A blood-splattered year
This year has been the most violent in recent memory.
Till July 10, there were over 5,700 casualties as against 4,369 for the whole of 2007. The bulk of these casualties have been LTTE cadres. If Sri Lankan government sources are to be believed, around two-thirds of the LTTE forces have been eliminated.
Cornered, the LTTE has been sending out peace signals, while maintaining a defiant public posture. LTTE sympathisers have been petitioning the international community to pressurise the Sri Lankan government to come to the negotiating table.
Images: The fall of Kilinochchi
Their recent offer of ceasefire from July 26 to August 4 is another way of putting international pressure on the Sri Lankan government to stop the offensive.
If the fighting continues, the LTTE will be forced to retreat to Wanni jungles and fight a protracted guerrilla war, while launching terrorist attacks across Sri Lanka.
Image: Soldiers inspect the spot where Highways Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle was assassinated in a suicide bomb attack blamed on Tamil Tiger guerrillas in Weliveriya, some 30 Kms from Colombo, on April 6, 2008.
Also Read: Why Sri Lankan women attach more importance to their hair than to their clothes