Sri Lanka: More Willing To Talk Than Fight

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June 27, 2006: In eastern Sri Lanka, the LTTE killed four dissident members. There has been a low key civil war going on within the LTTE in this area. The LTTE is eager to assert full control over the area before war resumes. The LTTE appears to be weakened by this civil war, the reduction in income and war weariness among the Tamil population. The government, meanwhile, has increased the capabilities of the army. A new round of war might not go well for the LTTE. So the LTTE is more willing to talk than fight.

June 26, 2006: The army has discovered a network of of LTTE spies in the army. Some three dozen troops have been arrested for belonging to an LTTE espionage network. Such spies may have played a role in the death of the third highest ranking general in the army, who was killed by a suicide bomber on an explosives laden motorcycle. Three others also died.

June 25, 2006: The LTTE have changed their minds, and now give the truce monitoring commission two months, rather than one, to replace the 37 members (out of 57) from the EU. Meanwhile, the LTTE killed another anti-LTTE Tamil politician in the northeast. The Tamil campaign against dissent is becoming more vigorous, and deadly.

June 24, 2006: With the loss of contributions from overseas Tamils, because the LTTE has been declared an international terrorist organization, the rebels are more dependent on extortion. In the northeast, LTTE roadblocks extort "customs duties" of up to 25 percent. That brings in over $4 million a month, about half the organizations income, which keeps the LTTE going. There are still some overseas contributions getting through, plus income from businesses LTTE owes in territory they control. Businesses raise they prices to cover the levies, which is why things cost more in LTTE controlled territory. It's another reason why the LTTE is declining in popularity.

 

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