The air force has shifted most of its attacks to the northeast, where
the next, and final, campaign against the LTTE will take place over the next
few months. In the last sixteen months of fighting, over 4,000 have died. The
violence has intensified over the last few months, but the casualties have
remained fairly low. The LTTE is using more terror attacks, apparently because
its combat forces are less numerous and reliable. The government fears that, in
the end, the LTTE hard core will head for the hills, and spend years harassing
the police and the public as political bandits.
April 1, 2007:
French police arrested 17 LTTE fund raisers. France has been cracking
down on LTTE money raising efforts lately, especially after it got out that the
LTTE used extortion and violence to encourage donations. Apparently each Sri
Lankan Tamil family in France was expected to give $2,700 a year, and business
owners about three times that. The LTTE men who collected the money (one way or
another) were allowed to keep 20 percent for their efforts. There are some
70,000 Sri Lankan Tamils in France. That means the LTTE was netting up to $30
million a year, or more, from France
March 30, 2007:
A Malaysian aeronautics school admitted training Tamils, from LTTE
controlled areas, on how to fly and maintain light aircraft. LTTE personnel
also received training in Europe, and collected the money, needed to buy the
single engine aircraft, there.
Meanwhile, India is cracking down on LTTE weapons smuggling. To that
end, police found a cache of 2,000 explosives detonators hidden on the coast,
apparently in preparation for sea movement to LTTE held areas in Sri Lanka.
March 29, 2007:
The navy sank three LTTE supply boats off the northeast coast, leaving
at least twenty rebels dead.
March 28, 2007:
Soldiers in the east continue to find and capture LTTE strongholds. The
rebels are running out of bases, and most of their gunmen are running around
with little organization, leadership or support.
March 27, 2007:
An LTTE suicide bomber tried to drive an explosives laden tractor into
an army base in eastern Sri Lanka. He was stopped at the gate, but detonated
the explosives, killing himself and eight others.
March 26, 2007:
The LTTE used a single engine civilian aircraft to drop two small bombs
on the main military air base (adjacent to the nations only international
airport) at night. Three airmen were killed. and sixteen wounded. No warplanes
were damaged, thus making the attack a failure (except in a propaganda sense.)
In 2001, LTTE commandos attacked this base and destroyed one of the air force's
MiG-27 fighter-bombers on the ground. This was the first time the LTTE risked their few aircraft in a combat
mission. Normally, they use these aircraft to smuggle senior leaders in and out
of the country, as well as to bring in vital supply items (like cash). Using
their aircraft means the LTTE is really desperate.