SLA operation in Trincomalee
[TamilNet, Monday, 31 August 1998, 17:39 GMT]
The Sri Lankan Army (SLA) launched an operation code named Ran Handa (Golden Voice) in Mutur, in the southern part of Trincomalee, this morning. Troops from the SLA's base in the large interior Tamil village of Kattaiparichchan south east of Mutur moved into Samboor three kilometers further east in the same region.
Samboor and all the other Tamil villages in this area are under the control of the Liberation Tigers.
SLA sources said that Op. Ran Handa was aimed at destroying the LTTE's logistical capability in the area, the coast of which, according to them, is a vital transit point on the LTTE's sea route between the Batticaloa district and the Mullaithivu coast.
But sources in Mutur said that the Liberation Tigers had withdrawn with the local population from the area before the army could engage them or surprise them in their base camp.
The troops of Op. Ran Handa returned to base this evening.
An SLA press note said that the troops had recovered two table fans, a cycle, ten uniforms, a lamp, some dry rations and cooking utensils from the LTTE's abandoned base.
It also claimed that SLA troops had destroyed the office of the local LTTE leader it identified as Thevan, a tailor shop, a bakery along with the Tiger base camp where these were located.