B. Muralidhar Reddy

COLOMBO: At least 11 persons, 10 of them suspected Tiger cadres, were killed in incidents of violence in the north and east in Sri Lanka in the last 24 hours.

A military statement said two of the women killed in Kokkutoduvai, Welioya, confrontation on Sunday were in the age range of 15-17 years. It said the troops confronted a team of terrorists early on Sunday while they were trying to infiltrate cleared areas held by the security forces.

Naval troops conducted a cordon and search operation in Suruvil, Velani, in Kayts Island on Sunday. "When troops were ready to enter the Kovil [temple], LTTE cadres opened fire from inside the Kovil. Naval troops retaliated with small arms which resulted in two explosions. In the confrontation, five LTTE cadres who were inside the Kovil were killed including the LTTE leader in charge of Jaffna Islands and the deputy leader named Eelamaran and Udayan".

In his May Day message, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said terrorism and political differences were serious blows aimed at the working people which affected their living standards. Some trade organisations observed May Day on April 30 as Tuesday coincides with conclusion ceremony of the 2550th Buddha Jayanthi.

"While expecting the constant co-operation of the working people to enhance development of the country by successfully overcoming the challenges before us, and safeguarding both the country and its territorial integrity, on this May Day I wish the working people of Sri Lanka all strength and courage to build a new Sri Lanka," he said.