The Sri Lankan government is considering a proposal to release the 217 Tamils currently in detention under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), after putting them through a program of rehabilitation, the Minister of National Dialogue, Mano Ganeshan, has said.
Ganeshan recalled that the Mahinda Rajapaksa government had released over 12,000 LTTE cadres, after subjecting them to a rehabilitation program. He said that the Lankan Security Forces have developed expertise in the rehabilitation of militants, and the facilities at the rehabilitation centers are now of international standard. “They don’t look like torture centers, as they did in early days,” Ganeshan said.
But for the time being, the policy is to release the detainees on bail on a case-by-case basis. On November 11, 31 detainees were to be released on bail but since no one came to stand surety for them, the prisoners were sent back to prison. Each released detainee had to have two LKR (Sri Lankan Rupee) one million bonds. They would also be required to report to the Terrorism Investigation Department every other Sunday. They would be barred from leaving the island.
There is, however, no unanimity on the number of civilians killed in the Eelam War IV. The United Nations Secretary General’s 2011 committee, headed by Indonesian diplomat Marzuki Darusman, said that up to 40,000 might have been killed. But a government census survey conducted after the return of the displaced persons, found that 8,000 were killed. (New India Express)