British travellers warned after new Sri Lanka violence

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.

LONDON, Sept 22, 2006 (AFP) – Britain’s foreign ministry tightened up its advice Friday to travellers in north and east Sri Lanka after at least six people were killed in the troubled area.

In a review of its travel advice, the Foreign Office warned Britons not to travel to any part of the north or east, saying anyone who is there should leave “at the first available opportunity”.

The areas specifically named as dangerous include the Jaffna peninsula, Ampara and Arugam Bay.

The violence has seen five men shot dead in the Jaffna peninsula in recent days as well as another killing in the Batticaloa district.

Sri Lankan air force jets have been bombing suspected Tamil Tiger targets in the Jaffna peninsula this week.

Tamil rebels are fighting for a separate ethnic homeland in majority Sinhalese Sri Lanka. More than 60,000 people have died in the violence since 1972.