Sri Lanka: Blood and Sympathy

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June 19,2008: So far this year, about 4,700 have died in the fighting, 85 percent of them LTTE. Those are the government figures, but the LTTE is less forthcoming with numbers. The LTTE are taking a beating, as their front lines are pushed back week by week. There are casualties from this, and most of them appear to be LTTE. That's because the free press in Sri Lanka would make a big deal out of massive army casualties, especially deaths. Morale in the army is up, deserters are returning to work, indicating a general attitude that the military is winning. In response, the LTTE is using bombings, including some suicide bombings, in an attempt to terrorize the government into backing off. That's absurd, but the terrorists also hope to get some international sympathy for their cause as well. This is also unlikely. Murderous terrorists get headlines, not sympathy.

June 18, 2008: In Italy, police arrested 33 Tamils and accused them of belonging to the LTTE (considered a terrorist organization in Italy). The LTTE fund raisers and smugglers are becoming more energetic, and desperate. That means they become more visible in the foreign countries where Tamils live, and more vulnerable to police investigations. As a result, the LTTE has less cash, and increasing difficulty moving military supplies to the LTTE fighters in Sri Lanka.

June 11, 2008: LTTE commandos attacked a navy radar station on a small island off the northeast coast. The navy says they fought off the attacks, the LTTE says they succeeded and destroyed the radar (thus making it easier for LTTE smuggling boats). Hard to tell which way this fell, although the navy sent three patrol boats north as a result of the attack. But the LTTE is desperate to restore its flow of supplies (weapons and ammo in particular).

 

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