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Expert, aid agencies warn against 'sympathy' adoptions following tsunami

Jan 17 (CP) Heart-rending images of misery have prompted a surge in interest from Canadians moved to save young tsunami victims from their horrific plight by adopting them, but experts warn against acting with sympathetic rashness. more..

Animals, tourists returning to Sri Lankan wildlife park, but no butterflies

Jan 17 (AFP) The animals are returning to tracts of Sri Lanka's premier wildlife park battered by last month's tsunamis, the tourists are also coming back -- only the butterflies are still missing. "We're already up to around 100 visitors a day," more..

Building bridges: LTTE seeks to renew ties with India

Jan 17 (SC) Can India ever be friends with the LTTE? The answer in New Delhi may be a categorical 'no' but in Northern Sri Lanka, it is an altogether different story. The LTTE has said that it is willing to "forget the past" and engage in unconditional talks with the Indian government to reconcile differences in the larger interests of the Tamil people. more..

A friend in need...

Jan 17 (FL) FOR the second time in as many years, the Indian armed forces responded to a call by Sri Lanka to render humanitarian assistance. As the first country to rush to the aid of the island-nation in the wake of the disaster, India can justifiably claim to be the leader of the international relief efforts in its neighbourhood. more..

Deepening divisions

Jan 17 (FL) EVEN its worst-ever catastrophe failed to unite convincingly an embattled Sri Lanka. Behind the politically correct tunes of working together, deep divisions continue to exist between the island's bitter political rivals. The undercurrents at play point to a further entrenchment of decades-long positions. more..

Ready for a new beginning

Jan 17 (FL) "YOU go and tell the world that people here are helpless. They are not beggars. What they need is a helping hand," Ruwan Uyanahewa, a former soldier in the Sri Lanka Army, said at Polhena in the southern Matara district. This effectively summed up the island-nation's plight after the tsunami strike. more..

Life on the shores of death

Jan 17 (FL) MANALKADU, a vibrant fishing village in the northern Jaffna district with a population of just over 1,000, woke up in a panic on December 26. "There was a loud noise and we thought that the war had started. Promptly people hid under their beds as they always do when bombing is imminent. more..

Getty Images

Jan 17 (GI) A Sri Lankan tsunami survivor child concentrates as he plays a game of marbles at a primary school where a relief camp has been set up for tsunami victims at Kannagipuram some 360 kms east of Colombo more..

Tsunami aid and peace process not linked

Jan 17 (ANN) Sri Lanka would resist any bid to link the tsunami emergency and rehabilitation aid with the peace process. "They shouldn’t be linked," an authoritative official said, describing them as two mutually exclusive processes. more..

Tsunami: Do we have the right data?

Jan 17 (ANN) It is pity that social and community problems caused by the Tsunami are being played down with claims that the effects of the Tsunami would not affect the economy of Sri Lanka so adversely. more..

Canadian Red Cross visit Trincomalee Tsunami victims

Jan 17 (TN) Secretary General and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Red Cross, Dr.Pierre Duplessis, and Ms.Sherine Xavier, Programme Manager of the organisation visited Trincomalee Sunday and met with Tsunami victims sheltered in welfare centres more..

Fourth anniversary of Pongu Thamil Declaration held in Jaffna

Jan 17 (TN) An event to mark the fourth anniversary of the first Tamil Resurgence Movement (Pongu Tamil) was held Monday morning in the Jaffna University premises amid large crowd. A public meeting was also held in the Kailasapathy Auditorium. Mr.C. Ilamparithi, Jaffna district political head of the LTTE delivered the keynote address, sources said. more..

US Marines will not stay any longer than wanted, says US Defence Secretary

Jan 17 (TN) Visiting Deputy Defence Secretary of the United States of America, Paul Wolfowitz said in Colombo on Monday morning that the US Marine troops would not stay in Sri Lanka any longer than they were wanted. "We don't want to stay any longer than we are needed, most certainly not longer than we are wanted," more..

LTTE disregard SLMM’s request and hoist LTTE flag in SF controlled area

Jan 17 (SLA) LTTE has hoisted their flag at the commencement of an LTTE ceremony organized to commemorate some dead LTTE cadres at the SIDAMBARAMPURAM refugee camp in the general area of VAVUNIYA on 16 January 2005. more..

Grenade found in un-cleared area handed over to troops by civilians

Jan 17 (SLA) A grenade found from the general un-cleared area of PULIYANKULAM on the A -9 road has been handed over to the troops on duty at the OMANTAI Entry/Exit point by some civilians on 14 January 2005. more..

LTTE abduct another civilian

Jan 17 (SLA) A female civilian in the general area of UPPUWELI has lodged a complaint at the Police on 14 January 2005 stating that her husband was kidnapped by the LTTE. According to the complainant the victim is being detained in the LTTE office at AGRICULTURE FARM, 3 MILE POST, UPPUWELI. more..

