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Lanka may offer amnesty to LTTE

world Updated: May 04, 2009 00:28 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times
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The Sri Lankan government is looking into the possibility of extending an amnesty to the lower rung cadres of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) if they lay down weapons and surrender.

“The attorney general’s office is studying the nuances and aspects (of extending amnesty). This would be part of the efforts of the government to re-integrate and rehabilitate surrendered cadres of the LTTE into the mainstream,’’ Mahinda Samarasinghe, minister for human rights and disaster management, told HT.

The minister gave the example of child soldiers conscripted by the LTTE.

“Child soldiers who have surrendered especially need to be rehabilitated into the mainstream. They need to be resettled into a normal life,’’ he said. He said the final decision on the issue was yet to be taken and it would be a post-conflict challenge for the government.

Samarasinghe clarified that if and when the amnesty would be offered, it would not be extended to the top leaders of the Tamil Tigers like chief V Prabhakaran and political head Nadesan.

“For the leaders, the laws of the land will take their course. In case of some of the leaders, they have been found guilty of crime in other countries, like India. There will be no amnesty for them," Samarasinghe said.