Sri Lanka: Fight To The Death

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May 18,2008: The LTTE is declining and the economy is growing. Despite the fighting in the north, and the occasional terrorist bomb, tourism, and economic activity in general, are up nearly ten percent over last year. The government needs the added tax revenues, because over $1.5 billion has been spent on military operations so far this year. The fighting has left over 4,000 dead so far this year, about 80 percent of the them LTTE fighters. The army is fighting a cautious war, using its greater numbers and firepower to destroy the LTTE defensive positions, without exposing itself to the kind of commando type attacks the LTTE has used so often in the past. The LTTE still controls over 300,000 civilians in the north, but is having to conscript more of them to fight. Morale among the Tamil population in LTTE territory is low. The LTTE leaders are willing to fight to the death, most of their fellow Tamils are not.

May 17, 2008: In the northwest, troops captured another LTTE controlled town; Palampiddi Junction. After months of battering LTTE bunkers and slowly moving into LTTE controlled territory, the army is taking population centers and seriously reducing the population the LTTE controls, and the urban areas they use to control the population.

May 16, 2008: In the capital, an LTTE suicide bomber on a motorbike attacked a police bus, killing ten people (eight of them police) and wounding over 80. In the east, a former LTTE official took office as chief minister of the eastern province. For nearly two decades, until last year, the eastern province was run by the LTTE. But the Tamils in the Eastern Province eventually broke with the main LTTE leadership, based in the north, and formed a rebel faction. The government aided the rebel LTTE faction, and offered most of the them amnesty after the LTTE control over the eastern province was broken last year.

May 10, 2008: In the northern port of Trincomalee, an LTTE suicide bomber, using scuba gear, sunk a 250 foot long navy cargo ship, that was being loaded with ammunition for army troops fighting along the coast. The only casualty was the bomber, but the ship sank at the dock.

May 9, 2008: In the north, the army is now capturing LTTE held towns. Troops fought their way into Adampan this week, after killing over a hundred LTTE fighters, and wounding or capturing several hundred more. While the LTTE still have more determined gunmen, the army is better trained and, increasingly, combat experienced. The army also has artillery and air support, and knows how to use it.

In the east, the LTTE set off a bomb, killing ten. This was apparently an attempt to disrupt the May 10th provincial elections, the first to be held in 14 years. The LTTE lost control of the area last year. LTTE members are still active in the east, running a terror campaign against pro-government politicians and activists. These LTTE groups have threatened to harm those who vote, and in some villages and neighborhoods, half, or less, of the voters turned out.

May 8, 2008: In Canada, legal proceedings against LTTE fund raisers has caused the release of evidence collected by the police. This includes LTTE documents admitting to raising money for military and terror operations in Sri Lanka, both before and after the 2004 cease fire.

 

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