The Lanka Academic

MARCH 23, 2008 EST, USA
VOL. 8, NO. 352


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Headline Summary
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T  O  P      H  E  A  D  L  I  N  E
Sri Lankan military says 60 rebels, 6 soldiers killed in fighting in the north
Associated Press, Sun March 23, 2008 08:14 EDT . - - COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - (AP) Sri Lankan troops fought ethnic Tamil rebels along the front lines of their civil war in the north in a series of battles that killed 60 guerrillas and six soldiers, the military said Sunday.

It was not possible to get independent accounts of the clashes because the war zone is restricted to journalists. Both the government and Tamil Tiger rebels often exaggerate their enemy's casualties and underreport their own.

In the worst of the reported fighting, 25 rebels and two soldiers were killed when the military took control of what it said was a small but important slice of territory in northern Mannar district Saturday.

Clashes in Welioya district killed 14 rebels and three soldiers, the military said in a statement. Another 21 insurgents and a soldier were killed Saturday in scattered battles across Vavuniya and Jaffna districts, the military said.

Rebel spokesman Rasiah Ilanthirayan could not be reached for comment.

The Tigers have fought since 1983 to create an independent homeland for ethnic minority Tamils who have been marginalized for decades by successive governments run by majority ethnic Sinhalese.

More than 70,000 people have been killed in the violence.Discuss this story
Published: Sun Mar 23 15:45:32 EDT 2008

Flooding hits S.Lanka, slows civil war pace, Mar 23. COLOMBO, March 23 (Reuters) - Heavy rains in Sri Lanka have killed eight people and affected more than 340,000 others while restricting military gains over rebels in the country's worsening civil war, the military said on Sunday.

Unusually heavy torrential rains have caused widespread flooding and landslides in eastern agricultural and rice-growing areas, as well as in the north where the military has launched a fresh offensive against Tamil Tiger rebels.

"Around seven percent of the harvest in major paddy producing areas has been destroyed," said Agriculture Department Director General C. Kudagamage on Sunday. More... Discuss this story
Published: Sun Mar 23 15:49:35 EDT 2008 Back to the top

Mahela Jayawardene, Chaminda Vaas put Sri Lanka in control of 1st test
Associated Press, Sun March 23, 2008 17:41 EDT . CRAIG COZIER - Associated Press Writer - GEORGETOWN, Guyana (AP) Captain Mahela Jayawardene hit his 22nd century and Chaminda Vaas added 54 and a wicket as Sri Lanka - took control against West Indies on day two of the first cricket test on Sunday. Jayawardene and wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene ensured the first session belonged to the visitors in a stand of 54 which took Sri Lanka - to lunch on 330-5.

West Indies took the second new ball immediately after the interval and was rewarded when Daren Powell uprooted Prasanna Jayawardene's off stump. The plucky gloveman hit two fours in 21 off 83 balls.

But the Sri Lanka - captain and veteran Vaas forged a magnificent seventh-wicket partnership of 126 that dulled the West Indian edge.

Vaas should have been dismissed when just four but Devon Smith floored a low catch at third slip off Taylor.

Jayawardene was chanceless and stroked the ball beautifully off the front foot, especially through the legside and straight down the ground.

He brought up his century, off 190 deliveries and in five hours, 45 minutes before tea, which his team took at 418-6.

The Sri Lankans upped the tempo after the interval and Jayawardene was dropped on 126 by Dwayne Bravo off Gayle's offspin. He eventually fell to Gayle at 457-7, the victim of an unfortunate decision from umpire Billy Bowden.

The silky right-hander missed a reverse sweep and was adjudged leg before although the ball cannoned into the glove.

Gayle also picked up Thilan Thushara for a duck before the declaration came.

Taylor took four for 110 while Gayle earned two for 66.

Gayle was not as successful with the bat as Vaas dismissed him for the seventh time in six tests, the fifth time without scoring.

Gayle was plumb lbw as he played a tentative defensive stroke.

Vaas almost removed Smith shortly afterward but a fended stroke fell just short of third slip.

But the left-hander and vice captain Sarwan grew in confidence as they survived to the close.
Published: Sun Mar 23 21:42:26 EDT 2008 Back to the top

Heavy fighting reported in Sri Lanka, march 23. COLOMBO (AFP) ó Ferocious battles raged in Sri Lanka's embattled north over the weekend as security forces tried to break into territory held by Tamil rebels, the two sides said Sunday... Back to the top

Sri Lanka Bombs Rebels After Navy Boat Is Sunk, march 23. COLOMBO, March 22 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan air force jets bombed rebel Tamil Tiger ground positions on Saturday after a navy patrol boat was sunk by a suspected rebel mine off the northeast coast, with 10 of the 16 crew missing and feared dead... Back to the top

Sri Lanka Central Bank Will `Maintain Tight Policy' This Year
bloomberg, March 23. March 23 (Bloomberg) -- Sri Lanka's central bank will maintain its ``tight monetary policy'' through the end of this year on concern surging oil prices may fan inflation in the $27 billion economy... Back to the top

Tiger rebels sink Sri Lanka navy boat, march 22. COLOMBO (Reuters) - A Sri Lanka navy fast attack boat was destroyed on Saturday when it hit a suspected sea mine laid by Tamil Tiger rebels off the northeast coast, with 10 of the 16 crew still missing, the military said... Back to the top

A tearful farewell to Clarke
daily news, march 23. COLOMBO: Visionary science fiction writer Arthur C Clarke was buried yesterday in his adopted home of Sri Lanka, where the nation paused for an international "titan" it had adopted as its own... Back to the top

Tissa: I donít know why I am being held
ST, march 23. The Sunday Times columnist, J. S. Tissainayagam, continues to be detained by the Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) for the 15th consecutive day without any explanation for his arrest... Back to the top

Tamils slam human rights violations in Sri Lanka
Times, March 23. More than 300 people protested outside the Indian consulate in Durban this week over ethnic violence and human rights violations in Sri Lanka... Back to the top

Sci-fi guru Arthur C. Clarke buried in Sri Lanka
afp, march 23. COLOMBO (AFP) ó Sri Lanka on Saturday buried visionary British sci-fi writer Arthur C... Back to the top

Malinda Warnapura century boosts Sri Lanka before Jerome Taylor strikes for Windies
Associated Press, Sat March 22, 2008 19:04 EDT . CRAIG COZIER - Associated Press Writer - GEORGETOWN, GUYANA (AP) Sri Lanka - opener Malinda Warnapura hit an attractive maiden century before Jerome Taylor claimed three wickets to revive West Indies on the opening day of the first cricket test on Saturday... Back to the top

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