Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka gov't worries over escalation of violence in east

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COLOMBO, Jul 14, 2005 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Sri Lankan government said Thursday it was concerned over the deteriorating security situation in the eastern port district of Trincomalee where the Tamil Tigers are facing accusations of increased attacks against the security forces.

Nimal Siripala De Silva, the Minister of Health and the government spokesman told reporters "we are very concerned and we discussed security measure at the security council."

The minister said the government was committed to upholding the cease-fire with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) despite violence and blamed extremist elements of creating tension in the area.

The police said that 30 people including security personnel and civilians had been injured in a spate of attacks carried out by the LTTE in the area since Wednesday.

The government deployed additional security to counter the violence amidst a decision by the LTTE to pull out its political offices in the Eastern Province.

The rebels cited lack of security as the reason for the pull out. The LTTE on June 30 gave a 14 day ultimatum to the government to beef up security for their senior members traveling trough the government areas.

The deadline ends Thursday night and the rebels are expected to make an announcement of its position Friday. The government on Tuesday said it was not ready to accept any ultimatum from the rebels.

The rebels delayed naming its members to the post-Tsunami Operational Management Structure (P-TOMS) until the security issue could be resolved.

However the government announced here Thursday that the Minister of Constitutional Affairs Dew Gunasekera would be its nominee to the high level committee under the P-TOMS.