Sri Lanka: the day the tsunami devastated Hambantota

Jan 17 (wsws) The following article is an eyewitness account from a resident of Hambantota, the south coast Sri Lankan town that was severely damaged by the December 26 tsunami. Located about 240 kilometres from Colombo, the district is one of Sri Lanka’s poorest. more..

On line contributions for disaster relief

Jan 17 (PRIU) The Bank of Ceylon, the People’s Bank and the Central Bank have established three separate websites to facilitate on line contributions to the President’s Fund for disaster relief. Contributions could be made accessing these websites. more..

Master plan to rebuild lives, now before all stake holders

Jan 17 (PRIU) President Chandrika Kumaratunga today presented the action plan for rebuilding the nation at the meeting of the High Level Committee for Disaster Management. The Leader of the Opposition Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe and leaders of other political parties were at the Presidential Secretariat for the meeting. more..

NGO assistance sought in rehab phase

Jan 17 (PSL) The President today met all registered Non-Governmental Organizations involved in the current relief programs in Sri Lanka. The President expressed her gratitude to them for the enumerable ways they assisted the affected in the aftermath of the December 26th tsunami disaster. more..

Yahoo Photos

Jan 17 (Yahoo) Canada's Prime Minister Paul Martin interacts with tsunami survivors at a tsunami-devastated hamlet in the town of Kalmunai on Sri Lanka's east coast January 17, 2005. more..

Time's ripe to work collectively: CBK

Jan 17 (PIS) Reiterating that the time was ripe to rebuild Sri Lanka collectively, President Chandrika Kumaratunga yesterday said though the tsunami catastrophe caused the worst ever disaster in the country's history, it also helped to bring about unity among all political parties and the LTTE. more..

Donors to study LTTE demands too

Jan 17 (PIS) Asian Development Bank (ADB) Country Director Alessandro Pio told journalists on Saturday that the LTTE was proceeding with its own needs assessment. more..

Sri Lanka to build 15 new towns in tsunami zone

Jan 17 (Reuters) Sri Lanka will build 15 new towns on its tsunami-devastated southern and eastern coasts as part of a major reconstruction drive announced on Monday. The government will also give tax and other concessions to hotels destroyed by the giant waves that hit the island on Dec. 26, more..

TRO officially identified with Tamil rebel group LTTE in Australia

Jan 17 (AT) Australian Government has identified Tamils Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) as an entity associated with the Sri Lankan rebel group, which is gazetted as a terrorist organisation in Australia. more..

Official: Sri Lanka in Reconstruction Mode

Jan 17 (AP) U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said Monday that Sri Lanka is moving swiftly from relief to reconstruction three weeks after the devastating tsunami and help from U.S. military engineers won't be needed much longer. more..

Don’t begin large scale projects in tsunami hit areas - UNP

Jan 17 (LT) Tsunami aid should not be used to launch large projects such as for building roads, electricity, railway and telephone says the UNP. This was stated by UNP Parliamentarian and former minister G.L.Peiris making a statement on the proposals for all political parties to join hands to rebuild the country. more..

Record breaking fee to defend Potta Naufer

Jan 17 (LT) It is reported that in the Sri Lankan legal history the highest legal fees is going to be paid. According to sources, this fee is paying for the team of lawyers who represent the chief suspect of high court judge Sarath Ambepitiya assassination case. more..

Bring down prices of goods to give relief to masses - JVP

Jan 17 (LT) The benefit of the rupee gaining over the dollar should be given to the people by lowering the prices of essential goods proposes the JVP to the Government. JVP states the prices of essential goods could be lowered as the value of the rupee has increased so that the people will be benefited. more..

Tigers take over relief camps

Jan 17 (LT) Though the Government had assigned rehabilitation work in Batticaloa District to security sections, the GA had mediated in assigning it to another committee say reports reaching us. TRO, controlled by tiger organization as well as members of tiger organization have been appointed to this committee. more..

Martin satisfied Canadian aid getting to Tamils

Jan 17 (CTV) After his Asian tour took in the tsunami-stricken east coast of Sri Lanka on Monday, Prime Minister Paul Martin said he was satisfied aid is being delivered to all victims in the region. more..

Yahoo Photos

Jan 17 (Yahoo) U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz shakes hands with a child at a school destroyed by the Dec. 26 tsunami during his visit to Gintota, southern Sri Lanka, Monday, Jan. 17. more..

US pulls back ships from Sri Lanka

Jan 17 (AFP) The US pulled back two military supply ships deployed for tsunami-relief operations in Sri Lanka even as Canada vowed a long-term commitment of its troops to help the island get back on its feet. more..

451 wells cleaned by Medair in Addelachenai, on the east coast of Sri Lanka

Jan 17 (Medair) The Medair team have been working tirelessly to restore fresh water supply to Tsunami affected populations along the east coast of Sri Lanka. The team have been operational for 2 weeks now. more..

