Sri Lanka former rebels in disguise as civilians
COLOMBO, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- The former Tamil Tiger rebels now living in government-run welfare camps pose a serious threat to national security if allowed to leave the camps, the top defense official Gotabhaya Rajapakse was quoted in a press report here Monday.
Independent English language daily The Island said Rajapakse had warned that "LTTE terrorists masquerading as civilians now taking refuge among the displaced could resume attacks if the government gave into internal and external pressure and released them".
Rajapakse had blamed the opposition groups for trying to make political capital out of the IDP issue.
The main opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe urged action last week to release the IDPs and resettle them with minimum delay.
"If we loosen up security measures and bombs starts exploding the same crowd will demand the resignation of the government", The Island quoted the defense secretary Rajapakse as responding to opposition criticism.
The government said over 9,000 among the 288,000 internally displaced in the camps have been identified as those with links to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, whose campaign for a separate state for the minority Tamils was ended by the government troops in May.
Former LTTE terrorists are being detected and questioned even at this time. An ex-terrorist who was found to be among civilians in one of the IDP camps on interrogation has given out solid information about a cache of arms which was hidden during the letter stages of the war.
This cache was dug and was found to be substantial. Operations are still going on to weed out these terrorists from the innocent Tamils so that they would not do any more harm to these people, primarily psychologically.