Badly mauled by the superior air and ground fire power of the Sri Lankan armed forces, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have offered to enter into peace talks if the government forces stop the current offensive.
"The LTTE is ready for talks. However, the opportunities for resuming the talks will be much stronger when the Sri Lankan government ceases its military attacks and all the truce articles are fully respected and implemented," the LTTE's political commissar SP Tamilselvan told Reuters in an e-mail interview on Tuesday.
Warning of mayhem if the government did not suspend military operations and start talking now, Tamilselvan said: "If the Sri Lankan armed forces continue with their cruel war all over the Tamil homeland, and continue to put the people in the Tamil homeland in great misery, I do believe that the spread of the war to all parts of the island will be unavoidable."
"I am afraid there is a possibility that this will turn into a full scale war," he warned.
War going badly for LTTE
The LTTE's willingness to talk now shows that it has been outgunned on the ground and overpowered by the aerial offensive of the government forces.
It has had to vacate Mavil Aaru, Mutur town, and Sampur in Trincomalee district, and Muhamalai and Kayts in the Jaffna district.
The Sri Lankan forces are now pounding the LTTE in Kilaly and Palai in Thenmarachchy, and its artillery base in Pooneryn is being bombed from the air.
The army has advanced more than a kilometre in the Thenmarachchi area south of Muhamalai.
The unannounced plan seems to be to take Elephant Pass and threaten Kilinochchi where the LTTE has its headquarters.
Indeed, the LTTE has saved its artillery pieces by tactical withdrawals. The government itself claims to have destroyed only one gun so far.
But the LTTE has had no answer for the Army's Multi-Barrel Rocket Launchers (MBRLs) and the Kfir supersonic fighters and bombers.
The LTTE has no anti-aircraft guns or missiles now.
It also could not match the army's numbers and equipment on the ground.
The army used tanks and APCs, which the LTTE did not have.