Sri Lanka: New War Starts Quietly


December 7, 2005: The army believes that the LTTE is not strong enough to resume a full scale war. That's because army intelligence estimates find only 4-5,000 trained combat personnel, with an equal number of teenage recruits and older volunteers who cannot fight. Current army strength is about 120,000.

December 6, 2005: Seven more soldiers were killed by a command operated mine in the northeast. In the last two weeks, 23 soldiers have died in attacks by the LTTE.

December 4, 2005: In the northeast, two senior LTTE commanders, and two civilians died in an attack blamed on army intelligence operatives. But the government says the attackers were from a rebel LTTE faction. Also in the northeast, seven soldiers were killed in an attack, which the LTTE denied responsibility for.

December 3, 2005: In eastern Sri Lanka, religious violence left one Tamil (who are Hindu) and one Moslem dead.

December 1, 2005: A new commander, Major General Sarath Fonseka, has been appointed as commander of the army. Fonseka is known as an aggressive combat commander, who believes that the LTTE can be beaten militarily.


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