Amnesty for rebels but no pity for Tamil Tiger leader
by Melani Manel Perera
The minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights says possible amnesty is under consideration to rehabilitate LTTE members who surrender to the military. Most people in the south are in favour of the proposal. President Rajapksa’s approval ratings are up.
Colombo (AsiaNews) – Sri Lanka’s Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe said that Attorney general Mohan Peiris is considering an amnesty for Tamil Tiger rebels. Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) supreme leader Velupillai Prabhakaran would not however be entitled to such treatment. Such amnesty would include a plan to rehabilitate the rebels.

News about the proposal has been welcomed in the southern part of the country, and is consolidating President Mahinda Rajapksa’s high approval ratings.

For many Minister Samarasinghe’s proposal is the only way to solve the rebel problem once the fighting is over.

Others point out that the rebels need some “brain-washing” to make sure that they are re-socialised into society.

In the meantime fighting between the military and rebels continue.

Army sources said that Tamil Tiger fighters have infiltrated the waves of refugees who fled the No Fire Zone. Some put the number at 3,000.

“Some confessed they were members of the LTTE. Others are being investigated for their ties to the rebel group,” Minister Samarasinghe said.

No amnesty is planned for the Tamil Tigers’ supreme leader.

“Prabhakaran cannot be forgiven and must receive the harshest punishment, commensurate to the 30 years of destruction he inflicted on the island and its people,” people said.