Sunday, April 5, 2009

Tamil Tigers fight on from the sea

EagleSpeak posted a lengthy piece yesterday about the recent encounter between Sri Lankan navy and those of the Tamil Tigers' sea forces. As the BBC also says, at least four Tamil Sea Tiger vessels out of a group of some ten were destroyed in an engagement at the start of the weekend, with at least 11 Sea Tigers killed by the government forces.

None of this is about piracy, per se, but it is about the continuing use of the seas as a warfront. For the last few months, the Sri Lankan government has been reporting that their assaults on Tamil strongholds in the north of the island nation were proving exceptionally succesful in pushing the Tigers - the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) - into a position of non-existence. Yet the Tigers seem to be fighting on.

Putting aside, for the moment, political considerations, it's easy to see how a group of people would find ways to defend what they see as their homeland. They are sterotypically waging a g guerrilla war, and the use of the seas is, in this case, a viable option in furthering their goals.

Pushed into a corner, anyone might fight with all they have. And while the LTTE are waging a political campaign, this does beg some questions about what pirates, such as in Somalia, might do should we ever begin to go ashore and deal with their havens in that region.

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