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I figured out the problem and was able to rebuild successfully. The new file solved the timestamp display problem as well... actually sort of. It does display date and timestamp in a more readable format but with 5 hours difference to the database. I think that is probably due to the locale setting on the local and remote db server. Should be easy to figure out.
It turns out to be an easy fix - the dbunit source files originally were not placed under src/main/java/ but in src/. Maven assumes the default to be former.
Just to share with whoever might be stumpled on the same.