Released former LTTE members facing rehabilitation problems in society

Written by: Anita Nair
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Colombo, Jan 4 (ANI): Sri Lankan authorities have said that there have been problems rehabilitating ex-Tamil Tiger fighters into society.

The BBC quoted them as saying that some of the former Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) fighters have been taken back in for police questioning after being freed, but added that those numbers are not high and the releases continue.

Meanwhile, the Brussels-based International Crisis Group have claimed that freed rebels were being subject to "frequent, arbitrary questioning" by security forces.

The 26-year civil war ended when the insurgents were defeated in May 2009.

The army says more than 11,000 Tamil Tigers handed themselves in and were taken into custody in the war's final stages, adding that it was putting the detained ex-members the LTTE through a "rehabilitation" process.

According to Brigadier Sudantha Ranasinghe, the officer in charge of the programme, about 5,600 have been released in batches since early last year, returning to their home areas.

However, there still remain rumours that the process has not always gone smoothly.

Brig Ranasinghe said that some former rebels have been taken in for questioning because of complaints by villagers that the ex-combatants were stealing or brewing illicit liquor.

The government says about 4,600 rebels who surrendered are still undergoing rehabilitation. (ANI)

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