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The ICT Agency is shifting its rural connectivity plans to the coast

Jan 28 (LBO) The ICT Agency is shifting its rural connectivity plans to the coast in a move to help tsunami survivors cope with the disaster and share their plight with the world. The project could also teach the displaced new skills, helping them find alternate employment in the aftermath of the tsunami. more..

Tamils Deny Recruiting Children after Tsunami

Jan 28 (PA) We have not recruited any children. These allegations are completely false,” S. Pulidevan, a top rebel leader, said. Yesterday, UNICEF said they had verified 40 cases of child recruitment by the rebels, one child as young as 13, and expressed concern that the Tigers had not given up the practice. more..

Hope amidst despair

Jan 28 (TT) Tharaka is 20 years old. He likes spending time with friends and watching movies (his favourite is Kal Ho Naa Ho). But this college student in Galle, Sri Lanka, also helps bring smiles to the faces of children less fortunate. After the tsunami hit his hometown, he and his friends did their bit to help the survivors, young and old. more..

Getty Images

Jan 28 (GI) Frenchman Pierre Layac (C) amuses children by acting as monkey during a visit to the Green Hope School in Katukohlia, some 110 km south of Colombo, 27 January 2005. more..

Crystal Lake monk goes home to help

Jan 28 (NH) The stories do not get any easier to hear. Still, Sujatha Peradeniye rises early every morning and goes to the beaches he once played on as a child. He looks for people among the debris, among the broken boats and bodies. He looks for those who need to tell their stories. more..

Mercy mission men shocked at scale of Sri Lankan tragedy

Jan 28 (TS) TWO West Cumbrian men who flew out to Sri Lanka to help set up radio links have returned home with tales of tragedy and heroism. Both men shed private tears of grief at the losses they witnessed. more..

Plan to build Zayed City in Sri Lanka

Jan 28 (KT) The UAE Red Crescent Authority (RCA) is studying a Sri Lankan proposal to build a city in that country to rehabilitate the tsunami-hit people, to be named after the late Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. more..

Anger over Sri Lankan government's "rehabilitation" plans

Jan 28 (wsws) A month after the tsunami struck Sri Lanka, the breadth of the devastation is still unfolding. Extensive damage has been done to towns and cities along the eastern and southern coasts of the island. Whole villages were swept away, along with many of their inhabitants. more..

Eastside doctor went home to help with tsunami relief

Jan 28 (ST) Dr. Sumathy Pathy has seen her share of trauma. The Bellevue-based family practitioner endured years of civil war in her home country of Sri Lanka and survived medical school there through bouts of bombings and gunfire. But for some reason, it's the 15-year-old boy from the tsunami she can't get out of her mind now. more..

Tamil Tiger rebels drop demand for direct aid

Jan 28 (PA) The LTTE have consistently demanded they be given access to some of the foreign aid that has poured into the island since the tsunami struck one month ago. The Sri Lankan government has said aid disbursement should be centralised in its hands for greater efficiency. The Tigers, however, have said insufficient aid was reaching territories under guerrilla control. more..

Lanka woos tourists with open arms

Jan 28 (NT) Sri Lankan tourism is getting back to normalcy with focus mainly on non-beach destinations in the post-tsunami period. There are more to Sri Lanka than just beautiful beaches —— heritage sites, hillside mountains, waterfalls and wildlife parks. more..

Panic as minister triggers fears of another tsunami

Jan 28 (AFP) Thousands of people living on Sri Lanka's tsunami-battered coasts fled inland after comments by a minister triggered fears that more massive waves were about to hit the island. Police and officials said schools were hastily closed in the eastern city of Batticaloa, while people were seen running from the shores in the devastated southern towns of Matara, Galle and Hikkaduwa. more..

IMB Photo Gallery

Jan 28 (IMB) The Southern Baptist team assessing needs in Sri Lanka after the Dec. 26 tsunami gives breakfast to those left homeless by the tsunami. more..

One month after tsunami, Sri Lanka reviving from ruins

Jan 28 (Xinhua) Under the scorching tropical sun, A. Piyatonga toiled hard with dozens of co-villagers to shovel away the debris left over by the tidal waves. One month after the killer tsunami hit this southern Sri Lankanvillage of Thelwatta, the 52-year-old fisherman, not yet fully recovered from the shock and pain of losing his family and possessions, has already joined in the country's reconstruction efforts. more..

Former diplomat in Sri Lanka steals telephone from rescuers-press

Jan 28 (CH) Former Czech diplomat Alexandr Vetengl who helped victims of last December's earthquake and the subsequent tsunami in Sri Lanka has stolen a satellite telephone from rescuers from the Czech non-governmental Hand for Help organisation, the daily Hospodarske noviny writes. more..

US Marines scale down Sri Lanka relief mission

Jan 28 (AFP) The United States has begun scaling down its tsunami relief operations and has withdrawn nearly two-thirds of its 1,600 Marines deployed on the island, defence ministry officials said Friday. more..

Govt to strengthen legal provisions on adoptions

Jan 28 (DN) The Government is mulling strengthening the legal infrastructure on child adoptions to make way for the large number of tsunami orphans who are now in camps to be relocated with foster families. more..

