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Power struggle over tsunami aid to Tiger territory: sources

Jan 30 (AFP) A battle for control of tsunami relief aid has dimmed prospects of reviving Norwegian-backed peace talks between Tamil Tiger rebels and the Colombo government, sources close to the rebels said. more..

Fishermen raise concerns on post-tsunami housing

Jan 30 (BG) Among the legions of traumatized Sri Lankan fishermen whose lives were ravaged by the tsunami are many who are not sure they can go back to the simple lives they and their families once led by the sea. And if government planners have their way, many will not. more..

Getty Images

Jan 30 (GI) A Sri Lankan railways employee cuts a iron track at the railway station in Payagala South, some 58 km south of Colombo, 30 January 2005. more..

Andover group is back from Sri Lanka

Jan 30 (WE) Hope has new meaning and faith has new strength for nine men who returned to Wichita on Saturday after a week in Sri Lanka helping victims of the Dec. 26 tsunami. "We literally saw hope come back into the lives of people who had been totally filled with hopelessness," said Ron Trimmell, more..

Navy harassment adds to fishermen's woes

Jan 31 (TN) "NorthEast fishermen, already struggling to make a living after the decimation of the fishing industry by the tsunami disaster, also have to endure harassment by the Sri Lanka Navy soldiers who have imposed a pass system to restrict fishermen's freedom of movement in seas," more..

Catamaran fishing to recommence in northern sea Monday

Jan 31 (TN) Fishing using traditional craft "catamaran" is to start again in Jaffna northern sea Monday after a month since Tsunami hit the coastal areas. Most of traditional fishing crafts had been damaged in the natural disaster but the balance would be put in use this week, fisheries sources said. more..

TRO supplies relief to Trinco railway employees

Jan 31 (TN) Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) Sunday afternoon distributed relief materials to the families of about fifty eight-government railway workers comprising all three communities who are working in the Trincomalee railway station. more..

Indo-Lanka project likely to ‘explore’ Antarctica

Jan 31 (NIP) Inhospitable it may be, but the vast white expanse of Antarctica may soon see a joint Indo-Lanka project as the island nation has expressed interest in joining hands with India for future explorations of this land of the Midnight Sun. more..

Local tsunami aid still strong

Jan 31 (SBT) One month after a tsunami devastated Southeast Asia, help from Michiana has yet to waver. Much of the relief comes from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. "We appreciate very much their response and gratitude," Colombo's Archbishop Oswald Gomis said recently. more..

First catch cooked in Ampara market

Jan 31 (BBC) Shoppers to the Ampara market on Sunday were given a rare treat by fishermen who cooked their first catch since the devastation by tsunami tidal waves. Members of the Ampara United Fishermen's Association, who braved the waters that took their loved ones and shattered many lives in Ampara a month ago, served their initial harvest to the public with bread and milk rice. more..

LTTE sets 500m buffer zone

Jan 31 (BBC) The LTTE announced a 500 meter buffer zone along seven kilometres of the coastline for re building in Mullaitheevu. 3000 people out of 5000 lost their lives where the Indian ocean Tsunami flowed a kilometre inland in some areas of the coastal village in Tamil Tiger held North. more..

Yahoo Photos

Jan 31 (Yahoo) A man wanders around the rubble in the commercial centre of the town of Galle, southern Sri Lanka, on January 30, 2005 after it was flattened by the Dec 26 tsunami. more..

Surgery on SLMM chief

Jan 31 (TP) Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) head Major General Trond Furuhovde has undergone surgery at a private hospital in Colombo for cancer, a news release from the SLMM said. The Norwegian-led mission is responsible for monitoring the current ceasefire between the government and Tamil rebels. more..

Bodies of Britons to be exhumed

Jan 31 (TP) Local and foreign forensic experts are to exhume the bodies of 24 Britons in a mass grave at Kirinda in southern Hambantota for DNA testing and identification, The Sunday Times said. The dead perished in the tidal waves. more..

Emergency to lapse automatically

Jan 31 (TP) A state of emergency in 14 districts promulgated by the President on January 6 to deal with post-tsunami work will be allowed to lapse automatically but re-imposed depending on the need for such regulations, Constitutional Affairs Minister DEW Gunasekara said. more..

Govt to monitor INGO activities

Jan 31 (TP) The government is seriously looking at a mechanism to monitor the activities of international non-governmental organisations (INGOs), swarming across Sri Lanka after the tsunami devastation, following reports that some agencies were taking undue advantage of the situation, newspapers reported. more..

Tsunami battered some of Lanka corals, others left untouched

Jan 31 (AFP) The tsunamis which smashed into Sri Lanka last month battered some of the island’s famed coral reefs to bits but left others untouched, environmentalists say. Based on a preliminary survey carried out this week of eastern and northeastern Sri Lanka, some reefs have been badly broken and may take years to recover, more..

