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UN Official Says 5,000 Former Combatants Still In Camps

Feb 19, 2011 8:48:49 AM - thesundayleader.lk

Outgoing head of the UN Mission in Sri Lanka Neil Buhne has said that 5,000 suspected ex-LTTE combatants remain in Sri Lankan camps 21 months after a quarter-century civil war ended.
Buhne has reportedly said on Friday that those ex-combatants are suspected loyalists to separatist Tamil Tiger rebels defeated in May 2009.
He has said they remain in camps beyond reach of U.N. and Red Cross officials, but another 5,000 suspected ex-combatants were released.
The media reported that the government had carved the camps out of the jungles of northern Sri Lanka to hold 300,000 ethnic Tamil civilians displaced by civil war and screen out former rebels who could stir up trouble.
Buhne had said another 18,000 Tamils remain in so-called welfare centres because of land mines.