Tsunami Relief Inadequate in Many Areas

Jan 28 (AP) More than a month after the devastating tsunami, one in eight children in Indonesia's Aceh province is not getting enough to eat, the threat of disease still stalks relief camps and aid deliveries are inconsistent, two U.N. reports said. more..

Caritas office in Jaffna complains that relief is being hampered by government bureaucracy

Jan 28 (AN) Relief operations are being carried out at snail-pace in Tamil Tigers-controlled north-eastern Sri Lanka. Fr C.D. Jeyakumar, Caritas Jaffna (HUDEC) director, told AsiaNews that government red tape is hampering tsunami Catholic relief operations in the area more..

Asia dream turned to nightmare

Jan 28 (IC) A MERSEYSIDE woman saw her dream of living in Sri Lanka turn intoa nightmare when the tsunami hit on Boxing Day. Last year Sally Brownbill, 27, of Cornelius Drive, West Kirby, bought a house witha friend in the southern coastal town of Khikkaduwa, near the Liverpool-linked town of Galle. more..

Tigers rule out peace talks stemming from tsunami aid effort

Jan 28 (AFP) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels Friday ruled out tsunami aid talks leading to political negotiations and warned the government against using the catastrophe for scoring points or strengthening the military. more..

Free surfing for Sri Lanka's tsunami survivors

Jan 28 (AFP) Sri Lanka on Friday offered free Internet surfing for tsunami survivors and said free telephone services will also be made available to those displaced by the disaster. Five Internet cafes would be launched in the first phase at the southern district of Hambantota by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse on Sunday, more..

From jungle to child-friendly township

Jan 28 (RW) Yayawatta, a 78 acre terrain stretching more than two kilometres inland from the ocean, is today barely navigable jungle. It's hard to imagine that this place will be converted into a child-friendly village for more than 500 families. Yet, that's precisely what is going to happen. more..

Tsunami victims in Batticaloa ignored by the Government - School principal

Jan 29 (TN) Government has not provided food or any other relief for the entire month since the tsunami to the refugees housed at the Batticaloa St. Michael's College welfare centre, said the Principal of the College, Rev. Bro James Pieris, while speaking to the media on Thursday. more..

Baby81 buoys hopes of grieving tsunami parents

Jan 29 (TA) FOR many of Kalmunai's bereaved parents, robbed of their children in last month's tsunami, Baby 81 is the ultimate prize - a survivor of the cruel life-and-death lottery played out across Sri Lanka, where at least 31,000 people perished. more..

Tamil Tigers deliver peace blow

Jan 29 (BBC) Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels have ruled out talks on tsunami reconstruction being used to revive the country's peace process. The Tigers' senior negotiator, Anton Balasingham said efforts needed to be focused on "alleviating hardships" rather than political matters. more..

No squabble over 'baby 81', say police

Jan 29 (LBO) A Sri Lankan baby who grabbed world media attention as a "celebrated" tsunami orphan is likely to be united with his family soon, police said Friday, denying nine couples were claiming him as their own. A court on January 12 ordered that the four month-old baby boy be given to the only couple who had claimed him, police said. more..

Tsunami leaves Sri Lanka’s children bereft

Jan 29 (IFRC) Her face was blank. She looked deep in to my eyes and I asked her name. She said “Thilini Sarah”. I asked her age. She said “eleven”. That was all. She could say no more. She had tearful eyes. But, the tears were not falling, as she struggled to express her feelings. She couldn't. more..

Sri Lanka's 'Baby 81' to go home

Jan 29 (BBC) Sri Lanka's "Baby 81", who grabbed headlines for being claimed by nine couples after December's tsunami, is to be reunited with his family soon. A court has ruled the four-month-old boy should be returned when he is well enough to leave hospital. more..

Base and crisis mapping over Sri Lanka

Jan 29 (RSM) Satellite maps of Sri Lanka more..

Tamil Tiger rebels drop demand for direct aid; focus on joint body with Govt

Jan 29 (AP) The Tamil Tiger rebels on Friday backed away from a demand to be able to directly receive international funds for tsunami victims and said they were putting their independence struggle on hold to deal with the disaster. more..

Soldier feels Sri Lanka's pain

Jan 29 (BP) Bearing witness to the tsunami-ravaged coastline of Sri Lanka has been difficult to digest, but Maj. Steve Hewitt says his heartache has been tempered by the determination of the country's people to recover, rebuild and live proudly once again. more..

Pets Get Tsunami Relief Too

Jan 29 (AP) The villagers come running when they see Dr. Chamal Mahanama pull up in a three-wheeler to administer his version of disaster relief - this one aimed at the four-legged survivors. more..

Japanese, Dutch Foreign Ministers to visit Sri Lanka

Jan 29 (TN) Mr. Shuzen Tanigawa, Senior Vice Foreign Affairs Minister of the Government of Japan is to arrive in Colombo Saturday evening on a three-day visit and Mr.Bernard Bot, Netherlands Foreign Affairs Minister will arrive in Colombo February 3rd, diplomatic sources said. more..

