The Lanka Academic

VOL. 7, NO. 248


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We have lost a great mathe- matician, engineer, scientist, an old timer of SLNet/LAcNet and a former LAcNet director. Pubudu Dayawansa (Daya) was instrumental in carrying out many LAcNet projects. He was responsible in setting up "Colombo Calling" a website that was designed to carry weekly articles from Sri Lankan Academic community and Human Rights activists. [ More...]
Headline Summary
F R E E      C L A S S I F I E D S
T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
12 Sri Lankan soldiers killed, 51 wounded in clashes with Tamil rebels in the east
Associated Press, Sun December 10, 2006 12:41 EST . KRISHAN FRANCIS - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Twelve government soldiers were killed and 51 others wounded in clashes with Tamil Tiger rebels in eastern Sri Lanka - on Sunday, while the troops destroyed two rebel artillery positions, the defense ministry said.

The government's Media Center for National Security said in its Web site that the rebels fired artillery and mortars at soldiers in four locations in eastern Batticaloa district.

Tamil Tigers said in a statement that three of their fighters were killed.

The clashes came a day after thousands of ethnic Sinhalese fled from their homes following a fierce artillery exchange in neighboring Trincomalee district.

Meanwhile, the Tamil Tigers in an e-mail statement said 19 civilians were killed by army artillery fire Sunday, a day after 22 Tamil civilians reportedly died from military shelling.

The military, however, accused the Tigers of holding Tamil civilians as human shields.

Independent verification of the incidents was not possible because reporters and aid workers are not allowed into the area.

Rebel spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan said the clashes that began Saturday in neighboring Trincomalee district killed 30 soldiers, but the military said it lost only two troops. The army put the guerrilla death toll at 40.

Casualty figures from the two sides often conflict and are impossible to reconcile.

At least 3,000 Sinhalese civilians from 750 families took shelter in two Buddhist temples and two schools in Kantale village, some 30 kilometers (18 miles) southwest of Trincomalee town, said Sirimevan Dharmasena, the chief government bureaucrat in Kantale.

Maj. Upali Rajapakse said five civilians died and 16 more were wounded by shells fired from rebel areas into ethnic Sinhalese villages in Trincomalee, prompting civilians to leave their homes.

Civilian casualties have mounted in recent clashes between government troops and the guerrillas while both sides have denied responsibility.

The Tigers have been fighting for more than 20 years for a separate homeland for the island nation's 3.1 million ethnic Tamil minority, citing decades of discrimination by the majority Sinhalese.

The government says it is willing to give autonomy to areas where Tamils are in the majority in the north and northeast, but the rebels want sweeping changes that the government says will infringe on the country's sovereignty.

On the Web:
Published: Sun Dec 10 19:36:10 EST 2006

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2 soldiers killed, 22 wounded by rebel artillery fire in east Sri Lanka  - Associated Press
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