Bail for Sri Lankan arrested in high-profile drug case forfeited

Jan 17 (CNA) Jeremy Mahen Chanmugam - one of the people arrested in a series of high profile drug-related arrests last October - has had his full S$25,000 bail forfeited. Monday was the chance for his bailor to get part of the money back if cause could be shown why bail should not be forfeited. more..

Two more suspects in teen killing

Jan 17 (TS) Homicide investigators have identified two more suspects in the slaying of 18-year-old Thanushan Jeyakumaran. Jeyakumaran was abducted from the Spiceland Super Market, a West Indian grocery store where he worked, on Friday night and stabbed outside the store, before being left for dead in a nearby park. more..

Canadian PM visits tsunami-ravaged Sri Lankan town

Jan 17 (AFP) Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin has promised long-term aid to help tsunami-stricken Sri Lanka get back on its feet after a tour of devastated areas on the east coast. "You have to be a stone not to be moved by this," Martin said more..

Amid deluge of aid, a village is forgotten

Jan 17 (SFG) There is little left of this locally famous fishing hamlet but concrete slabs, broken brick walls, rubbish and coconut palms -- some bent over, but most still standing. The sea rose as high as the street lamps that morning, Thilakasiri Fernando said, pointing at a light some 16 feet up a concrete post. more..

Toll Tops 175,000 as Sri Lanka Adds Thousands

Jan 17 (Reuters) Sri Lanka's tsunami death toll shot up on Monday as officials said the more they cleared up, the more bodies they found. The island added another 7,275 victims to its list of the dead, taking the national toll over 38,000 and the overall toll around Indian Ocean nations to 175,458. more..

Sri Lanka to announce special 'Tsunami Law'

Jan 17 (Gulf) The Sri Lankan government is to announce a special law called the "Tsunami Law". This will enable the government to invoke emergency regulations to arm itself with powers to imprison, confiscate property and impose heavy fines and jail terms more..

Martin to meet barred Tamils

Jan 17 (G&M) Prime Minister Paul Martin will meet today with two Tamil politicians who were refused entry into Canada last year because of a risk they would collect money on behalf of a militant separatist group. Mr. Martin will meet the individuals, part of a Tamil four-person delegation in Sri Lanka's capital today. more..

Local aid groups struggle in Sri Lanka

Jan 17 (ABC) In Sri Lanka, local aid agencies say they're being pushed aside by the dozens of international organisations which have set up operations there. While there's plenty of work to go around, the small groups on the ground are worried that the larger, overseas-based organisations are providing aid where it may not be needed. more..

Getty Images

Jan 17 (GI) A Sri Lankan street vendor awaits customers to buy his coconuts in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo 17 January 2005 as life in the tsunami-battered nation slowly returned to normality. more..

Roadblocks to relief in Sri Lanka

Jan 17 (DR) Landing at midnight in Columbo, the capital city of his native Sri Lanka, Dr. Sandran Waran, of Morristown, gets just a few hours of rest before heading to work. Jet-lagged and exhausted from the 30-hour trip from New Jersey, more..

Tamil rebels revamp image

Jan 17 (G&M) There were paintings of tigers roaring though halos of bullets in the Tamil stronghold of Kilinochchi yesterday as loudspeakers blared songs about the homeland to commemorate the anniversary of the death of a warrior who swallowed cyanide rather than be taken alive by Sinhalese government forces. more..

The Treasury says it already has US$ 500 mn needed for tsunami reconstruction work for this year

Jan 17 (LBO) The Treasury says it has already secured US$ 500 mn that is needed for reconstruction work of tsunami damages for this year. "We have already secured the US$ 500 mn that is needed for this year," said Treasury Secretary, P B Jayasundara more..

Karygiannis defends trip into Tamil Tiger-controlled regions

Jan 17 (HT) Five-term government backbencher Jim Karygiannis, who is on a self-financed trip to Sri Lanka to observe the destruction, first-hand caused by the Dec. 26 tsunami, angrily rejected criticism launched against him last week from a fellow Liberal MP who suggested his visit into Tamil Tiger-controlled regions will fuel conflict. more..

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

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 at the end of a tour which included the rebel-controlled north. more..

Government sets offshore limits

Jan 17 (BBC) The government on Monday announced plans to impose restrictions for building along the coastline. Speaking to the press Secretary for the public security ministry Thilak Ranaviraja said that the president has ruled that no buildings will be allowed to be built within hundred metres of the coastline along the South and West. more..

Tsunami foists housing crisis on Sri Lanka

Jan 17 (HT) Three weeks after the tsunami attack on December 26, the problem in Sri Lanka is not so much of food or clothing. These are reaching most of the hard hit areas, except Amparai district in south eastern Sri Lanka, where complaints abound. The problem now is housing, and this has assumed the proportions of a major crisis. more..