Bomb fears in Sri Lanka capital trigger appeal

From left: Dr. Fernando Im, Senior Country Economist for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, The World Bank, Hon. Eran Wickramaratne, State Minister, Ministry of Finance and Mass Media, Dr. W A Wijewardana, Former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Prof. Indralal de Silva, Former (Chair) of Demography, University of Colombo, Prof. Amala de Silva, Department of Economics, University of Colombo at the panel discussion on "Demographic Change in Sri Lanka" moderated by Dr. Ramani Gunatilaka, International Centre for Ethnic Studies.

June 2, 2006 (AFP) – Sri Lanka’s military Friday sought public support to step up security in the main city of Colombo amid fears of bomb attacks by Tamil Tiger rebels. Military spokesman Prasad Samarasinghe said residents should alert the authorities to any suspicious individuals or activity in their neighbourhoods.

He said 11 telephone numbers had been set up and manned by the police and security forces to respond to public tip-offs.

“We want the public to cooperate with us and help us to minimise attacks in the city,” Samarasinghe told reporters.

He said the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) had begun planting anti-personnel mines in the islands embattled northern and eastern regions for the first time since a truce went into effect in February 2002.

The military also accused the Tigers of sowing land mines in the northwestern wildlife sanctuary of Wilpattu where seven people were blown to pieces at the weekend after their jeep went over a mine field.

“The Tigers had planted three mines and connected them together in Wilpattu last week,” Samarasinghe said, cautioning tourists entering the national park not to venture beyond areas g