The fighting is getting more intense, and the LTTE keeps losing ground.
At this rate, the army's prediction that the LTTE will be crushed this year,
appears on schedule. But the LTTE have a track record of carrying out
spectacular attacks with the elite forces. But these are only a thousand or so
people, and more of them are encountered commanding front line LTTE fighters.
More and more of these gunmen (and women) are teenagers, conscripted from among
the half million Tamils still living in LTTE controlled territory.
is trying to regain some psychological ground with a propaganda campaign
portraying themselves as victims. This no longer works very well. With over
70,000 dead from two decades of LTTE violence, most Sri Lankans just want it
all to stop.
2008: LTTE fund raisers are making increasing demands on Sri Lankan Tamils who
have moved to the West. The "collectors" are basically running an extortion
scheme, and an increasing percentage of the money taken stays with the
collectors. Tamil businessmen fear reporting this to the police, lest they be
disowned by their own community. Despite that, police are finding out who the
collectors are, and arresting them for extortion, coercion and whatever.
2008: Police, searching for LTTE suicide bomber teams, arrested four men and seized
bomb components (including explosives) near Kandy.
2008: Last month, the army suffered 750 casualties (including 93 dead) fighting
the LTTE in northern Sri Lanka. Close to 300 LTTE rebels were killed, and
nearly a thousand wounded (these are difficult to count, as they are usually
removed when the LTTE retreat.)
2008: The increased military activity has caused economic growth to decline, to
6.8 percent last year, from 7.4 percent in 2006. Inflation is also up, to about
2008: An LTTE suicide bomber killed the Highways Minister, and 14 others, as he
was signaling the start of a marathon race near the capital.