New firing across Sri Lanka’s de facto front lines

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.

May 20, 2006 (AFP) – Government forces and Tamil Tiger rebels traded artillery fire across a de facto front line in the island’s north Saturday, military officials said. There were no immediate reports of casualties on either side after a 30-minute exchange of fire at Muhamalai in the Jaffna peninsula, but the main entry and exit points in the area were briefly shut, officials said.

In a similar clash elsewhere in the island’s north Friday, two government soldiers were killed, the military said. More than 200 people were killed last month despite a four-year truce between government forces and the rebels in an ethnic conflict that has claimed more than 60,000 lives since 1972.