US Lesson

September 27, 2009 (AFP) – The Sri Lankan government said on Sunday it would study the United States’ treatment of suspected Islamic militants to learn how to deal with thousands of alleged former Tamil Tiger rebels. Sri Lanka’s attorney general Mohan Peiris was set to arrive in Washington on Monday for talks with his US counterpart and with officials in the US defence establishment, justice ministry spokesman Gamini Godakanda said.

“We want to study how the US handled terrorist suspects, particularly hundreds of them from the Al-Qaeda network, after the 9/11 attacks in New York,” Godakanda told AFP.

Sri Lankan officials estimate 15,000 former rebels are detained in camps alongside hundreds of thousands of war-displaced civilians.

The Tamil Tigers, who fought for a separate homeland from 1972, were defeated by Sri Lankan troops in May when the military killed their leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran.

“Some of the former fighters will face prosecution for their crimes, depending on the evidence. Others will be sent for rehabilitation,” Godakanda said.

Sri Lanka has sought foreign cash for an ambitious plan to rehabilitate many former rebels and has already collected 23 million dollars towards the