In the last four months, the government believes it has killed at least
541 LTTE rebels, and wounded many more. The military lost 44 dead, and nearly a
hundred civilians are believed to have been killed as well. Currently, there
are several dozen casualties a day from the skirmishing between army and LTTE
forces. The air force has become more and more successful at locating, and
bombing, LTTE camps and facilities (for training, ammo storage and weapons
repair). The army is hoping there will be a sharp increase in desertions from
the LTTE forces, and that the LTTE can be destroyed without a lot of bloody
ground fighting. So far, that strategy appears to be working, with the LTTE too
weak to launch an offensive of their own.
Between 1983 and the 2002 ceasefire, 65,000 died in
the Tamil rebellion. Since 2002, when the ceasefire fell apart, another 5,000
have died. The LTTE still insists on partitioning the island, to give the Tamil
minority (about 18 percent of the population) their own country. The majority refuses to allow this, and is
willing to fight to the end to crush the LTTE.
May 21, 2007:
The LTTE has refused to have peace talks with the government unless
there is a ceasefire first. The LTTE have been taking a beating in the last
year, and is dealing with internal dissent as well. The LTTE needs a ceasefire
May 20, 2007:
Eleven Indian fishermen were released after being held captive by the
LTTE for over two months. Their fishing boat had been taken by the LTTE, and
apparently used to smuggle weapons into Sri Lanka.
May 18, 2007:
After a twelve hour standoff, the coast guard of the Maldive Islands
sunk a boat carrying weapons and ammo for the LTTE. The boat was headed for
nearby Sri Lanka.