2008: The LTTE is declining and the
economy is growing. Despite the fighting in the north, and the occasional
terrorist bomb, tourism, and economic activity in general, are up nearly ten
percent over last year. The government needs the added tax revenues, because
over $1.5 billion has been spent on military operations so far this year. The
fighting has left over 4,000 dead so far this year, about 80 percent of the
them LTTE fighters. The army is fighting a cautious war, using its greater
numbers and firepower to destroy the LTTE defensive positions, without exposing
itself to the kind of commando type attacks the LTTE has used so often in the
past. The LTTE still controls over 300,000 civilians in the north, but is
having to conscript more of them to fight. Morale among the Tamil population in
LTTE territory is low. The LTTE leaders are willing to fight to the death, most
of their fellow Tamils are not.
2008: In the northwest, troops captured
another LTTE controlled town; Palampiddi Junction. After months of battering
LTTE bunkers and slowly moving into LTTE controlled territory, the army is
taking population centers and seriously reducing the population the LTTE
controls, and the urban areas they use to control the population.
2008: In the capital, an LTTE suicide
bomber on a motorbike attacked a police bus, killing ten people (eight of them
police) and wounding over 80. In the
east, a former LTTE official took office as chief minister of the eastern
province. For nearly two decades, until last year, the eastern province was run
by the LTTE. But the Tamils in the Eastern Province eventually broke with the
main LTTE leadership, based in the north, and formed a rebel faction. The
government aided the rebel LTTE faction, and offered most of the them amnesty
after the LTTE control over the eastern province was broken last year.
2008: In the northern port of Trincomalee,
an LTTE suicide bomber, using scuba gear, sunk a 250 foot long navy cargo ship,
that was being loaded with ammunition for army troops fighting along the coast.
The only casualty was the bomber, but the ship sank at the dock.
2008: In the north, the army is now
capturing LTTE held towns. Troops fought their way into Adampan this week,
after killing over a hundred LTTE fighters, and wounding or capturing several
hundred more. While the LTTE still have more determined gunmen, the army is
better trained and, increasingly, combat experienced. The army also has
artillery and air support, and knows how to use it.
east, the LTTE set off a bomb, killing ten. This was apparently an attempt to
disrupt the May 10th provincial elections, the first to be held in
14 years. The LTTE lost control of the area last year. LTTE members are still
active in the east, running a terror campaign against pro-government
politicians and activists. These LTTE groups have threatened to harm those who
vote, and in some villages and neighborhoods, half, or less, of the voters
2008: In Canada, legal proceedings against
LTTE fund raisers has caused the release of evidence collected by the police.
This includes LTTE documents admitting to raising money for military and terror
operations in Sri Lanka, both before and after the 2004 cease fire.