Sri Lanka: It's All Or Nothing Time

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May 29, 2007: The army believes it has restricted the LTTE to pockets of rebel control in the east and north. While there are more rebels in the north, the region is a a hodge podge of pockets controlled by the government or the LTTE. But at the same time, the government believes the LTTE is gathering as many fighters as it can, to launch a major offensive to drive the government out of the Jaffna peninsula in the north. The LTTE has not got many other options. It's all or nothing time.

May 28, 2007: Outside the capital, near a military base, a roadside bomb went off, killing seven civilians. The LTTE denied responsibility. Meanwhile, French police have shared what they know about the LTTE international fund raising effort, which involves extortion and criminal activity. As a result, many other countries are identifying and arresting LTTE supporters involved in criminal activity. This is cutting off the supply of foreign cash that has long sustained the LTTE.

May 27, 2007: In the last few days, the army has found two LTTE suicide bomb boats in the east. Tips from locals led the soldiers to the boats before they could be used.

May 26, 2007: In the east, six teen age girls (age 14-17) who had been conscripted by the LTTE, escaped from their camp and made it to a nearby army unit and surrendered.

May 24, 2007: Outside the capital, a roadside bomb struck a military bus, killing one soldier and wounding four (plus three civilians.) In the north, LTTE attacked a naval base, killing ten sailors, but losing 18 of their own, and four boats. The rebels got away with two anti-aircraft guns.

May 23, 2007: In the east, army sweeps are uncovering LTTE ammo and weapons storage areas. Three LTTE gunmen were killed, most have fled by sea (to the northern LTTE areas) or blended into the civilian population. In the north, there was artillery fire and skirmishing, but only two LTTE dead, but many wounded on both sides.

 

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