Sri Lanka: Creeping Closer to War


July 13, 2006: The growing LTTE violence has left over 700 people dead so far this year, and at the rate things are going, there could be over 2,000 dead by the end of the year. At least twenty have died so far this month. The LTTE have intensified their recruiting, and training, for their active duty combat forces. These would be used to try and drive government forces out of their bases in northern and eastern Sri Lanka (where Tamils are the majority).
July 12, 2006: The LTTE is increasing its attacks on political rivals, mainly Tamil political parties that are willing to compromise with the government on the issue of Tamil autonomy. The attacks aim to kill or intimidate. Many of the victims belong to Tamil opposition groups that surrendered their weapons as part of the 2002 ceasefire. The LTTE kept their weapons, and now they are using them to intimidate and kill Tamils they consider traitors.
July 11, 2006: The navy destroyed an LTTE boat off the northern coast, as LTTE gunmen clashed with police and soldiers in northern Sri Lanka. The LTTE insists that the ceasefire is still in effect, even though the level of violence increases each week. The LTTE is using more bombs and landmines to kill members of the police and army.
July 9, 2006: The government program to arm and train village self-defense forces is being expanded. The forces are to set up along the border between LTTE "controlled" areas in northern Sri Lanka, and some of those in eastern Sri Lanka. The forces give the villagers a chance to keep out LTTE irregulars coming by to demand food and shelter, or to simply take what they want at gun point.
July 6, 2006: Many of the refugees from LTTE controlled areas left to prevent their teenage children from being recruited into the LTTE combat forces.
July 5, 2006: The LTTE held their annual celebration for their suicide bombers. These killers are considered heroes by the LTTE. In the last 19 years, 273 LTTE members have killed themselves in suicide bomb attacks, and the LTTE intends to continue the practice. Another 18,000 LTTE members have died in the fighting, to establish a separate Tamil state on the island of Sri Lanka.


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