Colombo: A retired senior diplomat in Sri Lanka, Nanda Godage, has testified before the war commission examining the final years of the long-running civil conflict, which ended last year, that at least 2,000 young Tamils are being held in custody in the country without any charges being brought against them.
Godage, a former Sri Lankan ambassador to the European Union, said that these numbers of captives are in addition to several thousand people who had been held in camps since the end of the civil war on suspicion of involvement with the Tamil Tiger rebels.
“By holding them in this way, Sri Lanka is in danger of breeding many more Prabhakarans," the BBC quoted him, as saying.
He expressed his disappointment over the fact that about 500 young people, who are being held purely on suspicion in a Colombo jail in Welikada under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, against whom no evidence has been found.
“If there is no evidence against them and the others, they should be freed,” he added.
Citing the example of a Tamil engineer, who was forced by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to give them money while working in the UK, Godage said that he had spent more than a year in prison despite explaining that many Tamils abroad were forced to make such donations.
Former Tamil Tiger members or suspects who are still alive are reportedly helping the government to build links with the Tamil Diaspora to bridge the gap.