Sri Lanka: An Inconvenient Truth


October 19, 2007: The chaos remains in eastern Sri Lanka, where the LTTE has been defeated, but replaced by a number of criminal gangs, composed of former LTTE gunmen and local opportunists. The government does not want to crack down too hard on the gangs, not yet, anyway, lest the criminals decide to become Tamil guerillas. There are already some of those in the east, the remnants of the LTTE force that was largely, but not completely, wiped out after a three year campaign. Fighting continues to intensify in the north, where the last LTTE stronghold is. Between that, and continued unrest in the east, there are now several hundred casualties a week. The LTTE may be losing, but they are not defeated.

The air force, navy and diplomats continue to take apart the LTTE logistical system. The air force recon flights continue to find LTTE supply operations, and destroy them with air raids every few days. The navy is now going after LTTE coastal sea movements, eliminating a key form of transportation in the north. Sri Lankan diplomats have made many foreign nations aware of LTTE criminal enterprises, which raise money to buy weapons and equipment for the LTTE gunmen in Sri Lanka. Last week, for example, police in New York City arrested several LTTE members who had been planning a major credit card and ATM fraud. The scheme had originated in the British Tamil community.

The government continues to offer peace negotiations, and the LTTE continues to refuse. That's because the government will only consider autonomy for Tamil majority areas, and the LTTE is still holding out for partitioning the island. But as LTTE losses continue, week, by week, the choice will eventually be endless low level violence, or some kind of negotiated settlement.


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