Matara new town in Godagama

Jan 31 (SAMN) The government has decided to move the tsunami devastated Matara town to a new location about four kilometres away from the present town. Addressing a meeting in Matara Sunday, Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera said besides upgrading the new town in Godagama, two suburbs would also be constructed at Walgama and Kekanadura areas. more..

Last chance for peace says PM

Jan 31 (SAMN) Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse has warned that the disputes regarding the post tsunami rebuilding pose a danger to the window of opportunities in achieving peace opened by the disaster. more..

Private sector called to help victims

Jan 31 (SAMN) Dr. Nihal Jinasena of the Task Force to rebuild the nation said that the government has invited both national and international private sector organisations and support groups to participate in the housing project to relocate displaced people. more..

Illegal items found among relief aid

Jan 31 (SAMN) At a felicitation ceremony held on Saturday at Kandy Dharmaraja College Deputy Defence Minister, Ratnasiri Wickremenayake said while there was a huge flow of foreign aid to Sri Lanka consequent to the tsunami disaster there were instances where illegal items which adversely affect the sovereignty of the country were also found among relief items. more..

Police informant shot dead

Jan 31 (LT) An informant of the security forces was gunned down this morning at about 2.00 a.m. at Peter Mendis Street in Negombo. According to Negombo police the murder had been committed by the pistol clique of Wanni Tiger organization. The victim, Benedict Regal , a 26 years old youth from Jaffna was shot with a T-56 rifle. more..

Getty Images

Jan 31 (GI) Sri Lankan children carry their belongings from a refugee camp to a shelter built by The Ministry of Urban Development in Kalutara North,some 48kms south of Colombo, more..

Tigers walk out in protest against JVP

Jan 31 (TN) Liberation Tigers Monday walked out of a meeting for setting up a committee for assisting Tsunami victims at the Thirukkovil Divisional Secretary’s (DS) office in protest against a JVP Parliamentarian who had come uninvited for the conference. more..

Finnish Foreign Minister to visit Sri Lanka

Jan 31 (TN) The Finnish Foreign minister Erkki Tuomioja is expected to arrive in Colombo Saturday 5 February to meet with the Sri Lanka Government officials to discuss long-term reconstruction and development programs, Sri Lanka Foreign ministry sources said. more..

We will not discriminate against LTTE-held areas: Kadirgamar

Jan 31 (PRIU) A month after the tsunami wrecked two-thirds of Sri Lanka's coastal areas, its Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lakshman Kadirgamar, is of the view that the island-nation's worst recorded natural disaster "has been a spur, or the trigger, which has accelerated the process" of the Government and the LTTE working together on development issues. more..

President imposes anti-democratic emergency laws

Jan 31 (wsws) In a fundamental attack on basic democratic rights, Sri Lanka’s President Chandrika Kumaratunga responded to the disastrous December 26 tsunami by secretly promulgating emergency regulations in 14 of the island’s 25 districts. more..

Sri Lankan embassy receives more complaints of non-payment

Jan 31 (TP) There has been a substantial increase in recent weeks in the number of low-paid Sri Lankan workers approaching their country's embassy in Doha complaining of non-payment of salaries. The development has taken the labour section of the Sri Lankan embassy by surprise, simultaneously putting pressure on its officials to help resolve their woes. more..

Doctors find tsunami victims need more than physical healing

Jan 31 (NT) The tsunami came in two waves, the second worst than the first. "It was bigger, taller, fiercer, as if it had to finish the work of the first," said Dr. Majid Sadigh. Many of the dead were washed out to sea; others, Sadigh said, were scattered across the landscape like randomly-scattered autumn leaves. more..

Sri Lanka to get aid on post-tsunami school reconstruction

Jan 31 (Xinhua) The Sri Lankan government is to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Monday with donors and foreign governments on reconstruction of schools affected by the Dec. 26 tsunami. With the assistance, a total of 176 schools damaged will be reconstructed, more..

Sri Lanka Tigers offer 300 boats to tsunami-hit fishermen

Jan 31 (AFP) A group linked to the Tamil Tigers has given 300 boats to tsunami-hit fishermen in the rebel-controlled areas of northeast Sri Lanka, the organisation said Monday. The TRO, an affiliate of the rebel LTTE, said it handed over the boats to encourage fishermen to go back to the sea. more..

Yahoo Photos

Jan 31 (Yahoo) Men try to salvage their boat buried in mud in the town of Galle, southern Sri Lanka, on January 30, 2005. more..

Sri Lanka rupee firms as state bank sells dollars

Jan 31 (Reuters) The Sri Lanka rupee firmed on Monday as dollar sales by a state bank prompted exporters to convert their trade earnings, dealers said. The rupee closed at 99.00 against the dollar, after weakening to 99.50 rupees in intraday trade. more..

