag in the Pesalai town Sunday morning in preparation to hold a commemoration meeting to mark the 12th death anniversary of Colonel Kittu, more..

UN Envoy Wahlstrom visits Jaffna district

Jan 17 (TN) Ms. Margareta Wahlstrom, United Nations Secretary General's Special Envoy Sunday visited Jaffna district, UN sources said. Accompanied by Ms. Miguel Bermieo, UNDP Country Director UN and representatives of Fisheries Co-operative Societies she visited Tsunami destroyed coastal areas from Point Pedro to Valvettithurai. more..

War-weary Sri Lankans deal with tsunami

Jan 17 (AP) Sellathuray, a 52-year-old fisherman, fled when government troops seized this coastal town from ethnic Tamil rebels in 1990. He returned seven years later and rebuilt his home. He lost it a second time in the tsunami. This time, his wife died. more..

Some donations fail to cross cultural divide

Jan 17 (LAT) In one of the largest relief efforts in history, a new issue is cropping up: mismatched aid. Relief groups have opened boxes meant for tsunami survivors to discover coats sent by donors apparently unaware the island nation is in the tropics, as well as polyester shirts and pants, which don't absorb sweat, and fleece baby clothes. more..

Pair Who Claim Tsunami Baby Lose Records

Jan 17 (AP) Jenita Jeyarajah believes Baby 81 is her son, the 3-month-old infant ripped from her arms by the tsunami. So do eight other mothers. "As days and weeks pass by, the trauma of not finding their children will drive many such parents to the extreme like the one we are seeing in Kalmunai," more..

DART team makes its home in abandoned factory

Jan 17 (CP) For 200 soldiers with Canada's disaster response team, Home Sweet Home is a decrepit factory populated by bats and monkeys. The former sugar plant had been abandoned for more than five years when the troops moved in. They were told to be wary of splattered feces on the walls from the bats that chirp through the night. more..

Martin set for politically fraught meeting with Tamils in Colombo, Sri Lanka

Jan 17 (CP) Prime Minister Paul Martin wades into Sri Lanka's murky domestic politics Monday when he meets with parliamentarians affiliated with the Tamil Tigers, a separatist insurgent group. Martin will first pay a visit to Canada's Disaster Assistance Response Team, or DART, in Ampara, almost two hours up the coast by helicopter. more..

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Jan 17 (GI) Fishermen set off in a boat as the sun sets January 16, 2005 off the coast of Galle in southern Sri Lanka. more..

US Deputy Defence Secretary to visit Sri Lanka to see US troops involvement

Jan 17 (AT) The Deputy Defence Secretary of the United States Paul Wolfowitz is expected to arrive in Sri Lanka today. He will have a first hand look at US troop involvement in the Tsunami-ravaged areas of Sri Lanka. more..

Looted Kuwaiti artefacts found

Jan 17 (BBC) Police in Chilaw has arrested a man with eight artefacts suspected to be smuggled from Kuwait. The suspect Abdul Raziq has worked in Kuwait for eight years. While some artefacts were bought from a shop in Kuwait, the others were from a museum Raziq told the police. more..

Children struggling to cope

Jan 17 (BBC) Three weeks after the devastating tsunami, Sri Lanka - along with other affected countries -is struggling to cope with the impact of the disaster on children, international aid agencies said. Many children, those who lived through it and those who lost family members, are still in the dire need of counselling, aid agency PLAN said. more..

Calgarians help out in Sri Lanka

Jan 17 (CFCN) A Calgarian who headed to Sri Lanka just after New Year's day, says he's overwhelmed by what he has seen. John McMahon is with "For the Love of Children Society." He and other members of the society have been trying to help with the thousands of children who lost their parents when the tsunami hit. more..

Sri Lanka Rebel Meets World Food Chief

Jan 17 (AP) After a tussle with the Sri Lankan government, the head of the U.N. World Food Program met a Tamil Tiger guerrilla leader Sunday to discuss distribution of food to tens of thousands of tsunami-affected people in rebel-held territories. more..

City could 'adopt' wave's orphans

Jan 17 (TB) TOWNSVILLE could become a "surrogate parent" to orphaned Sri Lankan children who lost their parents in the Asian tsunami. With orphaned children at risk of being sold into the sex trade, put into sweatshops or used as domestic servants, moves have to be made quickly to provide funds to protect the children, more..

Government’s attitude towards LTTE counter productive

Jan 17 (AT) The country’s gung-ho attitude towards the LTTE is going to be counter productive, say some political analysts here in Colombo. This follows a comment made by a former chairman of Lake House newspapers, a government sympathiser, who said on national television that "no announcements were made in the Tamil language -- in general, on television - - when the Tsunami hit on December 26th." more..

Price of goods to come down – Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister

Jan 17 (AT) The price of goods should come down as a result of the ‘firming’ of the dollar after massive quantities of foreign aid came into the country as a result of the Tsunami, Finance Minister Sarath Amunugama said here in Colombo. more..

Legislation to regularize construction of houses in the sea coast

Jan 17 (AT) Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumartunge approved legislation to forbid any construction within 200 metres from the sea coast, as part of a post -Tsunami reconstruction and beach re-zoning effort in this island nation. more..

Town planners are gearing up to implement planned development in tsunami hit coastal areas

Jan 17 (LBO) Town planners are gearing up to implement planned development in tsunami hit coastal areas. Government has banned reconstruction of damaged buildings near the sea while it considers a proposal for zoning the coastal belt. more..

