Sri Lanka: April 8, 2004


Karuna controls 6,000 of the 15,000 armed LTTE members.

The army has begun a new recruiting drive, to strengthen the army in anticipation with renewed combat with separatist Tamil LTTE rebels. But native Sinhalese are not particularly enthusiastic about being in the army. Last year, army pay was increased 55 percent and a similar recruiting drive attempted to bring in another 4,000 troops. But only 3,200 young men applied, and only 2,500 were qualified. The army has a strength of about 150,000, but about 4,000 soldiers a year desert.  The LTTE have about 15,000 armed (and better motivated)


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