The army is now four kilometers
from Kilinochchi, the LTTE "capital." The army is also fighting its
way up the coast, and the end of LTTE control over Sri Lankan territory appears
imminent. The LTTE has attempted to stop this advance with a terror bombing
campaign. There have been six such attacks in the capital in the past five
weeks. But the bombs have been small and poorly constructed, and merely made
Sri Lankans more determined to finish off the LTTE once and for all. But the
army is in no hurry. They know that haste merely provides the LTTE with more
opportunities to launch surprise commando attacks. The LTTE still has several hundred
experienced, well trained and armed fighters that could launch devastating
attacks if the army got sloppy.
so far this year are about 7,000 LTTE dead and 700 soldiers killed. There are
several hundred casualties a week, as the army continues to make persistent small
attacks all along the front, using air power and artillery to take a few LTTE
bunkers here, a few there, and slowly push the line back. The LTTE has not yet
come up with a way to handle these tactics. Army troops are much better
trained, equipped and led than they were in the 1990s, when a series of LTTE
victories gave the rebels control of much of northern Sri Lanka. The army support
forces have greatly improved as well. Engineers spend a lot of time clearing
LTTE landmines and booby traps, thus neutralizing a weapon the LTTE thought
would stop the army cold.
diplomats are working to make sure no country will give LTTE leaders sanctuary.
Europe and Canada has accepted many refugees from the Sri Lankan fighting, and
subsequently became foreign outposts for the LTTE. Sri Lankan officials are trying to convince
these "sanctuary states" to be most careful who they accept after the
LTTE are defeated in Sri Lanka. The
government expects the terrorists to carry on with suicide bombings and other
attacks, to keep the "war" going. This will only work if the
terrorists have foreign sanctuaries to operate from. The government is
particularly keen to see that the LTTE leadership does not find a foreign
sanctuary after they are forced out of Sri Lanka.
advance deeper into territory long held by the LTTE, they discover more
evidence of NGOs providing direct aid for rebel military operations. For
example, earth moving equipment brought in by an NGO for "humanitarian
purposes" appears to have been heavily used for building new
fortifications (to replace those lost as the army advances.) NGO owned
equipment is also found in LTTE headquarters and facilities, along with
documents discussing these cozy relationships. This relationship was long
suspected, but the NGOs and the LTTE strenuously denied it. Such a relationship
is common in situations like this, as the NGOs are often pressured to
cooperate, or else. But some of the NGOs are blatantly pro-rebel, and merely
use their NGO status to protect them from government sanctions.
carried out a major suicide bombing 200 kilometers north of the capital, where
a political meeting was hit, killing a major opposition politician (a retired
major-general) and 22 others, while wounding 80. The site of the bombing, Anuradhapura,
is considered the center of the ancient Sinhalese (the majority on the island) civilization,
and thus a symbolic target for the LTTE to go after.
2008: The navy has begun using sea-going
commandos and speedboats to hunt down LTTE smugglers at night, close to shore.
These SBS (Special Boat Squadron) operations have been destroying more of the
smaller smuggling boats.
2008: Police checking trucks carrying
food aid to civilians in LTTE controlled areas found secret compartments in
several trucks, along with explosives and bomb making supplies. Meanwhile
troops captured an LTTE airstrip (500 meters long and 50 wide), with signs that
small aircraft had recently landed and taken off. This is how the LTTE smuggles
people, and small quantities of supplies in from India at night.
29, 2008: In the capital, a bomb went
off in a delivery van, wounding five people. The LTTE was suspected, as the
rebels have vowed to unleash terror attacks on government targets. But military
defeats and police activity have made it difficult for the LTTE to organize and
carry out the promised terror attacks.
28, 2008: In the north, a suicide bomber
on a bicycle attacked soldiers just behind the front lines. The bomber killed
himself, and wounded nine soldiers and civilians.