Sri Lanka: Cell Phone Service a Sign of Victory

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December19, 2006: The daily artillery and mortar fire in the northern and southern LTTE enclaves, but only in the east is there a lot of infantry action. The government is confident enough in its position to allow the mobile phone companies to restore service in northern Sri Lanka. This service was ordered shut down after August 11, when fighting with the LTTE resumed. Since then, the LTTE has suffered a string of defeats.

December 18, 2006: The LTTE kidnapped (or "recruited") twenty-four 16-17 year old Tamil students in eastern Sri Lanka. All but three of those taken were girls, which the LTTE uses as light infantry or suicide bombers. The LTTE has promised to stop this sort of thing, but they are suffering more and more desertions, and are desperate to maintain their armed strength.

December 17, 2006: Fighting in the east has left over 300 dead in the last week, including 28 soldiers, over a hundred LTTE, and the rest civilians or LTTE dissidents. The LTTE are in danger of losing control of Tamil areas in the east, mainly because they are cut off from larger LTTE forces in the north. The LTTE appears to be trying to prevent Tamil civilians from fleeing areas they control in eastern Sri Lanka. The LTTE can use civilians as human shields for their artillery positions, or base camps for their fighters.

December 16, 2006: Indian police are turning up more weapons, apparently meant for the LTTE in Sri Lanka. The LTTE can't get artillery ammo from Indian sources (India uses different calibers), but can obtain explosives, small arms ammo and rockets. The fighting in eastern Sri Lanka has increased as government forces and rebels within the LTTE attack the LTTE itself. Thousands of civilians are fleeing the fighting, and increasing LTTE efforts to kidnap Tamil teenagers, and turn them into gunmen.

December 15, 2006: In the east, a clash between hard line and reform (Karuna) LTTE factions led to the death of twenty hard line fighters, and the capture of a dozen teenage (13-16 years old) recruits. The kids were disarmed and released.

 

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