Sri Lanka: Terrorizing the Terrorists

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November15, 2006: The government plans a 45 percent increase in the defense budget next year (to $1.3 billion.) No one will call the renewed fighting a war, but that's apparently what the government is getting ready for.

November 14, 2006: The UN is accusing the government of controlling LTTE rebels (the Karuna faction) and encouraging the recruitment of children for both the army and the Karuna group. The UN has become an advocate for eliminating the ancient practice of recruiting 16-17 year olds as soldiers. The UN also assumes that the government controls the Karuna group, when it's more likely the government just supports the Karuna LTTE faction. The LTTE has long recruited adolescents as young as 14. Meanwhile, two LTTE roadside bombs in the north killed four soldiers. The navy sank an LTTE boat off the north coast, killing eight rebels.

November 12, 2006: Sinhalese and Tamil political parties are apparently using death squads to attack each other. The LTTE has long used murder of opposition politicians as a tactic, but now pro-government groups are doing it as well.

November 11, 2006: The LTTE threatened to kill Sinhalese civilians in the south, because of the recent death of Tamil civilians used as human shields. The LTTE has been killing Sinhalese civilians for over a decade, in terror attacks, so this new threat doesn't have much impact. About a hundred LTTE military leaders have moved from eastern Sri Lanka to the north, apparently in preparation for a major operation up there, and recognition that they may lost control of the east.

November 10, 2006: In the capital, a pro-LTTE Tamil legislator was murdered, shortly after he had broadcast accusations that the army was deliberately killing Tamil civilians. This was all about a recent incident where LTTE rebels used Tamil refugees as human shields, by firing artillery from within a refugee camp, and the return fire killed some fifty civilians.

November 9, 2006: Off the north coast, LTTE boats attacked a passenger ship with 300 people on board. A navy patrol boat was sunk, along with 22 LTTE boats. Air force warplanes and helicopter gunships quickly entered the battle, and accounted for most of the boats sunk. Some of the LTTE craft were apparently rigged as suicide bomb boats. In another naval battle, two navy gunboats were sunk, and four sailors captured.

 

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