Sri Lanka: All Quiet on the Eastern Front


July 5, 2007: Unable to muster much battlefield manpower, the LTTE is relying more on terrorism and diplomacy. LTTE leaders are pressuring Tamil politicians in southern India (where Tamils have a large presence) to support Tamils in Sri Lanka. In other words, the LTTE wants India to stop cooperating with the Sri Lankan navy in stopping LTTE arms shipments. Today, the LTTE made a big deal out of honoring the 322 suicide bombers who have died so far. Some 75 percent of these "martyrs" were killed at sea, while trying to smuggle arms in, or while attacking navy ships. In the past year, 61 LTTE suicide bombers were used. Meanwhile, the LTTE is applying more pressure to Tamils in Sri Lanka. This includes the resumption of conscripting teenagers for combat duty. In the last five months, 300 LTTE fighters have been killed in the east. Even more have surrendered, and thousands have simply gone back to being civilians. The war in the north is more one of terrorism and artillery bombardments. But soon, the army and air force will be able to shift forces from the east to the north. This will mean a major campaign against the LTTE, in the north, where they have always been strongest.

July 4, 2007: The government believes they have destroyed organized LTTE resistance in the east. Government control of the region is being restored, town by town and district by district. Elections are to be held in the east, although there is fear that Colonel Karuna, the leader of the breakaway LTTE faction in the east, might try to force voters to support him as provincial governor. Many Tamils in the east favor a less militant leader than Karuna.

July 3, 2007: Police arrested a former air force officer, an airman and four police officers, and charged them with kidnapping Tamils in and around the capital. The Tamils were held for ransom. At least 140 Tamils have been kidnapped in the last year.

July 1, 2007: The army continues to sweep through LTTE base areas in the east. Weapons and ammo are being found, along with an underground hospital.

June 29, 2007: Roadside bombs are being used more frequently by the LTTE, making road movement by civilians and security forces slower, and more dangerous. Troops captured an LTTE truck bomb, loaded with half a ton of explosives. The LTTE is also becoming more violent against civilians who will not cooperate. While the economy is still growing, the latest quarter was 6.1 percent higher than a year ago, it is slowing because of the resumption of the war.


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