AG recommends release or rehab of over 600 LTTE suspects

Post-war reconciliation:


LLRC pushes for swift action amidst attempts by some INGOs to undermine its work

By Shamindra Ferdinando

The Attorney General’s Department has recommended the immediate release or transfer of 676 LTTE suspects held under Prevention of Terrorist Act (PTA) and Emergency Regulations, to the ongoing rehabilitation programme.

The suggestion follows inquiries by a special team headed by Deputy Solicitor General Shavendra Fernando, which interviewed those detained at Boossa and Omanthai in the recent past. Attorney General Mohan Peiris has included Senior State Counsel, Chetiya Gunasekera, Kumara Ratnam, and Dilan Ratnayaka, in Shavendra Fernando’s team. The AG’s team has recommended that those transferred from detention facilities to undergo rehabilitation under Commissioner General of Rehabilitation Brig. Sudantha Ranasinghe, too, be released subsequently.

Of some 11,900 detainees, over 6,000 have been released so far after rehabilitation.

The detention facility at Omanthai accommodates terrorist suspects arrested at the conclusion of the war, whereas Boossa holds suspects taken in over a period of time.

 Authoritative sources told The Island that the AG’s team had so far perused the cases of more than half the detainees held at Boossa and Omanthai detention centres.

The AG ordered an inquiry consequent to interim recommendations made by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) headed by former AG C. R de Silva to President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The AG heads an Inter Agency Action Group (IAAG) tasked with implementing the LLRC’s interim recommendations.

The LLRC commenced its sittings last August at the Kadirgamar Centre for International Relations, Colombo 07.

 Sources said that the whole purpose was geared to accelerate legal and investigation process to promote reconciliation.

The majority of the detainees had been forcibly conscripted by LTTE.

Of the 676 LTTE detainees recommended for rehabilitation and subsequent release after completion of the rehabilitation programme,  251 are held at Boossa detention centre and 425 at Omanthai. The review of the cases of the balance LTTE detainees will be continued under the direction of the Attorney General.

Sources said that the LLRC had recommended several interim measures for the benefit of the Tamil speaking people in the aftermath of the war. The LLRC recommended urgent steps to tackle the language and land issues, stripping all armed groups of their weapons, a special mechanism to handle cases of LTTE detainees and ways and means of giving their families access to them.

 The Interim recommendations of the LLRC specifically suggested that a review be made of laws delays with regard to LTTE detainees to expedite prosecution or discharge detainees.

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