Sri Lanka: The War at Sea


June 20, 2007: Over the last two days, the navy engaged a fleet of two dozen LTTE boats off the northeast coast. The LTTE were trying to smuggle in people, explosives, weapons and ammunition. Four of the boats were rigged with explosives and manned by crews who planned to ram larger navy gunboats. About a third of the LTTE boats were sunk, and another third damaged. The navy suffered no losses, but most of the boats got away, heading back to India. The LTTE lost about 40 people, plus another thirty in unrelated land combat. The LTTE itself is in turmoil, with many Tamils eager to make any kind of deal, before the continued resistance triggers large scale violence against the Tamil population. But the LTTE leadership continues to insist on partitioning the island.

June 19, 2007: In the east, LTTE camps continue to be discovered and destroyed. Captured documents give a better picture of the LTTE military organization in the area. Hundreds of LTTE members have turned themselves in, and provided more information.

June 18, 2007: The LTTE ammunition shortage is obvious, with less and less return fire coming from the LTTE, after the government troops open fire with artillery and mortars.

June 17, 2007: In the capital, police arrested 28 Tamils as suspected LTTE terrorists. All signs indicate the LTTE is trying to organize some urban terror attacks, and the government is trying to avoid any anti-Tamil violence in the cities. The years of LTTE violence has made the Sinhalese majority (as well as Christian and Moslem minorities) increasingly anti-Tamil. Even the Buddhist clergy has become very anti-Tamil.

June 15, 2007: Police have become increasingly vigilant at checkpoints, as the LTTE are making more efforts to smuggle explosives into cities, to be used for spectacular terrorist bombings. Several of these attempts have been discovered, The LTTE no longer has the battlefield strength to win against the army, and is relying more on terror attacks to demoralize the government.

June 14, 2007: The government has is receiving, from China, 70,000 120 mm mortar shells, 68,000 152 mm artillery shells and 50,000 81 mm mortar shells. These weapons are used daily to disrupt the movement of LTTE fighters around their fortified positions. June 13, 2007: Stronger and more numerous army patrols in the north and south are finding more LTTE camps and weapons caches. Some of the camps appear to have been abandoned some time ago, indicating a high desertion rate, or a lot of difficulty recruiting. The rebels are generally falling back after taking a few casualties. This is different than the past, where at least some of the LTTE troops would fight to the death.


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