The pace of combat has increased, with over a thousand weekly casualties,
most of them on the rebel side. The government believes it has killed over
2,000 LTTE fighters so far this year, while losing fewer than 200 military
personnel. This rate of loss by the LTTE, along with lost fortifications,
weapons and territory, indicates that LTTE control of the north will not last
much longer. Unless, of course, the LTTE can put together one of the surprise
offensive operations they have used in the past, to push back government
sign of LTTE desperation is the selling of stolen cars, to raise badly needed
cash. In the past, LTTE operatives had stolen cars and trucks in government
territory, then moved them north or east into LTTE territory. But the situation
is so desperate in the north, including fuel shortages, that these stolen
vehicles are being driven south and sold.
2008: A bomb went off in the capital,
killing one and wounding six. The LTTE was suspected, as they have been notably
more active lately in trying to carry out terrorist attacks in government
2008: For the first time in 14 years, elections were held in eastern Sri Lanka.
As expected, former LTTE members, who had led a rebellion against the mainline
LTTE leadership, won in the predominately Tamil area.
2008: For a year now, the government has been negotiating the purchase of five
MiG-29 jet fighters, for about $15 million each. Some legislators believe this
purchase involves bribes, although the price is a bit below what MiG-29s are
going for these days. The MiG-29 is sought because its radar can pick up small
aircraft flying close to the ground. This is the kind of air force the LTTE
still has, and the MiG-29 is the kind of aircraft that can deal with this
threat. However, it has been nearly a year since the LTTE has sought to use
these small, single engine commercial aircraft in an attack. The LTTE "air force"
may well have been destroyed in one of the increasing number of attacks the air
force has been making on rebel targets.