LTTE wants international NGOs, not govt, to disburse aid in North East

Jan 29 (HT) The LTTE's supremo, Velupillai Prabhakaran, has asked international donors to disburse their tsunami-related assistance to the Tamil-speaking North East Sri Lanka through their own NGOs, circumventing the Sri Lankan government. more..

Squamish to help rebuild entire Sri Lankan village

Jan 29 (CBC) A tiny fishing village on the southeast coast of Sri Lanka will be getting help from the people of Squamish. The Squamish Humanity Village Project has announced it will partner with the village of Wanduruppuwa to help rebuild after it was wiped out in the Boxing Day tsunami disaster. more..

Hope in the camps

Jan 29 (CARE) Madona is 13 and has a smile that lights her face. And yet, after the tsunami hit Batticaloa, on the east coast of Sri Lanka, she lost her house, her toys, many of her friends, and, above all, her mother. more..

SB in court

Jan 29 (SLBC) Former UNP Minister S.B. Dissanayake, now serving two years rigorous imprisonment on a charge of contempt of Court was yesterday served indictment before Colombo High Court Judge Rohini Perera by the official of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption, under the Bribery Act. more..

Getty Images

Jan 29 (GI) Tourists John Towers (L) and Barry Bryan repair a roof while building shelters for displaced Sri Lankans in Kalutara,some 45kms south of Colombo, more..

Hakeem says Govt favours South

Jan 29 (SAMN) Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) leader Rauff Hakeem has accused the Government of resorting to region-based discrimination in rehabilitation and reconstruction operations in the tsunami hit Southern and Eastern parts of Sri Lanka, the SLMC in a statement said. more..

Ex-minister indicted on bribery charges

Jan 29 (SAMN) Former Samurdhi Minister S. B. Dissanayake was indicted Friday before Colombo High Court, on bribery and corruption allegations. The Attorney General’s Department had mentioned in the indictment against SB, that he had not satisfactorily explained as to how he had earned property in his possession worth 29 million rupees. more..

WTO helps revive tourism in Sri Lanka

Jan 29 (SAMN) World Tourism Organisation (WTO) Secretary General, Francisco Frangialli will arrive in Sri Lanka on February 3 to examine the state of the local tourism industry in the aftermath of the tsunami tragedy and see how Sri Lanka can revive her 'top destination' standard. more..

Opposition unveils national policy

Jan 29 (SAMN) The main opposition UNP Friday unveiled a 15 point national agenda aimed at introducing an uninterrupted national policy for 15 years, for the development of the nation. The party said the 15 points were open for debate, and were meant to result in a single national policy. more..

World Tourism chief arrives on Thursday

Jan 29 (ANN) The Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organisation (WTO) Francesco Frangialli is due to arrive in the island next Thursday, February 3 on a fact finding mission. "The Secretary-General will be on a very short tour and will meet the Minister of Tourism, Tourist Board officials and other industry leaders," more..

Tigers meet Muslim refugees in Ullai

Jan 29 (TN) A group of Liberation Tigers led by head of the LTTE’s political division for the Batticaloa-Ampara District, Mr. E. Kousalyan, Friday visited Tsunami affected Muslim refugees in the marooned Ullai-Panama region, to discuss their rehabilitation needs. more..

LTTE arrest and detained civilian

Jan 29 (SLA) A complaint made to the SERUNUWARA Police by a wife stated that her husband had failed to return home after he went to grace his goats in the un-cleared area of SERUNUWARA on 27 January 2005. She has further claimed that, she came to know her husband has been arrested by the LTTE and detained at MAWADICHENAI LTTE camp. more..

Twelve Sri Lankan refugees found

Jan 29 (SLA) Naval troops deployed at OLD PIER have arrested 12 Sri Lankan refugees and one Sri Lankan, along with a Fibre Glass Dinghy and their baggages on 28 January 2005 around 10.15 a.m. Interrogation revealed these refugees were returning from India by paying Indian Rs. 3000/= per head to the Sri Lankan. more..

Navy hands over Indian fisherman to Indian trawler

Jan 29 (SLA) An Indian fisherman who was allegedly damaged the fishing nets of local fishermen has been brought to the ashore in the general area of MANNAR by local fishermen on 27 January 2005 around 1.35 p.m. Later, the Indian fisherman, TARAVAN, has been handed over to the Naval troops on duty at the OLD PIER in MANNAR. more..

Transport of essential items to un-cleared areas continues

Jan 29 (SLA) One thousand one hundred and eighty nine (1189) lorry loads of food and other essential items had been dispatched to un-cleared areas in the northern province during the period between 21 January 2004 and 27 January 2005. These consignments had reached areas in KILINOCHCHI and MULLAITTIVU districts via OMANTHAI and UYILANKULAM entry/exit points. more..

Yahoo Photos

Jan 29 (Yahoo) Children displaced by the Dec. 26 tsunami look on at a relief camp inside a school in Kalmunai, about 210 kilometers (131 miles) east of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Saturday, Jan. 29, 2005. more..