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LTTE grows cannabis, says Sri Lankan Govt

The Lankan army showed video clippings of a cannabis farm at an LTTE camp in Kanjikudichcharu jungle, reports PK Balachandran.
None | By PK Balachandran, Colombo
UPDATED ON JAN 17, 2007 04:10 PM IST

The LTTE is into growing cannabis to make big money, says the Sri Lankan government's Defence Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella.

Since big money could not be made by extortion because of the closure of the A9 highway linking South Sri Lanka with Jaffna through LTTE-held Wanni, the rebel group was resorting to cannabis growing in the East, he charged at a press conference here on Wednesday.

The Army showed video clippings of the discovery of a cannabis farm in one of the 16 camps of the LTTE in the Kanjikudichcharu jungle which the Special Task Force (STF) had captured.

The LTTE has, however, denied that it had been cultivating cannabis.

Its Peace Secretariat said that cannabis were grown in a Sinhala village called   Bakkimiddiya, and alleged that the Army video was taken in that village.

The LTTE, in fact, had gone about destroying cannabis crops in areas under its control.

The Army video also showed the bodies very young LTTE cadres.

"Most of the dead were very young, between 10 and 15," Army Spokesman Brig Prasad   Samarasinghe said.

On the video clipping showing torture chambers (small chambers into which the victim would have had to crawl and lie), the LTTE said that these were actually 6 ft high and were of the size of a standard prison cell in any part of the world.

These cells had been used since 2004 to keep captured Karuna group cadres, the LTTE said.

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