[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 February, 2005, 05:13 GMT
DNA test on disputed tsunami baby
Baby 81 and nurse in Sri Lanka
The tsunami left about 1,000 orphans in the country
A DNA sample has been taken from the Sri Lankan baby boy who survived a tsunami only to become the centre of a row about who his parents are.

"Baby 81" survived the Indian Ocean disaster on 26 December and is now claimed by nine different couples, one of which has gone to court.

Escorted by three nurses and a lawyer, he was tested in the capital, Colombo.

Murugupillai and Junitha Jeyarajah also had samples taken, but the results will not be announced for at least a week.

We drove slow and the baby had a good sleep
Mohammed Nazir
Baby's court escort

They say the boy, who was found caked in mud amid the debris of the tsunami, is their son, Abhilasha, who would now be nearly four months old.

Mohammed Nazir, a court official who accompanied the baby on the 300km (186-mile) journey from hospital in the town of Kalmunai to Colombo in an ambulance equipped with nappies and feeding bottles, said the infant was "fine" before the test.

"It was a long journey," he added. "We drove slow and the baby had a good sleep."


Baby 81 was given a police escort for the trip after an alleged attempt by the couple to snatch him from a hospital a week ago.

Baby 81 in Sri Lanka

He was given his name because he was the 81st person admitted to the Kalmunai hospital on the day the tsunami crashed down on shores around the Indian Ocean, killing more than 200,000 people.

The Jeyarajahs have said they are confident of being united with the baby they maintain is their son, Abhilasha, born on 19 October 2004.

More than 30,000 people were killed by the tsunami in Sri Lanka. Children are believed to make up about 40% of the dead.

The tsunami left about 1,000 orphans in the country, according to data quoted by the UN's children's charity, Unicef.

A court is due to reconvene on 20 April to hear the custody claim.

See the baby boy whose DNA is now being tested


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific