Friday, April 16, 2010

US, Sri Lankan militaries in joint exercise

The Sri Lankan military and the US Navy have conducted a joint humanitarian exercise in Trincomalee in the country's east, the US embassy said Friday.

The event included civilians from the Disaster Management Centre and the ministry of healthcare and nutrition. The focus of the exercise was humanitarian assistance, an embassy statement said.

The training included advanced trauma medical care and the safe disposal of unexploded ordnance, coping with post-traumatic stress, and preventive health care.

The joint teams of US and Sri Lankan military personnel and civilian health workers worked with people from 27 rural communities and visited over 700 families.

Said Lt Col Larry Smith, the US defense attache: 'The joint exercise helped members from our two militaries to exchange best practices on how to address complex humanitarian challenges.'

He added: 'The US and Sri Lanka have a long tradition of cooperation. We hope this partnership can be expanded.'


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Friday, April 16, 2010

Sri Lanka accused soldiers freed

By Saroj Pathirana - Police in Sri Lanka say they have released 17 soldiers detained on suspicion of killing or attempting to kill journalists and editors.

The men were accused of being involved in the 2009 murder of newspaper editor Lasantha Wickramatunga and for the other attacks on journalists.

Police told a court that there was no evidence against the group of soldiers.

But police say more soldiers are being questioned over the editor's murder and other attacks on media personnel.

The Colombo magistrate ordered the police to submit a report on the progress of the investigations.

Lasantha Wickrmatunga was attacked by four men on motorbikes as he drove to work, witnesses say.

The government has strenuously denied any involvement in the killings, threats and assaults against journalists.

© BBC Sinhala

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