Small clashes continue in
the north, causing several dozen casualties a day. The LTTE continues to lose
support among the Tamil population. As a result, there are more LTTE terror
attacks against Tamils, in an effort to restore discipline. But this has just
led to more Tamils passing information to the government. This, for example,
resulted in air force bombers hitting an underground munitions storage depot in
the northeast. The resulting secondary explosions were large, loud and spectacular.
This is a big deal, because the navy has cut LTTE munitions imports
considerably. That, plus the increasing attacks on munitions already in hand,
has resulted in far less artillery and mortar fire from the LTTE in the north,
and fewer bombs being used for ambushes or terror attacks.
The LTTE now admits that it is fighting a defensive
war, and trying to hold on to the territory is still controls in the north. The
army does not want to make a major push, and incur thousands of casualties.
Instead, pressure is kept on the LTTE, in the hope that rebel morale will
continue to slide, and ultimately result in LTTE collapse, or the rebels will
agree to resume negotiations.
September 19, 2007: Police in the capital
arrested two suspected LTTE terrorists, and found a dozen bombs that had
apparently been smuggled into the city and hidden in a building. The LTTE has
been trying to organize a major terror campaign in the capital, in order to
demoralize the armed forces.
September 16, 2007: Government officials accuse
Norway and Eritrea of aiding the LTTE weapons smuggling effort. Eritrean ports
tolerate all sorts of shading shipping activities, and the Norwegians have had
close relationships with the LTTE, as part of an effort to get the rebels to
negotiate a peace deal with the government. That has led to many Sri Lankans
believing the Norwegians favored the LTTE. Government efforts to halt
LTTE arms smuggling has brought unwelcome publicity to ports in places like
Cambodia, where gunrunners can bribe local officials to ignore the illegal
shipping of weapons.