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LTTE attempting to reorganise, rescue hardcore cadres: Minister

world Updated: Aug 03, 2009 16:36 IST

The LTTE could be attempting to revive the organisation amid efforts by the defeated terror group to rescue hardcore cadres housed in government-run refugees camps for Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka's northern Vavuniya district, a top minister has said.

Defence Minister Gotabhaya Rajapaksa said that though the LTTE had been military crushed, attempts were being made to rescue hardcore fighters who are living in the refuge camps in the Vavuniya region. He warned that this could be part of an overall strategy to revive the organisation, which was crushed by the military in May.

In an interview with The Sunday Island, the Minister, who is the brother of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksha, said that an organised campaign had been launched to free terrorists from refugee camps before army and police investigators, now engaged in a systematic screening process, closed in on them.

Gotabhaya vowed that the government would not allow the LTTE to reverse the military victory achieved at a huge cost to the nation.

He pointed out that ordinary civilians would never make an attempt to flee refugee camps as the government, with the support of some international agencies, had provided adequate facilities for them.

The civilians were displaced in the final months of fighting in the nation's quarter-century civil war between the government, dominated by the Sinhalese majority, and the Tamil Tiger rebels, fighting for a separate state for the Tamil minority.