Friendly Fire

May 7, 2007 (AFP) – Sri Lanka has restricted domestic flights and banned amphibious aircraft from using irrigation reservoirs following Tamil Tiger air attacks, officials said Monday. The military banned Sri Lanka’s national carrier, Sri Lankan Airlines, from operating a lucrative domestic service of Single Otter aircraft using reservoirs for take-off and landing, a defence ministry official said.

The move was part of measures taken by the security forces to deal with the new threat of air attacks by Tamil Tiger rebels who demonstrated their air capability in March by using light aircraft to bomb targets here.

Foreign tourists were using the air-taxi service to travel to a golf course and upmarket hill resorts, instead of travelling on the highly congested local roads. Sri Lanka has already announced the closure of its only international airport starting Thursday for six hours each night after four daring night time bombing raids by the Tigers.