- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent ‘scared’
- Ukraine will compete in Sochi Paralympics despite Crimea conflict
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
- U.N. warns of Muslim ‘cleansing’ in Central African Republic
- Senate blocks change to military sex assault cases
- Drug mix may have cured child born with HIV, doctors say
- De Blasio’s wife irks former mansion chef with ‘servant’ remark
- Russia’s neighbors shiver amid Putin’s Cold War moves in Ukraine
- New SAT: The essay portion is to become optional
Sri Lanka’s war seen far from over
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka
The government has won a major battle this week, but the fighting is far from over in one of the world’s longest, bloodiest civil wars.
Analysts say that the Sri Lankan military’s capture of the last Tamil Tiger rebel stronghold in eastern Sri Lanka is a major boost for the government, but one that could snare thousands of soldiers in a war of attrition.
The rebels, from the minority Tamil community, appear to have melted away from an area of dense jungle where troops said they had won a battle giving them control of the Eastern Province, an area of about 3,720 square miles considered the rebels’ last major stronghold in the region.
But the rebels retain power in the country’s north and can now resort to hit-and-run attacks in the east, despite losing both the battle near the lagoon town of Batticaloa and the provincial territory they formerly controlled, analysts said.
“It was a well-planned operation executed with minimum casualties,” retired Brig. Gen. Vipul Boteju said of the military advance, which involved months of aerial bombardments and ground attacks in the Thoppigala jungle.
“Troop morale is very high after this success, but holding the newly captured areas will require more men,” he said.
The government had control of the Eastern Province for the first time in over a decade, but there was still potential for trouble, the retired general said.
This is because captured territory needs to be consolidated, but the remaining rebels in the area have become a more elusive, almost invisible enemy.
“It will be difficult to prevent infiltration and hit-and-run attacks,” he said. “The [troop] numbers must be increased in the next three to four months or else there will be problems.”
Defense analyst Namal Perera also said the military success had created new problems for the government.
“Now that the entire Eastern Province is under government control, it must be responsible for law and order there,” Mr. Perera said.
That means more manpower to hold the newly controlled territory, he said.
By Tammy Bruce
- Putin has transformed Russian army into a lean, mean fighting machine
- Bill Clinton cashes in on struggling nonprofit hospital
- Unemployment insurance vote could happen next week
- DELAY: A revolution for the Constitution
- PRUDEN: Likening Putin to Hitler on Ukraine shows Hillary's shaky grasp of history
- BRUCE: Obama's bizarre immigration rules
- IRS to turn over Lerner emails in tea party targeting probe
- Russias Putin nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
- R-S-P-E-C-T: Find out what it means for Obama
- Golden Hammer: Feds spend millions to train executives train in luxury
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again