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Jan 17 (GI) A Sri Lankan tsunami survivor child under the watchful eyes of his father climbs up the gates of a primary school where a relief camp has been set up for tsunami victims at Kannagipuram some 360 kms east of Colombo 16 January 2005. more..

Sri Lankan Govt to relocate displaced families

Jan 17 (ABC) The Sri Lankan Government says it plans to move dozens of towns affected by the tsunami further inland. But the Government says it could take decades for many families to find permanent homes. Urban planners in Sri Lanka have declared land up to one kilometre from the coast as a vulnerable area. more..

Number of Lankans needing food aid likely to rise by 100,000: WFP

Jan 17 (AFP) The number of Sri Lankans needing food aid after the tsunamis may rise by 100,000 to 850,000 in the week ahead, the head of the UN's World Food Program said yesterday at the end of a tour which included the rebel-controlled north. more..

Emergency laws to back Lanka reconstruction

Jan 17 (AFP) Sri Lanka is to arm itself with tough emergency laws before a major post-tsunami reconstruction effort which has secured unprecedented international financial backing, officials said yesterday. more..

Geologists call for quake-proof buildings

Jan 17 (TP) A Sri Lankan geologist has warned that in future people should be prepared to face threats of earthquakes and the construction industry would have to consider new techniques in building houses and buildings to meet the situation. more..

Wolfowitz arrives today on tsunami aid visit

Jan 17 (AFP) US and Sri Lankan troops will launch a joint exercise to remove tsunami debris from a key highway today as US Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz visits the island, officials said. more..

Aircraft seen in Wanni area

Jan 17 (TP) Aerial reconnaissance by an Israeli-built Searcher Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) scouring the skies over Tiger-guerrilla controlled Wanni region has revealed the presence of an aircraft in a newly-built airstrip. more..

Tidal wave warning

Jan 17 (TP) Tidal waves of up to three to four metres may hit Sri Lanka’s east coast due to a cyclonic storm developing in the Bay of Bengal, the Meteorological Department has warned. Operations Director K R Abeysinghe was quoted in newspapers as saying a depression in the Bay of Bengal was triggering the cyclonic storm some 550 kilometres from Pottuvil. more..

Fishermen told to leave homes

Jan 17 (TOI) IT TOOK the power of the tsunami to chase Mohammed Zaruk from Hambantota, Sri Lanka, where five generations of his family had lived and fished by the crescent bay. Now he has returned, only to find that the police are trying to do the same. more..

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Jan 17 (GI) Artificial limbs await custormer in a workshop in Kilinochchi, an area controlled by the Tamil Tigers in northern Sri Lanka. The tsunami have created more problems for anti-personnel mines in the region which has been displaced following the tidal waves that hit the country. more..

They all share a common bond

Jan 17 (IE) They still come, wide-eyed and curious and the ask questions of children playing in the grounds of what is a school here in the south. It will, of course, be used again for what it was built for, but that could be still a couple of weeks away when the teachers and pupils return. more..

Top bureaucrats were frantically trying to secure a deal with the LTTE

Jan 17 (LBO) Top bureaucrats were frantically trying to secure a deal with the LTTE for relief to reach thousands affected by the Tsunami in areas under their control. Government still has to forward projects to donors for the initial pledges to become firm aid commitments. more..

Canadian PM to meet DART members in Sri Lanka

Jan 17 (CBC) A joint U.S.-Sri Lankan military effort will begin this week to clear one of the country's key highways of tsunami debris. Troops will start work on a 35-kilometre section of the coastal Galle Road, the main route to the capital Colombo. more..

Kind hearts and outstretched arms

Jan 17 (ANN) In these very sad times with the death toll still rising, my mind has been directed towards noting how humane humans have been. Of course we have read of the vultures — stealing goods sent to the destitute to make money of it or to gain political clout; more..

IDB’s Relief Program Takes Off

Jan 17 (AN) The Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank has embarked on a comprehensive program to feed, educate and rehabilitate Muslim victims of the recent tsunami disaster that struck the coastal areas of Sri Lanka. more..

Lanka gets a briefing on tsunami

Jan 17 (SAMN) A group of the world's best scientists on tsunami and related scientific subjects has revealed new details and thinking to the Sri Lankan scientific community and policy makers. more..

Ranil vows to support govt

Jan 17 (SAMN) Opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe Sunday assured his party's support to the government's programme to rebuild the tsunami devastated country if consensus could be reached on several important issues. more..

Tsunami museum, film planned

Jan 17 (SAMN) The Cultural Affairs and National Heritage Ministry has planned to extend its fullest contribution through the literary field to the re-building process of the Government under the direction of Cultural Affairs and National Heritage Minister Vijitha Herath, a ministry spokesman said. more..

Doctors protest Russian degree

Jan 17 (SAMN) The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) is readying for a token strike over the controversial registration of registered medical officers who obtained the Russian medical degree, but no date has been fixed. more..

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Jan 17 (GI) Ceiling fans with twisted blades hang from the roof of a destroyed Madrasa -- Islamic school -- at Hambantota some 235 kms south of Colombo 14 January 2005. more..

Sri Lankan welfare agencies warn of aid backlash

Jan 17 (ABC) Local welfare agencies in Sri Lanka have warned of a possible backlash against international aid providers who have been pouring into the country. Our correspondent, Gillian Bradford, reports from Colombo that there are nearly 100 overseas aid agencies on the ground in Sri Lanka. more..