Most troops removed from Colombo

After the army defeated the LTTE in May 2009 after 30 years of war the government gradually began reducing the heavy military presence in and around Colombo. “We removed most of the army check posts in the city and handed it over to the police. This is as a result of the continuing improvements we see in the security of the city,” the military spokesman said. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) however continues to call for the reduction in the military presence in the north and east of the country.President Mahinda Rajapaksa told the country last month during the third anniversary since the end of the war that the security forces would not be withdrawn from the north and east. (Colombo Gazette) Most of the emergency laws which were in place during the war were also removed and several roads which were closed for security reasons were also re-opened.The Army Headquarters located in Colombo is also being shifted outside the city to make way for star class hotels. The Defence Ministry today withdrew most of the troops from Colombo citing improved security conditions.Military spokesman Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said that soldiers will remain only at a few selected locations in Colombo. (AUDIO BELOW) read more

Fuel train crashes into elephants killing five

The elephants had been crossing the railway line when the train crashed into them. The train had been transporting fuel from Colombo to Batticaloa when the accident took place.Residents in the area collected fuel from the damages fuel tanks following the accident. A train transporting fuel crashed into a herd of elephants killing five elephants along the Batticaloa railway line today.The accident took place between Habarana and Palugaswewa on the Batticaloa line. The train derailed following the impact and some of the fuel tanks had overturned. Train services along the track were temporarily restricted till the derailed train was removed. (Colombo Gazette) read more