Uneasy calm grips Sri Lanka’s troubled town

An uneasy calm gripped Sri Lanka’s troubled port city of Trincomalee as Buddhists Monday celebrated a key anniversary amid protests over a Buddha statue in the region, police and residents said. An uneasy calm gripped Sri Lanka’s troubled port city of Trincomalee as Buddhists Monday celebrated a key anniversary amid protests over a Buddha statue in the region, police and residents said. No explosions were heard in the town overnight after a Hindu group on Sunday suspended their strike to allow the Buddhists to celebrate the birth, the enlightenment and the passing away of the Buddha Monday, residents said.

Trouble broke out last week when Hindus protested a Buddha statue erected by Sinhalese taxi drivers who are followers of Buddhism. Ethnic Tamils, who are Hindus, strongly objected to it.

At least 18 blasts were heard in Trincomalee since the unrest and at least one man had been killed and seven wounded, police said.

President Chandrika Kumaratunga met with military and police chiefs Sunday in a bid to defuse the tension, her office said in a statement Monday.

It said Kumaratunga suggested reviving “district committees” comprising prominent local residents, religious lead