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Sri Lanka: The Decline Of The West
   Next Article → NAVAL AIR: The Melting Deck Problem
May 7, 2009: The army is advancing slowly against the LTTE fortifications in the four square kilometer no-fire zone. The LTTE has built bunkers (or, rather, forced their human shields to do most of the work),  planted landmines and deployed a few suicide bombers, to make it costly for the army to get in and finish off the LTTE defenders.  The army believes this will be done by the end of the month. The politicians want it done sooner, but the generals want to keep their casualties down.

During their advance in the last few months, the army has captured over 100,000 rifles and pistols, over a million rounds of ammunition and over 30,000 landmines. There are also thousands of grenades, roadside bombs and mortar shells, plus tons of explosives, trucks, artillery and some armored vehicles.

China has not been critical of how the government has fought the LTTE rebels, and has offered attractive economic deals, including direct aid. While Western nations have been quick to blame the Sri Lankan government for all manner of atrocities, and offer sanctuary to pro-LTTE Tamils, several other countries (like Iran, India, Libya, Russia, Pakistan and Vietnam) has done business with Sri Lanka, and not taken sides in the civil war. The Sinhalese majority in Sri Lanka is very bitter about this treatment by the West (which is seen as arrogant, self-righteous and gullible enough to fall for the LTTE propaganda.) This will have long term effects.

May 4, 2009: The army has started to advance into the LTTE stronghold. There are landmines to deal with, as well as booby traps and bunkers. A bunker complex was captured today, and a senior LTTE leader, who was apparently commanding the defenders, was killed.

May 3, 2009: The government has offered amnesty to LTTE members, but not to  the top dozen or so leaders. The government believes that about 300-400 core LTTE members are holding some 15,000 Tamil civilians as human shields. The LTTE are doing this through fear and intimidation. While some of these LTTE hard core gunmen are ready to fight to death, many are not, and the amnesty is for them. The government has already captured hundreds of these LTTE middle managers, and interrogated them about conditions in the coastal "no-fire" zone. Apparently, the senior LTTE leadership still hope for some kind of miracle, and are keeping up the fiction that the army and air force are still attacking the human shields. But instead, the LTTE is setting off explosions within the no-fire zone, and claiming that this is army artillery fire or air force bombs.

May 1, 2009: The army has moved up more troops around the few kilometers of beach still occupied by the LTTE and about 20,000 Tamil civilians they are using as human shields. Off the coast, the navy destroyed three LTTE boats and 23 LTTE fighters, which had departed from the small coastline the LTTE still control. Two of those boats were apparently rigged for suicide attacks on navy ships.

April 30, 2009: Government and military websites were hacked and taken down for a while. This was apparently done by overseas Tamils, many of whom are staunch supporters of the LTTE and the partition of Sri Lanka.

 

Next Article → NAVAL AIR: The Melting Deck Problem