The Lanka Academic

 
DECEMBER 11, 2006 EST, USA
 
QUAERE VERUM
 
VOL. 7, NO. 249

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IN MEMORIAM

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...]
TLA FEATURE CORNER
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
Fierce battle in east Sri Lanka kills 64 combatants on both sides, military says
Associated Press, Mon December 11, 2006 05:48 EST . BHARATHA MALLAWARACHI - Associated Press Writer - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Tamil Tiger rebels and Sri Lankan troops exchanged artillery and mortar fire during a fierce daylong battle in the country's east that left at least 64 combatants dead, the military said Monday.

An officer at the government's Media Center for National Security said 24 soldiers were killed and 69 wounded in Sunday's battle with the insurgents in the eastern Batticaloa district.

Forty rebels were also killed in the clash, the officer said speaking on condition of anonymity due to policy.

Rebel spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan said, however, that at least seven rebel fighters died in the clashes.

The military said guerrillas mounted artillery attacks on four army locations in Batticaloa district, prompting soldiers to launch retaliatory attack.

Sunday's fighting came a day after thousands of ethnic Sinhalese fled from their homes to escape violence in neighboring Trincomalee district.

Tamil Tigers said in an e-mail statement that 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.

After a fierce battle in Trincomalee district on Saturday, 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 forces and the guerrillas, while both sides have denied responsibility.

Meanwhile in the capital Colombo on Monday, about 5,000 people participated in a rally demanding the government ban the Tamil Tiger rebels.

The protesters held placards which read ``Shame for daydreaming a political solution,'' and ``Shame for persisting with cease-fire agreement.''

A 2002 cease-fire between the government and Tamil Tigers officially stands despite the soaring violence. Soon after the cease-fire was signed, the government lifted a four-year ban of the Tigers to facilitate peace talks, which later ended in failure.

The rebels are banned in India, United States, European Union and Canada.

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.
Published: Mon Dec 11 07:20:45 EST 2006


Sri Lanka: ICRC evacuates casualties from Vakarai
alertnet.org, 11 Dec 2006. The ICRC today evacuated 30 injured civilians from Vakarai, in the Batticaloa district of eastern Sri Lanka. The casualties included seven children and 16 people looking after them, who were among over 30,000 displaced people trapped by heavy fighting between the Sri Lankan security forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Seven boats sailing under the ICRC flag reached Vakarai hospital this morning, collected the severe cases and transferred them to Valaichchenai hospital, a better-equipped facility in the government-controlled area.

The evacuation was launched in response to an urgent request from the Health Service Division in Jaffna, and involved medical personnel from the Italian Red Cross.

"Many difficulties had to be overcome to organize this evacuation," said Martin De Boer, head of the ICRC sub-delegation in Batticaloa, who led the operation, "but thanks to the security guarantees provided by both parties to the conflict, we finally succeeded in reaching Vakarai hospital and in evacuating the most serious cases. More...
Published: Mon Dec 11 15:25:22 EST 2006 Back to the top


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: www.nationalsecurity.lk
Published: Sun Dec 10 19:36:10 EST 2006 Back to the top

Related News Stories
·
2 soldiers killed, 22 wounded by rebel artillery fire in east Sri Lanka  - Associated Press
·
12 soldiers killed in eastern Sri Lanka clashes  - xinhuanet.com

Lankan bid to capture Vaharai continues
hindustantimes.com, December 10, 2006|18:12 IST. Scores of civilians, government troops and LTTE cadres were killed and many more were injured, as the Sri Lankan offensive to capture the strategic area of Vaharai in Eastern Sri Lanka from the LTTE continued for the second day on Sunday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka s powerful treasury secretary resigns, says state paper
lankabusinessonline.com, 11 December 2006. Sri Lanka's powerful treasury secretary P B Jayasundara, has sent in his resignation, the state-run Daily News reported Monday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka s powerful treasury secretary resigns, says state paper
lankabusinessonline.com, 11 December 2006. Sri Lanka's powerful treasury secretary P B Jayasundara, has sent in his resignation, the state-run Daily News reported Monday... Back to the top

Civilians flee as rivals say over 110 killed in Sri Lanka fighting
afp, Dec 10 2006 . COLOMBO (AFP) - Some 3,000 civilians are fleeing as heavy artillery duels in Sri Lanka's restive northeast killed more than 110 people, including 41 civilians, according to rebels and security forces... Back to the top

TLA FORUM OFFLINE FOR SCHEDULED MAINTENANCE
The Academic, Dec 10, 2006. .
Dear Readers
TLA Forum will be offline for a short while for scheduled maintenance. Please bear with us for the time being... Back to the top

Ex-NIC chief arrested on alleged LTTE link
nation.lk, 10 dec. The former Commissioner of Department for the Registration of Persons, Wijeya Ranasinghe was arrested at his residence by the CID on Friday, in connection with investigations into the assassination attempt on Defence Ministry Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa... Back to the top

TN assembly passes motion on Lankan Tamils
thepeninsulaqatar.com, 12/8/2006 8:21:19. .
Chennai • The Tamil Nadu Assembly yesterday adopted a resolution expressing deep concern over the conditions of Tamils in Sri Lanka who lacked “protection to life and property”. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi moved the resolution, which said: “This House is deeply concerned about the travails of the Tamils in Sri Lanka because of lack of protection to life and property”... Back to the top

Sri Lankans booze their way through 2006, fattening government ...
lankabusinessonline.com, 07 December 2006 16:28:48. Dec 07 (LBO) - Sri Lankans have consumed more than 76 million litres of liquor during the first 10 months of this year, breaking last year's record, with the government also due to collect a record haul in excise duties, an official said... Back to the top

Tigers say Lanka civilian toll hits 41
hindu.com, Dec 10. Colombo, Dec 10. (PTI): Heavy shelling by Sri Lankan security forces in restive rebel-held areas in the island's east have killed at least 41 civilians, including eight children, the Tamil Tiger rebels claimed today... Back to the top

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