SLA operation in Thoppigala
[TamilNet, Thursday, 31 December 1998, 16:03 GMT]
Sri Lanka Army (SLA) troops launched a fresh offensive against the Liberation Tigers in the Thoppigala jungles 40 km northwest of Batticaloa, in the eastern province security sources said today.
A large number of troops have been deployed and the advance started around 11.30 last night (30 December) in three directions to engage the Tigers, the sources added.
The operation, code named as Hiri Hera (United Sense in Sinhalese) is being directed by Major General Janaka Perera who is based at the SLA's Minneriya Infantry Training School, said the sources.
Unconfirmed reports said 30 soldiers and 15 Tigers were killed in confrontations soon after the advance began. However, SLA sources in Colombo said that they were not aware of this operation.
The reports of the operation could not be independently verified.
The Thoppigala jungles are close to the Polannaruwa district border where the SLA has its largest training base at Maaduruoya. This area is known as the 'Vadamunai jungles' in Tamil.
The SLA claims that the LTTE's largest camp in the east, which they say is called the Beirut base is located in this region.
Major General Janaka Perera is the GOC of the SLA III division that is deployed in the eastern province and bordering Sinhala majority districts.