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Lecturer shot dead in Batticaloa

By V.S. Sambandan

COLOMBO, MAY 24. In a pointer to a deteriorating ground level situation in eastern Sri Lanka, a university lecturer, K. Tambiah, was shot dead at his residence in Batticaloa town by ``unidentified gunmen,'' this evening.

The gunmen gained access to Tambiah, who taught at the Eastern University, and shot him dead at point-blank range at about 4.45 p.m. eastern police sources told The Hindu . He was injured on the right shoulder and the back, the sources said.

The identity of the gunmen has not been established, but it is seen as a fallout of the intra-LTTE fighting that erupted since the rebellion of the LTTE's former special commander for Batticaloa, V. Muralitharan (`Col.' Karuna) in March. The political leanings of the late Tambiah have not been established, but a report in the TamilNet news site said he was ``evicted'' from Batticaloa by Mr. Muralitharan and had returned after the LTTE gained ground-level control in the district. At least five persons have been killed since the March rebellion, police sources said. ``Compared to the other districts in the northern and eastern provinces, this is the worst place,'' police sources said.

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