The Sri Lankan military has said that several thousand suspected Tamil Tiger rebels have been questioned by judges and will now undergo “rehabilitation”.
Army spokesman Brig Udaya Nanayakkara said about 2,000 Tamils, who had admitted belonging to the Tigers, were likely to face trial.
He said that suspected Tamil Tiger guerrillas are being kept separate from thousands of displaced Tamil civilians.
The government has again insisted it is doing all it can to look after them.
“They have taken guns, fought against the army. So they have to go through rehabilitation so that they can live as normal Sri Lankans,” Brig Nanayakkara said of the 2,000 people who are “self confessed” former rebels.
He said that the process of “weeding out and rehabilitating” them was already under way and each one has been brought before judges.
He said that said anyone who had been trained by the Tamil Tigers to carry arms was considered a combatant.
“Since the start of fighting in different locations, 9,100 Tamil Tiger cadres have self-confessed,” he said.
“We have sent 7,000 of them to welfare camps for rehabilitation after legal proceedings, while others are facing court proceedings.”
The military says that it killed 22,000 rebel fighters during its 34-month offensive to end the 25-year civil war and lost 6,200 of its own soldiers.
On Tuesday, the UN’s high commissioner for human rights called for an independent investigation into alleged atrocities by both sides in Sri Lanka’s civil war.
Navi Pillay said it was the only way to build a sustainable peace in Sri Lanka.