Sri Lanka: Come Die With Us


March 5, 2009: Troops are capturing many LTTE headquarters operations, along with computers, communications gear (like satellite phones) and many documents. Large quantities of foreign aid items were found in use by the LTTE. It was no secret that the foreign aid groups did not make a big effort to keep the LTTE from taking a share of the aid for civilians in LTTE controlled territory. Still, it was obvious to the soldiers that the LTTE relied heavily on the foreign aid to keep going. Also found were many photos and videos of LTTE leaders sharing happy moments with Tamil politicians from south India.

The army has three divisions (the 53rd, 58th and 59th) squeezing the remaining LTTE force. The army has to be careful in how it uses its artillery, because the LTTE has over 70,000 Tamil civilians with them as human shields. The LTTE is working world, and especially Indian, public opinion, in an effort to use the plight of their civilian hostages to get a ceasefire. But the Sri Lankan government, and Sri Lankan public opinion, will not go for it. Sri Lankans sense victory in this 25 year war, and want it to end on their terms. The army is moving cautiously, to try and extract as many civilians from the combat zone as possible before engaging LTTE gunmen. LTTE morale is weakening, with terrified civilians risking their lives to escape the LTTE guards. The Tamil civilians report LTTE leaders exhorting civilians to "come die with us (the LTTE fighters)." Few civilians seem interested.

March 3, 2009: The A-9 highway (from the center of the island to the northern tip) was officially opened to traffic for the first time in 24 years. Before, the LTTE had controlled portions of the A-9, and there was little traffic on the road. The army regained control of the entire A-9 two months ago.

In Pakistan, a dozen gunmen attacked minibuses carrying the Sri Lankan national cricket team. Six Pakistanis (including five police) were killed and five Sri Lankans injured. The gunmen got away, and no one took credit for the attack. However, one of the many Islamic terrorist groups in Pakistan appears responsible. Cricket is a huge sport in South Asia, and attacking players like this is big news in the region. The LTTE has denied any connection with the attack.

March 2, 2009: An army radar detected at least ten LTTE boats moving from the LTTE controlled territory before dawn. Army artillery fired on the boats and destroyed ten of them.

February 28, 2009: The LTTE only control 58 square kilometers of territory in the northeast.

February 27, 2009: Troops captured all of Puthukkudiriruppu, the last LTTE held town in the northeast. The army had been battling on the outskirts for over a week. The LTTE defended the town energetically. That was because, it turned out, the town contained lots of communications gear, including satellite dishes and what appeared to be several headquarters operations.


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