So far this year, the LTTE have
lost nearly 4,000 fighters (killed, captured, deserted). The army has suffered
over 300 dead, and over a thousand wounded. There are also several hundred
deserters, but as many, or more, deserters return these days. The army has
150,000 troops, with about half of them covering over 100 kilometers of front
line up north. Most of the LTTE fighters man bunkers along that front line. But
the thing that really keeps the army from just marching into LTTE territory is
the existence of several hundred experienced LTTE fighters, who have been able
to defeat the soldiers consistently in the past. This reserve force rushes in
whenever the army advances too far, and inflicts lots of casualties.
the army will have to take on this elite force, but the strategy is to use
artillery and air power to pick apart the LTTE front line force to the point
where the elite reserve force will have to be either broken up to man the front
line bunkers, or be forced back to a small bit of territory that can be blown
to bits with artillery and bombs. The army strategy is based on the fact that
the trends are going against the LTTE. The rebels are getting less money, less
ammo, and are losing more fighters each month, with no source of replacements
or reinforcements. Tamil civilians are often being forced to man the bunkers
along the front line. Threats against the families of these reluctant warriors
keeps them on the job.
main reason for this army strategy is to minimize their own casualties. In the
last 25 years, over 70,000 Sri Lankans have died in the war, and the population
is tired of it. So are the troops. Thus the generals are using tactics that are
successful, but keep soldier casualties down. The army monitors the LTTE with
their long range patrols, that sneak about in LTTE controlled territory. Based
on this, it is believed that the LTTE in the north will collapse by the end of
the year. The LTTE has admitted to some 20,000 dead, through the end of 2007.
Have another 4,000 died in the last five months? There is some doubt, but the
LTTE have been taking a beating. Journalists have seen dozens of captured LTTE
bunkers, and several LTTE towns have been captured. There is movement, and it's
going against the LTTE.
east, there are still several dozen casualties a month from several hundred
LTTE fighters who are still in the area. This is seen as a foretaste of what's
going to happen once LTTE control collapses in the north. Diehard LTTE fighters
can be expected to fight on for years.
2008: LTTE terrorist set off a bomb on a
commuter train near the capital, killing nine and wounding over 70. The
government fears that the LTTE may shift to terror attacks in government
controlled territory. So far, the LTTE has not been able to get a lot of
terrorists into action, most of the more skilled LTTE operatives needed to hold
the line in the north.