Another amnesty for Muslim groups to surrender arms

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 21 July 2009, 11:22 GMT]
Sri Lanka Police announced another five-day amnesty period with effect from Monday to hand over all illegal weapons by Muslim militant groups in E’raavur police division in Batticaloa district. Using loud speakers, the police announced that any person, who is carrying illegal weapons, should hand over the weapons to the nearest Mosque within this period. The announcement added that soon after the end of the amnesty period, police and Sri Lanka military will commence to search for illegal weapons in the area. The earlier amnesty period ended on July 4.

16 T 56 assault rifles, one T 81 sub machine gun, four 303 rifles, two sub machine guns, one shot gun, one 9 mm pistol, 16 hand grenades and a large cache of ammunition were handed over during the first amnesty period.

Police said that Jihadist militants possess around 250 T 56 assault rifles, only a fraction of which had been handed over during the first amnesty.

The amnesty period was given to armed Muslim groups by the law enforcement authority after state intelligence services identified 18 Muslim militant leaders who are wanted for various crimes.

Earlier in 1990, the then President late Ranasinghe Premadasa, after the Kaathankudy Mosque massacre, gave a consignment of arms to Muslim youths to safeguard Muslims from the LTTE.

Also with the increase of LTTE activities in the province, the circulation of arms had risen, according to Muslim politicians in the area.



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