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The Colombo Crisis

Chandrika's new draconian laws and an arms-buying spree may not be enough to halt the LTTE

The Colombo Crisis
The Colombo Crisis
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Coming from the head of state, it was a remark that spoke volumes about the acute threat Colombo is facing. When Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga met opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe to brief him on the military situation in the Jaffna peninsula, she had to confess that "the situation is critical". Indeed, since April 21, when Tamil separatist rebels captured the strategically crucial Elephant Pass military complex-the gateway to the peninsula-the island nation is facing an unprecedented military and political crisis. For, since then, the rebels have made rapid gains, moving further north and raising fears about the safety of about 40,000 government troops trapped in the region.

"The big question is whether the army can hold Jaffna when 10,000 troops couldn’t defend a crucial garrison from an attack force of no more than 4,000," says Iqbal Athas, defence correspondent for the Sunday Times. In the ensuing public outcry, demands were made that the government ask for foreign military assistance and put the country on a war footing....

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