Some 330 kilometers north of the capital, the
army offensive has stalled about two kilometers outside the LTTE capital of Kilinochchi.
To the east and west, troops continue to advance along the coasts. So far this
year, the LTTE has lost about 7,500 dead, and the army about 750. Nearly a
quarter million civilians have fled the fighting, or areas controlled by the
LTTE (to escape conscription of their men and teenagers into the LTTE combat
forces.) The army is apparently taking the path of least resistance, advancing
where the opposition is weakest, while using their artillery and air power to
hit the growing concentrations of LTTE fighters around Kilinochchi.
In the southern India state of Tamil
Nadu (where Sri Lankan Tamils originally came from), local politicians have
decided to back the LTTE big time. This is mainly because the plight of the
many Tamil refugees, from the fighting in Sri Lanka, is a hot topic with the
Tamil Nadu media. The current head of the Tamil Nadu government has long been
pro-LTTE, and is using Tamil nationalism to consolidate his political power in
Tamil Nadu. But efforts to force the Indian government to shift their support
to the LTTE will fail. It's all political theater. The LTTE is calling in all
its political favors in a desperate effort to stop the Sri Lankan military
offensive. But nothing appears capable of halting the campaign, and the LTTE is
doomed. It's only a matter of time (weeks or months).
In two recent cases, nearly 500 pounds
of explosives disappeared from a police warehouse. It's suspected that corrupt
police are selling the explosives to terrorists, or incompetent police can't
guard a warehouse. Either way, the heat is on for an investigation and some
changes. Corrupt cops have long been a problem.
The army commando patrols into LTTE
territory continue to cause casualties and lower morale for the rebels. But the
main benefit of the patrols is information. For example, the patrols are
finding sites where the LTTE is building new bunker lines, and getting the data
to the air force, which then attacks the location, disrupting the construction,
and damaging construction equipment.
October 14, 2008: In the north, police found six pounds of
explosives and detonators in the offices of a UN affiliated NGO. An employee of
the NGO was arrested in connection with the explosives find.
October 13, 2008: In a tourist area 150 kilometers east of the
capital, police arrested a Tamil school teacher, who was caught with two ounces
of military explosive and a detonator.
October 9, 2008: Outside the capital, a woman suicide bomber
ran towards a convoy carrying the Minister of Agriculture and detonated her
explosives. She died, as did one person in the convoy, while six people in the
convoy were wounded. The minister survived. The LTTE did not claim
responsibility, but no one else on the island uses these tactics.