Sri Lanka: Bloody Stalemate Hurts the Rebels

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November21, 2006: The death toll for this year is over 3,000, and the renewed war has settled down to a battle for supply lines. The navy and air force have become much more aggressive and effective at finding and destroying the LTTE boats bringing in weapons and munitions. The LTTE has also refused calls for renewed peace talks. This is partly because there is still a split within the LTTE, between those who want to fight on for a partition of the island, versus those who will settle for Tamil autonomy. The government takes advantage of this by supporting the LTTE moderates. The air force has been bombing LTTE land bases, while the LTTE has responded by forcing more civilians to live in and around these bases, so that, when the bases are hit, the dead civilians can be used for propaganda purposes. However, this time around, LTTE propaganda is much less effective. The LTTE has been labeled a terrorist organizations in most parts of the world, making it more difficult to raise, or extort, money from expatriate Tamils. The ground war is still stalled, with neither side willing to risk the heavy casualties that a major ground offensive would entail. The land fighting remains one of artillery fire, ambushes and trying to cut supply lines to government bases in the largely Tamil north.

 

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