The LTTE will lose one of its major income generating sources after they lose Thoppigala jungles where they conducted businesses including cannabis plantations, Security Forces personnel engaged in the Thoppigala battle said.
Troops are now engaged in the humanitarian mission to liberate thousands of paddy acres which were forcibly taken by the LTTE after chasing the farmers away from their lands, General Officer Commanding the 23 Division of the Sri Lanka Army Major General Daya Ratnayaka said.
`In addition to cultivating paddy lands forcibly taken from innocent civilians, the Security Forces have observed that the LTTE was engaged in many other illegal activities within the Thoppigala jungles like cannabis cultivation and illicit timber felling,` Major General Ratnayaka added.
The LTTE also takes ransom from civilians employed in brick production and other legal industries.
`The LTTE tried their best to prevent the Security Forces advancing to the Thoppigala jungles but we thwarted all their attempts,` he said.
The troops are now advancing towards Narakamulla area where the LTTE is having their major training and military bases such as 4:9 base and the Beirut camp.
So far nearly 300 Tiger cadres have been killed during this operation to capture the Thoppigala jungles stretching the border between Batticaloa and Polonnaruwa districts.
Brigade Commander of the 232 Brigade in Sittandi, Lt. Colonel. Priyantha Napagoda said many LTTE cadres were surrendering to the Security Forces after crossing the lagoon in Santhiveli area.
`The Security Forces thwarted several attempts by the LTTE to break the defences in Sittandi area including their failed attempt to capture four Army camps Mavadivembu, Chenkaladi, Sittandi and Vantharamoolai a few months back,` Lt. Col. Napagoda said.