Sri Lanka: Where Have All The Tamils Gone

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October 23, 2005: The government continues to refuse to consider allowinga separate state for the Tamils. One of the reasons for this, is that there are doubts about just how many Tamils there actually are in Sri Lanka. The Tamils say they comprise up to 20 percent of the population. But there has been enormous migration of Tamils to escape over a decade of separatist violence. The LTTE has refused to tolerate a new census, and it is believed that Tamils now comprise less than ten percent of the population. This became more of an issue after last years tidal waves, which killed some 30,000 people, most of them Tamils. Many foreign aid organizations came to help, and questions were raised about just how many people were in the affected (largely Tamil) areas, and who they were. It was pointed out that there were several hundred thousand Sri Lankan Tamil refugees living in North America, Europe and India. The LTTE appears to be aware of their shrinking population (perhaps as few as a million people), and are devoting most of their efforts to deal with internal divisions (eastern Sri Lankan Tamils versus northern Tamils), before seriously considering a resumption of the war. Even that will be difficult, because most Tamils are tired of all the fighting, but are terrified of the fanatic LTTE gunmen, who are quick to kill any Tamil "traitors" they discover.

October 19, 2005: The air force lost one of its Israeli made UAVs over LTTE territory. The cause was believed to be equipment failure, not ground fire.

October 18, 2005: The state of emergency has been extended another month, to assist in the search for those behind the assassination of the foreign minister last August. .

October 16, 2005: Police found a bomb, most likely an LTTE one, planted in a Buddhist temple, and removed it.

 

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