Sri Lanka activates mass detention centre amid arrests

Jan 12, 2007 (AFP) – Sri Lanka has reactivated a mass detention centre to hold people rounded up during recent arrests of suspects allegedly linked to terrorism, police said Friday.

A first batch of 60 people detained at police stations in Colombo will be sent Friday to the centre in Boossa, around 100 kilometres (60 miles) south of Colombo, police spokesman Rienzie Perera said.

“Suspects who have been rounded up in Colombo are being sent to Boossa because there is no space to hold them here,” Perera said.

Boossa served as a detention centre during the government’s crack down on anti-government Marxists militants in the late 1980s as well as in 1971.

Police have been ordered to step up arrests of suspects linked to Tamil Tiger guerrillas as part of a campaign against the rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).