Sri Lankan govt releases ex-Tigers after rehabilitation programme

Around 4,000 former LTTE cadres held in detention are now under govt custody.

Updated: Apr 24, 2011, 15:03 PM IST

Colombo: Sri Lankan authorities have released a batch of former LTTE cadres who have undergone the government-run rehabilitation programme in the northern town of Vavuniya.

Speaking at the ceremony to release 483 former Tamil Tigers, Minister of Prisons and Rehabilitation Chandrasiri Gajadeera said only around 4,000 of the 11,000 former LTTE cadres held in detention are now under government custody.

Since the end to the conflict with the LTTE in May 2009, Sri Lanka put in place a rehabilitation programme for the former rebels.

They were released in stages having gone through vocational training as part of their rehabilitation process. Gajadeera also warned that nationalists among the country`s different communities must not leave room for racism to raise its ugly head.

"The Tamil nationalism and racism will rise to the extent the Sinhala nationalism and racism come up. So the politicians must make sure that all communities live together devoid of racist feelings," Gajadeera said.