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TamilNet News Brief

NGO Consortium urges immediate action to release kidnapped TRO staff
The Consortium of Non Governmental Organisation in Vavuniya, representing 43 NGOs in Vavuniya District, on Tuesday, appealed to the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse, the representative of the International Committee for Red Cross in Colombo (ICRC), the Head of Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) and the chairperson of the Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies in Colombo, to take immediate action to safeguard the lives and to ensure the safe return of NGO workers who have been kidnapped.

Sexual assault at Kopay SLA camp suspected, says TNA MP
Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Jaffna district parliamentarian S Gajendran brought to the attention of Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse that residents in Kopay strongly suspect sexual assaults on women are taking place inside a Kopay Sri Lanka Army (SLA) camp, the parliamentarian told the local media, Tuesday. Several residents of the area had complained to the parliamentarian that they had heard a woman screaming for several minutes inside the camp at 5 p.m. Tuesday.


TNA MPs walk out of parliament in protest of killings, abduction
If Colombo continued to allow provocative incidents take place in Sri Lanka Army (SLA) controlled areas of the NorthEast, the peace talks planned between the Government and the LTTE would be in jeopardy, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has warned the Sri Lankan Parliament Wednesday. "This is a calculated move to disturb the talks to be held in Geneva between the Government and the LTTE. We demand that the Government to act urgently in this matter and take appropriate action to save the dialogue," Mavai Senathirajah, TNA MP for Jaffna District told a press conference after walking out of the Sri Lankan Parliament.

SLA cordon, search Thumpalai area
Lourdes Mary Catholic Church area in Thumpalai, Point Pedro was cordoned off and house-to-house search conducted by more than 500 Sri Lanka Army (SLA) soldiers from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Tuesday morning, sources from Point-Pedro said. Residents of the area were not allowed to getout of their houses and vehicular traffic was blocked from entering or leaving the area during the search operation.

Another five TRO staff reported missing

Five persons, four Tamils Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) Pre School Education Development Center (PSEDC) personnel, and their driver, have been reported missing in the East, the TRO said in a press release issued Tuesday evening. The team, which was expected to have returned to the Kilinochchi FORUT office Tuesday, had left Valaichchenai, Batticaloa District, Sunday around 7:00 p.m. The PSEDC personnel had gone to Batticaloa to carry out the final assessment of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) funded Temporary Pre School Construction Project for Tsunami Welfare Centers and to evaluate the progress of the construction of Permanent Pre Schools funded by Save the Children in Sri Lanka.


• Paramilitaries abduct 5 TRO staff in Welikande

"Five (5) staff members [of Tamils Rehabilitation Organization (TRO)] travelling from the Batticaloa office to Vanvuniya for training have been stopped by unidentified paramilitary personnel immediately after the Welikanda, (Polunnaruwa District) Sri Lankan Army Checkpoint at approximately 2:00 pm 30 January, 2006," TRO said in a press release issued Monday.


• 2948 places of worship destroyed in war, tsunami

2948 places of worships of all faiths have been destroyed in the island due to two-decade-old war and tsunami disaster in the year 2004, according to the report prepared by the Resettlement Ministry. A sum of Rupees 2538 million is needed for the reconstruction of these places of worships, according to a report submitted by the ministry to the Cabinet, sources said.

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