COLOMBO, SRI LANKA, NOV. 11 -- A wave of student protests and guerrilla violence rocked Sri Lanka today and police reported at least 27 people killed in renewed clashes.
The new bloodshed took the death toll so far this week to 95. Police said they have arrested 64 members of a banned Marxist group and shot and killed six others.
Police believe the People's Liberation Front, a hard-line Sinhalese group opposed to autonomy for the country's minority Tamils, is responsible for a car bomb attack that killed 32 people and injured 106 on Monday.
Meanwhile, a senior minister said he was resigning to protest a plan to set up a unified autonomous region for the island nation's minority Tamils.
Agriculture Minister Gamani Jayasuriya said he had handed in his resignation to President Junius Jayewardene because he opposed the plan to unify Sri Lanka's northern and eastern districts and create a self-administering Tamil area.
Police used tear gas and batons to disperse 2,000 students chanting antigovernment slogans in the central highland town of Kandy where a bomb exploded, damaging a telecommunications tower in the morning.
Police said students also staged antigovernment protests near Colombo and the southern city of Galle, opposing planned legislation granting the Tamil minority limited autonomy in the north and west.
Tamil guerrillas gunned down six Sinhalese fishermen in Kalkudah on the eastern coast. Police said they shot three of the guerrillas to death.
The Sinhalese account for three-quarters of Sri Lanka's 17 million population and the group's hard-liners see the pact as a sell-out to India.