US pulls back ships from Sri Lanka, Tigers take flack over child soldiers

The US Monday pulled back two military supply ships deployed for tsunami-relief operations in Sri Lanka even as Canada vowed a long-term commitment of its troops to help the island get back on its feet. The US Monday pulled back two military supply ships deployed for tsunami-relief operations in Sri Lanka even as Canada vowed a long-term commitment of its troops to help the island get back on its feet. Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said the United States would maintain the 700-strong marine force to help with the tsunami clean up, but the supply ships were moving to neighbouring Maldives which was also devastated.

Following an inspection of US marine operations in the southern port town of Galle, 112 kilometres (72 miles) south of the capital, Wolfowitz told reporters here they would not stay longer than needed.

“We don’t want to stay any longer than we are wanted. Most certainly not longer than we are needed,” he said noting that the marines were deployed because they had the capability to respond quickly to the December 26 disaster.

The scale of the catastrophe was much larger in Indonesia and the need for helicopters was far less in Sri Lanka because most affected areas coul