Two killed in Vavuniya after peace call in Sri Lanka

COLOMBO, Feb 5, 2007 (AFP) – Two people were killed and five others injured in ethnic violence in Sri Lanka, a day after the president invited Tiger rebel proxies to join his government, the defence ministry said Monday. Suspected Tamil Tiger rebels hit an army camp in the island’s restive northern town of Vavuniya, killing a soldier and injuring three others, the ministry said.

“This was the third successive attack by the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam) at the security forces in the Vavuniya and Mannar areas since Sunday,” it said.

During independence day celebrations on Sunday, President Mahinda Rajapakse invited the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) to help find a political solution to the conflict, which has claimed more than 60,000 lives since 1972. If the TNA joined the effort, the government would be very close to the two-thirds majority needed to change the constitution and cement any peace deal after 18 opposition legislators defected last week, analysts say.