SLA pulls out of Muthur
[TamilNet, Friday, 17 October 1997, 23:59 GMT]
The Sri Lankan army closed down eight camps in the Muthur region this week. The main Sri Lankan military base in this large southern sector of the Trincomalee district will be closed either today or tomorrow, depending on the rate of troop pull out that is under way now.
This base is located at Kattaparichchaan , the most populous Tamil village in the promontory that forms the south-eastern part of the Trincomalee (Kottiyar) bay.
The Kattaparichchaan camp was established in 1991 after Special Forces commandos of the SLA fought a bitter battle with the Liberation Tigers.
The camp is strategically located to supervise and prevent any possible troop build up by the Liberation Tigers in the area that could pose a direct threat to the vital Trincomalee Naval base and harbour.
The location of the camp was also intended to deny the Tigers access to the Foul Point which is considered a vantage point on the southern sea approach to the Trincomalee harbour.
The SLA is pulling out troops from Muthur to beef up its units fighting in the eastern sector of the Kanakarayan Kulam jungles in the Vanni and to engage in holding operations in some forward areas there.
The other detachments that have been pulled out until yesterday are Mallikaithivu, Palaththoppur, Pachchanur, Mahinda Pura, Pansalgodalla, Selvanagar, 64th Colony and Sittaaru.
The camps were set up to hold the vital Verugal -Muthur trunk road and to protect several state and military sponsored Sinhala settlements.
Small units of the Sri Lankan Police have been deployed in Pansalgodalla, 64th Colony and Pachchanur as soon the army vacated their positions in these villages.
Residents said that the Police posts stand little chance of survival if the army is not present in strength to provide background security to them .
The Tigers have already torched and destroyed the vacated SLA positions in Muthur.