The LTTE claims 45 civilians were killed by government artillery in
eastern Sri Lanka. The government says the LTTE were using civilians as human
shields, to protect military targets. Nearly 1,100 civilians have been killed
during the last eight months of fighting.
7, 2006: The navy blockade has been stopping more and more of the LTTE
ammunition shipments, putting the LTTE artillery at a disadvantage. The
government has taken advantage of this to increase its air and artillery
attacks against LTTE military targets. In response, the LTTE has moved more of
its artillery and infantry units into residential areas, to use the civilians
as shields from government artillery or air attack. The army has also begun to
move against LTTE positions in eastern Sri Lanka.
government has offered to allow a national vote on whether or not the Tamil
majority northern and eastern provinces could be united into an autonomous
Tamil area. The LTTE still wants complete independence, but that seems less and
6, 2006: The government has prepared a detour of the main highway going to the
north (the Jaffna peninsula), and is trying to work out a deal where the new
route could be used to move food supplies to the hundreds of thousands of Tamil
civilians cut off up there. But the army will not allow the trucks to roll if
the LTTE sets up checkpoints (where payments, or "revolutionary
taxes" are collected from the truck drivers). The LTTE does not want to
give up this source of income, and believes that if the food shortages get bad
enough, international pressure will force the government to relent. In the
meantime, the government is trying to move sufficient food supplies north by
ship. But once landed, there are problems with getting the food to areas
controlled by the LTTE.
LTTE "freed" 22 child soldiers who, it said, had lied about their
ages before joining up. The LTTE has been accused of kidnapping or coercing
teenagers to join their combat forces. So this publicity operations is intended
to counteract some of that bad press. The LTTE has been having more trouble
getting adults to join up, so it turns to the kids.
5, 2006: In the north, skirmishing left left several sailors dead. Aside from
combat patrols running into each other, or ambushing vehicles, the action
consists largely of artillery fire.