The Army Headquarters in Colombo on January 1, 2005 after suspending all its customary festivities at the dawn of a new year in the wake of the national tragedy, went ahead with its annual Pirith Chanting ceremony to invoke merits and blessings.
A Colonel, one Major, one Lieutenant, one Navy Lieutenant and two Warrant Officers (WO II) of the Army and Navy were among the 60 Army and Navy personnel now confirmed killed during monstrous tidal waves that wreaked havoc in Sri Lanka on Sunday (26) after an earthquake in Indonesia sent tidal shock waves across the Indian sub-continent.
The Seva Vanitha Unit at Army Headquarters, headed by Mrs. Sonia Kottegoda, in its efforts towards joining hands with ongoing relief operations of the government, has come forward to seek help to collect humanitarian assistance from donors both local and overseas.
All tri-service and Police personnel in co-ordination with civil authorities, despite heavy constraints, are still engaged in rescue and relief operations after a devastating tidal wave that commenced Sunday (26 December 2004) morning affected almost the entire coastal belt of the country within minutes.
Several instances where LTTE cadres forcibly tried to take away lorries laden with essential relief items, destined for Tsunami victims in un-cleared areas in Trincomalee and Wanni districts have been brought to the notice of the Security Forces by disappointed relief workers of State sector and Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) including a Media agency.
LTTE propaganda machine, in what confirmed to be an orchestrated move to discredit the Government of Sri Lanka as well as the Security Forces, has lashed out a barrage of concocted and malicious stories and grapevine at the expense of suffering caused to Tamil civilians in the north and east following the tsunami disaster.
In what could be seen as an LTTE retaliatory measure, suspected LTTE men during early hours on Sunday (2) ordered tsunami victims sheltered inside a cadjan-thatched hall at KUDATHANAI VIDYALAYA (school) north of NAGARKOVIL to vacate the premises before two motorbike-riding LTTE men set fire to the hall.
Four identified LTTE cadres, regardless of trauma and tragic circumstances being experienced by tsunami victims, have abducted a civilian from the government-managed Social Welfare Centre at HINDU VIDYALAYA in the general area of VALAICHCHENAI on 30 December 2004 around 3.30 p.m. while his wife looked on.
AMPARA district, one of the fertile agricultural regions in the east of Sri Lanka, was the worst affected of all districts, following the Sunday morning catastrophe that claimed over 12,848 lives of Sri Lankans and some foreigners.