Colombo: Sri Lanka has released about 1,800 former Tamil Tiger rebels who had been held since the island nation`s civil war ended more than two years ago.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa handed over the former rebels to their families at a ceremony on Friday at an auditorium in his office complex.
The ex-combatants had been held in military-run rehabilitation centres, where they underwent vocational training. They were among about 11,000 Tamil Tigers who surrendered at the end of the war in May 2009. The military says about 1,000 remain in centres.
Sri Lanka has come under pressure from rights groups and other countries who have urged the government to either charge the detainees or release them.