“a huge bloodbath ahead, a catastrophe in the making”

January 4th, 2008 § 0 comments

Asia Times:

Sri Lanka’s long-dead ceasefire has been formally buried. The Lankan government announced its withdrawal from the 2002 ceasefire agreement on Wednesday, paving the way for a no-holds-barred fight between government forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Over 5,000 people have died in the past two years of “ceasefire”, taking the death toll since the war erupted in 1983 to around 70,000. On the ground, the ceasefire had ceased to exist since end-2005. But it continued to hold on paper.

Sources in the Lankan government told Asia Times Online that the government’s decision to call off the ceasefire at this juncture was prompted by the series of victories that the Lankan military has scored against the LTTE in recent months. “Emboldened by these military successes, the government has decided to push for a fight to the finish,” a Defense Ministry official said. “Military defeat of the LTTE seems within reach and the government would like to go for it,” he said.

“The military seems to believe its own propaganda,” said a Tamil political analyst who did not want to be named. “The LTTE will slip into guerrilla warfare and bleed the government, as it has done in the past.”

Labels: Sri Lanka

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