Sri Lanka: Rebels Ready a Hail Mary Play

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July 20, 2007: While the LTTE is largely defeated in the east, they have made good their promise to wage a terror campaign. On the 17th, an LTTE assassin murdered the chief administrator of the east. More such killings can be expected. Most of the organized killing is now in the north, where fighting grows more common and intense, and there are now several hundred casualties a week. In the north, the Tamil population is increasingly demoralized. There is growing resistance to LTTE demands for people (at least one adult per family) for combat or support duties. There's not much else to take, because the economy in the north has been wrecked by the war. The majority of the population is living off foreign aid, which the LTTE taxes as well. Meanwhile, LTTE fundraising efforts (both voluntary and compulsory) among expatriate Sri Lankan Tamils are being destroyed by local law enforcement. Now that the LTTE is considered a terrorist organization in most parts of the world, raising money for them is considered illegal. Thus, LTTE income has dropped from about a quarter billion dollars annually a few years back, to under $10 million a month currently.

The LTTE refuses to negotiate with the Sri Lankan government, and apparently hopes that some spectacular commando operation will turn things around for them. That seems unlikely, but the LTTE has no option but to try. In the last three decades, nearly 70,000 have died in this war, and at least a few thousand more may die before it's over.

 

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