and terrorism if it was defeated militarily (which seems increasingly likely).
This threat is supposed to persuade the government to agree to peace talks
without the LTTE disarming. The government declined and insisted that the
rebels had to disarm before there could be any negotiations. Previous peace
talks and ceasefires failed because the LTTE refused to abide by the
agreements, and the government refuses to go through that again.
never had majority support in the Tamil community. The last time elections were
held in Tamil majority areas (the north, and along the east coast), pro-LTTE
parties only received about a third of the vote. Subsequently, the LTTE took
control using terror and force to get the majority of Tamils to obey. This
ruthless approach worked for a while, as the LTTE defeated government forces.
But the Tamils are outnumbered more than four to one in Sri Lanka, and the
majority learned to deal with the terror tactics and are now tearing the LTTE
fighting forces apart. There are still factions within the Tamil community that
support terrorism and continued fighting for a partitioning of the island. But
most Tamils have had enough, meaning that the LTTE is about to become another
lost cause that a few diehards are still willing to kill and die for until the
surviving LTTE zealots are killed or die of old age.
2008: The monsoon rains have stopped, but there is still a lot of flooding, and
LTTE minefields have shifted because of all the mud. The army is rebuilding
washed out roads and bridges, and dealing with the minefields, so that the army
can put more pressure on the LTTE defenses (lines of bunkers, often held by
newly conscripted, and poorly trained, Tamil teenagers.)
2008: The 59th division continues its advance up the east coast, and are now 10
kilometers south of the main LTTE held town on the northeast coast, Mullaitivu.
2008: Troops captured the town of Kokavil, which has been held by the LTTE for
18 years. Kokavil is 20 kilometers from the LTTE capital of Kilinochchi. Troops
are advancing on Kilinochchi from three sides, and are trying to surround it,
rather than make a costly frontal assault.
2008: The LTTE's annual Heroes' Day celebration backfired this year, because of
the Islamic terrorist attacks in Mumbai. The LTTE likes to play up the
sacrifice of its hundreds of suicide bombers (the greatest heroes in their
pantheon), one of whom killed an Indian prime minister two decades ago.
Normally, the LTTE gets away with this in southern India (which is more
enthusiastic about Tamil separatism in Sri Lanka, than about dead prime
ministers from northern India) and overseas (where most of the expatriate Sri
Lankans are Tamils, and the foreigners buy into the LTTE propaganda about just
being a bunch of freedom fighters). But this year, the ongoing Mumbai terrorist
atrocities put the spotlight on exactly what the LTTE heroes are, and Heroes
Day turned into a PR disaster.
2008: Units of the 57th and 58th divisions inched closer to the LTTE capital of
Kilinochchi, and withstood an LTTE counter-attack. Over the last few days,
there have been nearly five hundred casualties, most of them suffered by the
attacking LTTE fighters. The army quickly recovered and continued moving
towards the LTTE held town.
2008: In Paris, a thousand anti-LTTE demonstrators were confronted by a few
dozen pro-LTTE people intent on disrupting the event. The pro-LTTE group was
forced to retreat, and the demonstrators went on to denounce LTTE use of
violence and terror in Sri Lanka and among expatriate Tamils.
2008: In the east, the TMVP (Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal) party represents
that LTTE members who broke with the
LTTE over the last few years, and aided the government in retaking control of
the east coast last year. But there are still LTTE supporters in the east,
along with factions in the TMVP that are fighting each other. Elections were
held, which the TMVP won, but there are a lot of people with guns, and grudges,
in the east, and the crime rate is several times the national average.
The LTTE has now made it clear that it would resort to guerilla warfare