Sri Lanka: Bold And Desperate


November 3,2008: The LTTE is putting its last reserves of trained fighters into the defense of Kilinochchi. Casualties are increasing, as is LTTE pressure on its allies in southern India (Tamil Nadu, the original homeland of the Sri Lankan Tamils) to get India to force the Sri Lankans to stop their military operations against the LTTE. This is essential if the LTTE is to survive as a viable separatist organization. If the LTTE government in northern Sri Lanka is destroyed, the LTTE leadership will be driven into exile, and become just another expatriate terrorist group. Such organizations have come on hard times since September 11, 2001, and face eventual extinction because of international counter-terrorism efforts. Thus the LTTE is fighting for its very survival. Right now, the LTTE has weather on its side. The monsoon rains have begun and will continue for another month or so. The constant rain makes the government air force less effective, and slows army operations and supply movements (over the many dirt roads leading to combat units.) The army is advancing up the coasts, while it is stalled in front of Kilinochchi, which is apparently now defended by the LTTE best fighters. Political efforts to get India to intervene are noisy but hopeless.

The army apparently suffered over 2,000 casualties in October, based on informal reports coming back from the front, and the sudden lack of official casualty reports. While the army is still advancing on the coasts, the monsoon rains and stiffer resistance has halted movement in the center, where the forests, and the LTTE capital of Kilinochchi, are located. The army still believes that it will have crushed the LTTE by the end of the year, but wants to limit their casualties while carrying that out.

November 2, 2008: The navy encountered about twenty LTTE boats off the northwest coast, sank four of them, and killed at least 16 LTTE fighters.  The rest of the boats scattered, most back to India.  The LTTE supply situation is desperate because of clashes like this. At a refugee center some 165 kilometers north of the capital, police arrested 93 Tamils on suspicion of terrorist activity. There has been a big increase in LTTE terrorist activity, apparently in an effort to halt the army offensive on the north. The reasoning here is that, if the LTTE can pull off more terror attacks in the south, the government will put more restrictions on the Tamil civilians, and this will enable the LTTE to make a more convincing call for India to intervene and stop the Sri Lankan army from destroying the LTTE armed forces and government in northern Sri Lanka. This is a long shot and pretty desperate, but boldness has enabled the LTTE to get where it is today, so why change.

November 1, 2008: The army captured the village of Nachchikuda, on the northwestern coast of Sri Lanka. This coastal village was used as a base for the "Sea Tigers" (smuggling and suicide boat bombers).

October 29, 2008: LTTE terrorists in the east killed four Tamils belonging to a pro-government militia.

October 28, 2008: The LTTE used its air force (one or two single-engine commercial aircraft) to bomb an army base 310 kilometers northwest of the capital, and a power plant just outside the capital. The army base attacks did little damage, but the power plant attacks started a fire that caused the plant to shut down, and black out parts of the capital. The new radar system spotted the two LTTE aircraft, but a Chinese made F-7 jet sent up to shoot down the LTTE aircraft, was unable to get a target lock with its heat seeking missiles, and the LTTE aircraft escaped to their jungle air strip. The damage to the power plant reduced its electrical output by 40 percent, and will take several months to repair. There will be no electrical shortages, as during the monsoons, the hydroelectric system is operating at peak capacity.


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