Sri Lanka: Rebels Continue to Bleed


November 9, 2007: In the last month, the armed forces has suffered 330 casualties. At least a hundred civilians were killed or injured, along with over 500 LTTE fighters. Some weeks are very intense, while others see hardly any activity. Fighting has increased in the north, with over a hundred dead, most of them LTTE, in the past few days.

November 8, 2007: Some LTTE groups assert that Colonel Karuna's travel documents, and those for his family, were legal, and arranged for by British officials. But British immigration authorities were not alerted, and had no record of the documents issued to Karuna under a false name. Or so the story goes. This is getting interesting.

November 7, 2007: The LTTE ordered three days of morning for their dead leader, but many overseas Tamils ignored it. This shows how LTTE control over Tamil refugees abroad is weakening.

November 6, 2007: LTTE efforts to block Colonel Karunas expulsion from Britain, and have him charged with war crimes, backfired when LTTE lawyers pointed out that Karuna, a former senior LTTE military leader, could easily implicate other LTTE commanders, as part of his defense.

November 5, 2007: Increasing international attention to LTTE fund raising and weapons smuggling is unraveling the clandestine organization that has been carrying out all of this. Crime, and shaking down the 700,000 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees overseas, has raised over $200 million a year for the LTTE. About a third of that went for weapons, and the costs of smuggling them into Sri Lanka. But the navy has halted much of the smuggling, and foreign intelligence agencies now have the LTTE weapons buyers and fundraisers under investigation and prosecution.

November 4, 2007: Fearing LTTE retaliation for the death of their political leader, the army increased security around the capital. LTTE has used terror attacks and assassinations in the past to get the government's attention.

November 3, 2007: The air force continued to hit key LTTE targets in the north, especially ammo dumps and training camps. While many of the recon aircraft were destroyed in last months raid, the army has been increasingly successful with its long range recon patrols. These operations will often find well camouflaged targets the air reconnaissance misses.

November 2, 2007: An air strike killed LTTE political leader S. P. Tamilselvan, and five lesser commanders. In Britain, police arrested LTTE dissident leader "Colonel Karuna" (Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan). Formerly the leader of LTTE forces in eastern Sri Lanka, Karuna was backed by the government in his rebellion against the LTTE. But in the aftermath of the LTTE loss of control in eastern Sril Lanka, Karuna himself felt threatened by further factional fighting, and fled with his family to Britain. Karuna entered Britain illegally, using false documents. His wife and children were smuggled in last Summer, and had claimed political asylum. Many LTTE leaders have smuggled their families into Europe for safe keeping. European governments rarely expel those who illegally enter, and offer generous social welfare benefits to those who make it in.


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