Blast and curfew mars Sri Lanka’s New Year

Apr.14 (AFP) – Two people were killed in fresh violence in Sri Lanka’s restive east on the traditional New Year day Friday and an indefinite curfew was clamped to maintain law and order, police said. The killing of a motorist sparked fresh rioting in the troubled port town of Trincomalee where police slapped the curfew after mob violence left another man dead, a local official said.

“The curfew is a precautionary measure to avoid further trouble,” a police official in Trincomalee, 260 kilometres (160 miles) north-east of here said by telephone.

The curfew was imposed despite the country celebrating the traditional new year shared by both the majority Sinhalese and the minority Tamils.

The latest violence came after two Sri Lankan soldiers and three civilians were wounded when a mine planted by suspected Tamil Tiger rebels blew up in the same district further straining a fragile ceasefire.

The attack came a day after the Tigers called for postponement of talks in Geneva set for later this month that are aimed at shoring up the Norwegian-brokered truce which has been in effect since 2002.

Norway Friday announced that fragile talks between Colombo and Tiger rebels will go ahead but w