Sri Lanka: May 1, 2000


The government announced that, since April 22nd, 214 soldiers had been killed and 625 wounded in the fighting up north. These are low casualties for the number of troops involved (30-40 thousand), but are indicative of the fragile morale and low fighting spirit of government troops. The Tamil rebels take a much more aggressive battlefield stance. The native Sinhalese are Buddhists and have never been known for being combative. The UN is withdrawing its mine clearing teams from the north as the fighting spreads over most of the Jaffna area (where some 400,000 of Sri Lanka's 3.5 million Tamils live.). 


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