Tigers’ last Eastern bastion falls
THOPPIGALA: Security Forces advancing to liberate the Thoppigala area
from LTTE control dealt a mortal blow to the last line of Tiger
resistance when it captured the outfit’s main headquarters base last
morning releasing the grip on its Eastern stronghold.
The Security Forces are in a buoyant mood after capturing the nerve
centre of the LTTE in Thoppigala which is its last stronghold in the
East, Military Spokesman Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe said. “Troops
captured the last remaining main LTTE base in Thoppigala,” he added.
Advancing commandos were supported by armoured battalions and
engineering units backed by aerial cover from the Air Force.
The Security Forces are in full control over Narakamulla and
Tharavikulama areas where the LTTE leadership had its Eastern
headquarters and other installations.
“Troops have reached the main headquarters of the LTTE in Thoppigala
and assumed full control,” Brigadier Samarasinghe told the Daily News.
“Dealing a major blow to the Tiger hierarchy in the East, those
military operations bring all of eastern Sri Lanka under Government
control for the first time after 13 years,” the Army said in a
statement. “The victorious soldiers are presently clearing enemy
‘pockets’ scattered in the dense jungle and are pursuing the LTTE cadres
who are on the run,” the defence ministry said.
“A small number of Tiger cadres facing imminent defeat at the hands
of the soldiers are in hiding in the West of Thoppigala jungle while
troops are continuing their humanitarian mission,” he added.
The Brigadier said soldiers were also conducting clearing operations
in the captured areas of land mines and booby traps.
The Security Forces clearing the area recovered arms and vehicles
left behind and burnt by the fleeing Tigers.
They included two 120 mm mortar guns, a bowser, two double cabs, five
tractors with dry rations, five motorcycles and five Canter vans.
The Tigers had used the area as their main command and control
headquarters in the Eastern province.
Capturing the East was not just a battle to gain control over land
but a battle to restore humanity in the land which was engulfed by
terrorism of the LTTE.
The heroic soldiers completed their mission in the Eastern theatre
yesterday far ahead of the schedule by capturing the nerve centre of the
Thoppigala jungle or the Baron’s Cap after taking the control of
Narakamulla and Taravikulam Tiger camp complexes.
It ended the troops’ long journey braving all forms of terrorism and
criticism to achieve their noble humanitarian mission commenced on July
26 last year from Mavil Aru to restore water supply for 30,000 people in
the South of Trincomalee. They engaged in battles sans attractive titles
and foiled each and every threat posed by the LTTE in their bid to clear
the East from LTTE threats after liberating Mavil Aru sluice gates fully
on October 31.
They bravely faced the LTTE terror attack on Kattaparichchan, Muttur,
Toppur, Selvanagar and Mahindapura in the wee hours of August 2 last
year and foiled their plans to crippling supplies to Jaffna peninsula by
flushing out terror outfit from Sampur, Ilakanthair in subsequent
operations carried out from August 27 to September 31 last year.
Then they moved to clear the threats in the areas surrounding the
Trincomalee harbour in Gangai and Manirasakulam from October 1 to 6 and
then moved to liberate 30,000 civilian population kept as a human shield
by the LTTE in Vakarai and Kathirveli from October 30 January 21.
The operation carried out in West and South of Batticaloa from
February 24 to April 12 was meant to liberate nearly 65,000 people
Then the troops entered the final phase of the Eastern battles in May
this year to flush out LTTE terrorism from the jungle hideouts in