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‘Over 9,000 LTTE rebels surrendered’

More than 9,500 suspected LTTE rebels have surrendered to the government in the past few months, military officers have said.

world Updated: May 24, 2009 23:47 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis

More than 9,500 suspected LTTE rebels have surrendered to the government in the past few months, military officers have said.

The spate of surrenders took place after the LTTE began to lose ground.

“Over 7,237 terrorists, who had surrendered to the military, are now being rehabilitated at various rehabilitation centres. Among them are 1,601 females,” the Sunday Observer said, quoting unnamed officers of the Sri Lankan Army (SLA).

The report said another 2,065 had surrendered to SLA officers manning the ‘forward defence lines’ of the military.

The number of displaced Tamil civilians living in 40 government-run camps is 2,71,967, the report said.

No aid access until rebel screening: Govt
The Lankan government has indicated that international aid agencies would have unhindered access to the camps only after security issues involving possible LTTE infiltrators among the civilians were sorted out.

On Saturday, President Mahinda Rajapaksa told visiting UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon: “Some aspects of security of the IDPs (internally displaced persons) that had to be assured in view of the likely presence of LTTE infiltrators among the large numbers who had come to the government areas.’’

UN Secretary-General visits refugee camp
Ban Ki-moon witnessed the plight of some of the displaced by the conflict and said it was “very sobering”.

“I saw for myself the circumstances in which the survivors find themselves, and the suffering they have experienced,” he said.

He called for better humanitarian aid after interviewing some people regarding shortages of water and medicine.