Monday, November 17, 2008

SCENARIOS-Where is Sri Lanka's war heading?

By C. Bryson Hull

COLOMBO, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's military this weekend took control of the entire western coast for the first time since 1993, sparking renewed talk that President Mahinda Rajapaksa will use the boost to call an early parliamentary election.

Here are some scenarios about what could happen next in one of Asia's longest-running insurgencies:

EARLY ELECTIONS: With the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) losing ground and the military riding high, Rajapaksa would have morale and plenty of political capital on his side if he called an early parliamentary election. Three provincial council elections are due by April. He has the option to hold a parliamentary vote and even a presidential one at the same time as those. No one but the president, who on Monday reached the halfway mark in a six-year term, knows when, how or if early polls will happen. He is not saying. Full text