The government is planning for the post-LTTE world, when what's left of
the LTTE is expected to continue a terrorism campaign. Another 5,000 police are
being recruited, and counter-terrorism forces will be extended to the
grassroots level, to involve civilians as much as possible. The LTTE still has
members in the east, who went underground when the rebels lost control of the
area last year. These fellows are setting off bombs and murdering people. The
LTTE continues to sneak terrorists into non-Tamil parts of the country (most of
the interior and south).
in the north, combat is getting more intense. The military believes it has
killed over 1,600 LTTE fighters so far this year, and the overall casualty rate
is over a hundred dead and wounded a day. Troops are pushing beyond the LTTE
front lines. In one case, an artillery ammo storage bunker was captured. The LTTE
resistance is determined, but not skilled. The LTTE defenders take a beating,
then the survivors slip away to avoid capture. Many of the LTTE dead appear to
be teenagers. Right now, the fighting in Sri Lanka is the most intense in Asia,
even deadlier than what's going on in Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand or Afghanistan.
It's the big war, that's largely invisible to the outside world.
is apparently aware of how desperate their situation is, and is trying to
arrange a ceasefire, even offering to allow a plebiscite in their territory to
decide between autonomy and separatism. But the Sri Lankan government has vowed
to crush the LTTE, largely because the war has gone on for two decades and
killed over 70,000. No second act for the LTTE, as far as the Sinhalese, and
even many Tamils, are concerned. But there are still nearly 10,000 LTTE
fighters under arms, and this includes hundreds of elite commandos that have
not been seen for a while. Yes, it has gotten so bad the LTTE leaders cannot
even arrange suitable funerals for subordinates any more, but the LTTE is still
there, and still shooting. The army is better trained and led than it was six
years ago, when small numbers of LTTE fighters would push them back. There is
still the risk of embarrassing reversals, so the advance into LTTE territory
continues at a cautious pace.