The Web Sri Lanka In Focus

Friday, 8 February 2008

L&T to build Sri Lanka's tallest building

India's engineering and construction conglomerate Larsen and Toubro Ltd (L&T) is to build Sri Lanka's tallest building - the 59-storey and 246 metre high Diamond Tower in Colombo.

A joint venture between L&T and the Sri Lankan public sector National Housing Development Authority, Diamond Tower will be completed by May 2011, the state-owned Daily News reported Friday.

The $150-million complex to be built over an area of 1.5 million square feet will be a virtual township with luxury apartments, service apartments, commercial space and parking lots. It will be the first of its kind in Sri Lanka, the newspaper said.

Indian firms have recently entered Sri Lanka's private construction market. They are building high-rise, high-end residential complexes in Colombo.


Sri Lanka says kills 42 rebels as fighting grinds on

COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lankan troops captured Tamil Tiger rebel positions and killed at least 42 militants, including an area leader, during two days of fighting in the island's north, the military said on Friday.

The military said they had captured rebel positions in the north-western district of Mannar on Friday.

The clashes occurred along a "border" that separates government and rebel territory.

The government is trying to drive the rebels from their northern stronghold and bring an end to a 25-year civil war. But analysts say neither side is winning as the rebels repeatedly hit back with suicide and roadside bombings and air attacks.

"A one kilometer stretch of LTTE positions were captured by the troops this morning. The confrontation killed 12 LTTE terrorists, while two soldiers died and five were wounded," said military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara, referring to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

The military said fighting on Thursday killed 30 Tiger rebels, including the area leader, and wounded 24 others in the northern districts of Jaffna, Vavuniya and Mannar and the north-eastern district of Trincomalee. One soldier was killed and eight were wounded from the fighting.

A civilian and a soldier were wounded from rebel mortar bomb fire on Friday into a village in the northern area of Weli-oya.

The rebels, who are fighting for a separate state in the Indian Ocean island's north and east, were not immediately available for comment.

There was no independent confirmation of what had happened or how many people were killed, and analysts say both sides exaggerate enemy casualty figures and play down their own.

Fighting between the military and the rebels has intensified since the government scrapped a six-year ceasefire pact last month. It said the rebels were using the truce to re-arm.

The military has captured large swathes of territory from the Tigers in the east of the country in recent months and vastly outnumbers them.

Thousands of people have been reported killed since last year as the truce crumbled and analysts expect the conflict to drag on with civilians being an easy target for rebel suicide bombers and roadside mine attacks on buses.

An estimated 70,000 people have died since the conflict began in 1983.

(Reporting by Ranga Sirilal)


Forces closing in on LTTE in Wanni, says Colombo

B. Muralidhar Reddy

COLOMBO: At least 40 cadres of the LTTE and eight soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) were killed in continued battles between the forces and the Tigers along the Forward Defence Lines (FDLs) in the north, the military said on Thursday.

A statement by the Defence Ministry claimed that security forces in an “offensive operation to liberate Wanni” are advancing further towards the LTTE stronghold, inflicting heavy casualties. It said 29 LTTE cadres were killed while another 14 were wounded during the clashes at Vavuniya, Mannar and Weli-Oya defences on Wednesday.

The ministry said troops ambushed an LTTE convoy at Periyantrichurchchan and interception of LTTE communication revealed that four LTTE cadres were killed in the attack.

The military said three soldiers were killed and one was injured in two separate incidents at Pokkaravani and Umayaratuvarankulam. In the Mannar front, troops attacked a group of LTTE militants at Parappakandal killing two Tiger cadres.

Two soldiers were killed during a confrontation that erupted at Adampan area. In Weli-Oya front, one Tiger cadre was killed at Kokkuthuduvai. Seven soldiers sustained injuries in the attack.

In the same area, troops attacked a group of LTTE terrorists and killed four cadres, the military said.

In another confrontation in Kokkuthuduvai five cadres of the LTTE were killed and six others injured. Three soldiers were killed and 14 injured in this clash.

The ministry said that in Janakapura, troops launched an attack targeting LTTE bunkers and killed six Tiger cadres. One soldier was injured. Security forces launched an attack on an LTTE bunker in Vavuniya, killing two militant cadres.

Source: The Hindu