Tension mounts in Sri Lanka amid moves to salvage peace bid

Tension has escalated in Sri Lanka’s restive northeast even as peace broker Norway was set to launch a fresh attempt to keep the two sides engaged in talks, officials and diplomats said Sunday. Tension has escalated in Sri Lanka’s restive northeast even as peace broker Norway was set to launch a fresh attempt to keep the two sides engaged in talks, officials and diplomats said Sunday. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) seized a government soldier in Trincomalee district on Saturday, a day after cease-fire monitors said the rebels had attacked a navy craft in violation of a truce.

“There is tension in the region after a spate of attacks last week,” a government military official said.

The privately-run Sunday Times newspaper said the navy had issued a regional alert amid fears of fresh attacks and warned rebels could hit installations like Colombo’s port and Trincomalee’s harbour.

There have been almost daily skirmishes between the main Tiger outfit and a renegade faction in the northeast. The Tigers have accused the government military of siding with the breakaway group, a charge denied by the government.

The LTTE and government forces have observed a truce since