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Sri Lanka former rebels in disguise as civilians: defense secretary

[Xinhua, Monday, 17 August 2009 08:45 No Comment]

The former Tamil Tiger rebels now living in government-run welfare camps pose a serious threat to national security if allowed to leave the camps, the top defense official Gotabhaya Rajapakse was quoted in a press report here Monday.

    Independent English language daily The Island said Rajapakse had warned that "LTTE terrorists masquerading as civilians now taking refuge among the displaced could resume attacks if the government gave into internal and external pressure and released them".

    Rajapakse had blamed the opposition groups for trying to make political capital out of the IDP issue.

    The main opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe urged action last week to release the IDPs and resettle them with minimum delay.

    "If we loosen up security measures and bombs starts exploding the same crowd will demand the resignation of the government", The Island quoted the defense secretary Rajapakse as responding to opposition criticism.

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