Tourism of Sri Lanka, Maldives, most affected by tsunami: WTO

Jan 31 (Xinhua) Last year's killer waves have caused unprecedented devastation on tourism of the Indian ocean and Southeast Asian countries, among which Sri Lanka, the Maldives are the most severely affected, according to a report from the World Trade Organization (WTO). more..

Tsunami casts doubts on Sethu project

Jan 31 (HT) The unexpected and vicious churning of the Indian Ocean on December 26, 2004, should make India and Sri Lanka jointly study its impact on the Palk Strait, where India proposes to dig a shipping canal, says Prof Willie Mendis, a Sri Lankan authority on ports and spatial planning. more..

Lanka ruling alliance split over aid efforts

Jan 31 (Gulf) A rift between the two key partners in the ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) has widened over differences of handling the post-tsunami rehabilitation and reconstruction activities. more..

Disaster aid furthers fears of proselytizing

Jan 31 (CSM) For countries with thousands left homeless and bereft by the tsunami, the outpouring of help from around the world is a godsend. Yet in some nations, the growing presence of faith-based agencies dispensing the aid is posing another challenge - stirring tensions already simmering around evangelism and anti-Christian violence. more..

Is deception raising its head in the tsunami relief efforts?

Jan 31 (RW) In recent days there has been serious concern about the rise of deception in Sri Lanka, relating to the use of funds received from all over the world for the relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction of tsunami victims. more..

Interpol digs up graves seeking foreign tsunami dead to repatriate

Jan 31 (AFP) International police are painstakingly digging up mass graves on Sri Lanka in a bid to identify foreigners killed in the tsunami tragedy and return them to their loved ones. The Incident Response Team (ICT), co-ordinated by Rajesh Ranjan, operates from a Colombo hotel and has repatriated 17 bodies in the last two weeks. more..

UNICEF and others to rebuild 176 tsunami-hit Sri Lankan schools

Jan 31 (AFP) Sri Lanka said that the United Nations children's fund and a host of other donors have agreed to rebuild the 176 schools ravaged by the tsunamis at an estimated cost of 65 million dollars. Of the 176 schools housing nearly 80,000 students, 74 were totally destroyed by the giant waves. more..

Matara soon a new vibrant city

Jan 31 (DN) Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera yesterday declared Matara would undergo a transformation in the post tsunami reconstruction plan with a new township to come up with all modern amenities, even as reconstruction and rebuilding activities was gathering momentum in the aftermath of the tsunami devastation. more..

Hundreds protest in eastern Sri Lanka accusing government of failing to deliver tsunami aid

Jan 31 (AP) In a rare show of solidarity, ethnic Sinhalese and Tamils left homeless after last month's tsunami came together Monday in a protest to accuse the government of failing to deliver aid, residents and officials said. more..

Tsunami-hit Sri Lanka will tone down Independence Day celebrations

Jan 31 (AP) Sri Lanka will tone down Independence Day celebrations on Friday out of respect for tsunami victims and forgo a parade of military might amid tensions between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels over relief efforts. more..

President thanks Indian service personnel

Jan 31 (PSL) President Kumaratunga met a group of Indian Naval and Army officers and volunteers engaged in relief operations in Sri Lanka’s post tsunami relief work. During the meeting last week, the President conveyed her personal gratitude and that of the government and that of the people of Sri Lanka to them, for the help they had rendered so “unstintingly”. more..

Going home

Jan 31 (KRT) In the end, Dawood Jameel just flipped up the bottoms of his pants, planted sandaled feet in the mud and went to work. It was just past the rusted-out train tracks in the Kattugoda neighborhood that he'd had his driver stop the van. Why not, he thought. It wasn't like the train was going to be running anytime soon. more..

Making little ones smile in Tsunami-Hit Sri Lanka

Jan 31 (AN) “I cannot build houses here nor can I feed these survivors, but all I can do is to make these little ones smile with these toys, “a US teacher who had come to help the tsunami victims told Arab News. more..

Peoples Bank launches microfinance website with German support

Jan 31 (TN) The People’s Bank, through its German-supported Rural Banking Innovations Project (RBIP), has launched a website on sustainable microfinance for rehabilitation of tsunami affected areas, said a press release issued by the Colombo office of the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ). more..

Trade Unions oppose power sector reform plans

Jan 31 (LBO) Over 50 CEB trade unions met with power sector reform officials last Friday, deciding to oppose plans to un-bundle the state power utility into independent companies. Reform plans to dismantle the Ceylon Electricity Board into independent units of generation, distribution and transmission has been on the state agenda for over two years. more..

Murali to undergo immediate surgery

Jan 31 (CI) Muttiah Muralitharan needs immediate shoulder surgery and is now a serious injury concern for Sri Lanka's forthcoming tour of New Zealand in April. Murali will be operated on in Australia during the next 24 to 48 hours. The news is a major blow for Murali, who was looking forward returning to Test cricket after a five-month layoff following surgery in August. more..