Sri Lanka: Please Don't Call It A War

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August 17, 2006: The last three days of heavy fighting has caused about a thousand casualties. About a third of those are dead, and slightly more than half of them are LTTE. Over 100,000 civilians have fled the areas where fighting is going on. The government is trying to convince the media to back off stories that the war has resumed. This would lessen the tension between the various ethnic and religious groups on the island. There are accusations that Tamils are again forcing non-Tamils, especially Moslems, from majority-Tamil areas. The recent attack on the Pakistani ambassador reinforces the attitude that the Tamils (who are largely Hindus, although the LTTE is non-religious) have it in for Moslems.
August 16, 2006: In the north, LTTE attempts to move fighters into the Jaffna peninsula were stopped by army forces. This attack included an attempt to land gunmen by boat, behind some army bunkers. Air force jets bombed LTTE camps and police helped hunt down LTTE fighters who had infiltrated into Jaffna. The government says it is willing to negotiate, but the LTTE refuses to talk.

 

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