Sri Lanka: Grinding the Rebels Down


February23, 2007: The renewed war has left over 4,000 dead in the last fifteen months, compared to 130 in the three years before that (when the ceasefire was generally observed). There are nearly a quarter million refugees from the current round of fighting, and the LTTE is losing. The army is chasing down the remnants of the LTTE force that used to control most of eastern Sri Lanka. In the north, thousands of Tamils are fleeing LTTE territory to escape the recruiting campaign (that is taking most teenagers to be LTTE infantry). There are no spectacular battles, but the government has the edge, and the armed forces are taking the LTTE apart, a little bit every day. At this rate, the LTTE will be no more in a matter of months, unless the rebels can gather enough force for a few spectacular victories. That doesn't seem very likely.

February 21, 2007: The LTTE is telling its overseas fund raisers to get all the cash they can, because the military situation in Sri Lanka is really desperate. Raising money isn't as easy as it used to be, with the LTTE now officially a terrorist organizations in most countries where there are a lot of Sri Lankan Tamil immigrants. Many of these migrants have prospered, and now they are being pressured to mortgage their homes in order to provide large amounts of cash for the "final battle" in Sri Lanka.

February 18, 2007: The war continues to be one consisting mainly of air force bombers and army artillery hitting LTTE bunkers and artillery positions. The LTTE, with much less ammo (because of the more effective naval blockade), don't fire back much. But small teams of LTTE gunmen are still planting mines, and causing casualties to army patrols.

February 16, 2007: The navy continues to gain control of the waters off the northern coast. Two more LTTE boats were sunk by navy patrols, and the LTTE does not appear to have enough boats to sneak, or fight, their way through the blockade.


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