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Sri Lanka to take action against former rebels

world Updated: Jun 30, 2009 15:23 IST
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COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ Sri Lanka plans to take legal action against a small group of hardcore rebel fighters, and rehabilitate the majority of former Tamil Tiger insurgents, a government minister said on Tuesday.

The government is currently holding about 10,000 former rebel fighters, after declaring victory in the nation's quarter century civil war in May.

"People who got involved in destruction and actively participated in terrorist activities will be dealt in accordance with the law of the land," said Keheliya Rambukwella, a government minister and spokesman on defense issues.

He said the "small number of people" would be referred to the attorney general's office, while most of the others being held will be rehabilitated and eventually set free.

Despite the government's defeat of the rebels, military officials have called for a massive expansion of the military, from less than 200,000 troops to about 300,000. On Tuesday, the government announced a drive to recruit 50,000 new troops to help administer the northern areas captured from the rebels.