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11,000 Tamil 'fighters' held in secured Lankan camps: report

world Updated: Dec 06, 2009 16:49 IST

More than one thousand Tamil 'fighters', including children, are being held by Sri Lanka without charge in highly secured "rehabilitation centres", despite claims by authorities it had lifted restrictions on the movement of all displaced persons, a news report has said.

According to The Times newspaper, more than 11,000 Tamil prisoners are being held without charge in closely guarded "rehabilitation centres", even as the government claimed it had released all Tamil civilians from detention centres last week. It said children are among 11,000 Tamil ‘fighters’ held in rehabilitation.

According to the report, the prisoners, whose exact number has been unknown due to the government placed restitutions, is allegedly a "combatant category" that includes former LTTE fighters. However, the definition of "Tamil Tiger" is unclear.

Apart from the hardcore LTTE cadres, many of those in the camps are thought to be Tamil youths, their family members and civil administrators, forcibly conscripted by the Tigers in the final stages of the war. According to media reports, the parents of Velupillai Prabhakaran, the Tamil Tiger leader killed this year, are being held in the notorious "4th Floor" detention complex in Colombo.

They are in their seventies and had long been alienated from their son by his terrorist activities. Even as the government allowed nearly 1.30 lakh Tamil civilians housed in refugees camps in northern Sri Lanka to visit their relatives this week, there is concern over the fate of the 11,000 still being held, the report said.