Security tightened to thwart Tigers fleeing
Following reports of some LTTE cadres, held in welfare centres in the Vavuniya-Mannar region escaping to the South, in some instances with the connivance of security personnel, the government has strengthened security measures in the area. The army, too, has been deployed in support of the police, now tasked with apprehending the escapees.

Well informed sources told The Island that on a directive given by Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, police headquarters recently appointed a Deputy Inspector General of Police to oversee overall security measures to prevent anyone fleeing welfare camps. The DIG based in Vavuniya would take measures to enhance security in collaboration with the army to block all exit points, sources said.

A senior official, based in Vavuniya, speaking to The Island on the condition of anonymity said though hundreds of police and army personnel had been deployed to block possible escape routes, the size of the detained population had made it an extremely difficulty task. About 300,000 persons, including 50,000 LTTE cadres and their families, are held in over two dozen camps, with the largest being at Menik farm.

Sources said that security wouldn’t be relaxed during the forthcoming Madhu festival. The Madhu feast will be held on August 15. Sources warned that security authorities had to be on alert to thwart attempts to smuggle out LTTE cadres taking advantage of the large groups of people entering the area during the festival.

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