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Rehabilitation of former rebels would take time: Lanka Army

As they work on rehabilitating the former Tiger fighters, the Sri Lankan Army has said it might take them a long time to undo the years of 'brainwashing' to mainstream the once hardcore recruits.

world Updated: Feb 28, 2010 16:11 IST

As they work on rehabilitating the former Tiger fighters, the Sri Lankan Army has said it might take them a long time to undo the years of 'brainwashing' to mainstream the once hardcore recruits.

Over 10,000 former LTTE cadres are currently in detention in Sri Lanka following the rebel group's military defeat, the Commissioner General of Rehabilitation Brigadier Sudantha Ranasinghe has said.

"Our main issue of rehabilitation is correcting the hardcore inmates who need more time to change their minds which have been brainwashed for years," he said.

"Their mental situation is not yet set to adjust to normal situation. They need more time to become normal," Ranasinghe told the state owned Sunday Observer.

He said among 10,732 detainees, 1072 are youth who were with the LTTE for less than three months, 876 who were engaged with the outfit for less than six months and 1072 who served for less than a year. They include 1990 women and 409 children.

"We are very confident that those who were with the LTTE for shorter periods of time will not go back to violence," Ranasinghe said.

"They have developed an anger with those who conscripted and dragged them away for heavy fighting... What most of them want is to lead a peaceful life with their families. They have high hopes for a better future," he said.

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